Sumitomo Establishing Falken European Sales Company
News that has already been doing the rounds in the tyre world for several months has now been officially announced – in response to questions from Tyres & Accessories, Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd has confirmed the establishment of a new sales company for the European market. Called Falken Tyre Europe GmbH, the new company will be based in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, Germany (where the manufacturer’s European liaison office is already located) and will take over the Falken and Ohtsu brands in the European replacement tyre market from Goodyear Dunlop as of January 1, 2010.
“Falken Tyre Europe GmbH is aiming to expand the Falken and Ohtsu brands in the replacement market and increase customer satisfaction through providing products that match the region’s requirements,” stated a spokesperson at Sumitomo’s Kobe, Japan headquarters. At present the company, which was established in December 2008, has eight employees; when business gets underway next year, the team will grow to approximately 25 members, including some that will liase directly with customers.
The company has three managers: Isamu Ishida, who is already manages the Falken office in Germany, Sales & Marketing director Satoru Ushida, who having already worked for Falken in Germany for several years is no stranger to the European market, and Yasutaka Ii. A new face in the team is Stefanie Olbertz, who as assistant manager Marketing will be Satoru Ushida’s right hand. In terms of logistics, not much will change for Falken’s European customers through the establishment of the new business. Falken notes, however, that customers cannot place orders through the European office before January 1. As was earlier the case, half the tyres shipped into Europe will go direct to customers by container, while a European central warehouse is still being sought for the remainder. It is likely that this will be set up somewhere in Germany next year.