Westlake to appoint new UK truck tyre agents

Representatives of the Westlake truck tyre brand in the UK have announced plans to appoint between eight and 10 UK-based agents for the brand produced by leading Chinese tyre manufacturer Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber.

According to the company, the new distribution network will be comprised of partners that are independent, established commercial retread processers, retailers, tyre repairers or casing dealers. Once the right partners are identified Westlake is understood to be offering to agree “appropriate and exclusive territory” such as North East, North West with the right companies.

In exchange, and as part of the proposed partnerships, distributors will be expected to ensure that they develop a “quantitative and qualitative long term commitment to introduce the brand in a sustainable manner in the market place.” What this means is that as well as selling the tyres in a sustainable way, any shortfall on sales within an individual territory would permit the appointment of a second agent within that territory.

Tyres & Accessories understands that the new distribution network will also be based on a transparent and uniform pricing policy designed to enable everybody to be competitive and avoid “unnecessary speculation and tension in the marketplace.”

New distribution network to target fleets

From the supplier’s point of view the aim is to offer delivery and service levels that are “top of the range.” As Jorge Crespo, who is responsible for Westlake sales in Europe explained: “We are working on a marketing strategy, where we shall supply with re-grooving manuals, testimonials, and certificates of quality to make sure we can start targeting fleet business at a second stage with the help of our partners”

“We are confident that Westlake TBR quality is top of the range and this sales strategy should enable a gradual and progressive entry into a highly competitive market in order to ensure a sensible medium and long term pricing structure.”

At the end of March Westlake’s management shared details of the level of investment the company is injecting into its manufacturing operations.

For example, before the firm complete building a factory next year, Hangzhou Zhongce plans to increase truck tyre production 15.73 per cent to 10.3 million tyres a year, already putting it amongst the largest scale producers.

With Reach legislation compliance in mind, the company has also invested in VMI Holland-produced tread wear analysis equipment and systems that analyse the properties of raw materials and vulcanised rubber. Then there is the MTS Flac-Trac III machine, an expensive item of research and development equipment that allows the company to analyse and improve the rolling resistance characteristics of its tyres.

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