Triangle buys 10% share of TYM International
Triangle and TYM International have jointly announced the Chinese tyre manufacturer’s purchase of a 10 per cent share of its UK distributor’s business. TYM International general manager, Steve Eke and Triangle Group board chairman, Ding Yuhua exchanged documents during the Triangle Group’s 2013 Global Business Summit at the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai on 18 May. The purchase is currently subject to ratification by the Commerce Department of the Chinese Government, though both parties are confident that the deal will proceed smoothly. This year marks the tenth anniversary of TYM’s distribution of Triangle passenger car, truck and bus, and off-the-road products and Eke told Tyrepress.com that he was very pleased to have converted “the customer-supplier relationship into a partner relationship.”
Speaking exclusively in Shanghai to Tyrepress.com, Eke said that he had been approached originally by Triangle in January 2013, when the manufacturer expressed its desire to buy 10 per cent of TYM. Regarding the destination of the money generated from the sale, he said that “Triangle’s investment in TYM will be reinvested in the structure of the business.” While this was one part of the discussions begun in January, Eke said that this had not been “a prerequisite” of Triangle’s investment.
TYM started distributing Triangle brand tyres in 2003, and in its first year made sales totalling “more than $400,000,” Eke says. Having experienced increased demand for Triangle products over the last ten years, he now puts a figure of “$15 million” on the value of TYM’s business with the Weihai, Shandong Province headquartered manufacturer. Joining the “significant numbers of passenger car tyres” sold each year, the Norfolk based distributor revealed that around 3,000 earthmover tyres and 40,000 TBR tyres are included in that figure. T&A/Tyrepress.com noted the growing importance of Triangle’s TBR business when Triangle and TYM announced a previous long-term deal in November 2011, at which point Eke said 10,000 extra units had been sold year-on-year. Triangle customers from around the world at the Summit in Shanghai also spoke frequently of the strength of the brand’s EMOTR segment products.
Meanwhile Triangle executive president of global business and the company’s Market Development Center, Lin Bin spoke of Triangle’s motivation for buying into TYM: “Triangle has seen what has been achieved by TYM and is keen to protect the market share it has gained in the UK.” In addition, he said that Triangle is seeking to “increase the professional marketing” of the brand.
Much of the Shanghai Summit was devoted to the subject of Triangle’s efforts to globalise its business effectively, and Lin’s point about marketing chimes with this message. While the price position occupied by Triangle has often been the brand’s most marketable attribute, the messages taken from the latest meeting indicate the company’s desire to enter a phase of decommoditisation with regard to its products. It makes sense to use marketing as a primary driver of this function, and a key part of Triangle’s aim to become “a globalised tyre company,” a recurring theme of the Summit.
Joining the announcement of the purchase of a share in TYM on 18 May were two other parts of Triangle’s “capital strategic collaboration project”, with documents exchanged with Australia’s Consolidated Tyre Company and Russia’s SP LLC-Tyre Service Provider in front of the 400 guests, including Chinese Government dignitaries and Triangle employees and customers, attending the Summit. A full report will be published in Tyres & Accessories.