Triangle and Goodyear in ‘long-term cooperation’
In answer to questions from Tyres & Accessories, Chinese manufacturer Triangle has verified that it is in a “long-term cooperation” with Goodyear, confirming earlier suggestions of business connections between the two companies.
As well as this official confirmation, looking from the outside, connections between Goodyear and Triangle can also be seen in the movement of a number of key product, sales and marketing personnel eastward, most notably Triangle’s appointment of Pierre Cohade as CEO (who was Goodyear’s Asia-Pacific chief just a few years ago) and also global marketing vice president Jenner Powell (another Goodyear veteran) amongst others.
Such is the importance of its strategic alliances, Triangle credits the relationships it has with OEMs such as Caterpillar, Volvo and Terex – and now also its connection with Goodyear – as achievements that are “largely responsible” for the Shandong-based tyre maker’s position as one of the world’s largest OTR tyre makers.
However, what began as a technical cooperation in the OTR tyre sector, later developed into an off-take agreement in certain US-bound truck tyre sizes. Parallels, coincidently or otherwise, can also be seen in the establishment of a Triangle research and development facility in the vicinity of Goodyear’s global headquarters a few years ago.
“About four years ago we opened a small research centre in Akron, Ohio,” Pierre Cohade told Tyres & Accessories in an interview earlier in 2015, adding: “This is going to be quickly and significantly expanded, and we’re also planning an R&D initiative in Western Europe, most likely in Germany. Both facilities will focus on developing original equipment relationships and the products that we need for these markets…” Details of these R&D investments are expected imminently.
While well-connected sources have been aware of the Goodyear connection for some time, the fact that Triangle is now publically referring to the relationship is remarkable, even if the firm’s initial public release of this important detail was a surprisingly low-key footnote to its recent global conference at Triangle HQ in Weihei, Shandong province.