Goodyear agri tyre sales under way in Europe, production to follow
During a conference call yesterday, Titan International chief financial officer John Hrudicka confirmed that sales of Goodyear agricultural tyres in Europe had commenced, with initial orders being supplied from the US. “The early reception to the re-entry of Goodyear is very encouraging and demonstrates the brand still holds tremendous value in Europe,” he commented.
The European agricultural tyre market is a buyer’s market, noted Hrudicka, with the ongoing decline in the agricultural segment driving Titan’s main original equipment customers to reduce production volumes. This trend, together with falling steel prices and new competition from low-cost tyre makers, is putting pressure on Titan’s prices and margins.
Company chairman and chief executive officer Maurice Taylor added that a number of European distributors have already contacted Titan and requested tyres. He believes production from the company’s plant in São Paulo, Brazil a further option for supplying the European market in the short-term: “We can start off by backing it up with [tyres] out of Brazil, which is a low cost producer now, but eventually we’re going to produce some over in Europe.” The São Paulo plant entered the Titan fold through the tyre maker’s acquisition of Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s Latin American agricultural tyre business in 2011.