Even through raw material costs are on the rise and these are driving up tyre prices, eight of the ten tyre brands deemed most valuable by Brand Finance have seen their brand values rise during the past year.
As the world’s car companies gather in Geneva for the biggest event of the year, brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance has released its annual review of the state of their brands. Every year, Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.
Apollo Vredestein UK managing director Stuart Jackson revealed several strategic details with which Apollo plans to grow its brand in the UK. Apollo is to introduce a truck and bus tyre range and expand its passenger car tyre lines into a fourth generation, with a sizeable investment in UK marketing “to support brand growth.” The tyre manufacturer will also develop its links with Manchester United, both as a partner in a sports facility initiative and as a significant branding opportunity, with video and print marketing materials featuring the purple of Apollo and the red of the Stretford team.
Ho-Youl Pae has been announced as the new Hankook chief operating officer in Europe, following former COO, Jin-Wook Choi’s move to a consultancy role within the manufacturer’s global headquarters. Pae has been promoted from his previous role in the company as marketing & sales executive. Pae will also take on the position of senior vice president and member of the board of Hankook Tire.
Following a recent review of its 80 Expert Tire outlets in the US, Bridgestone Retail Operations closed 15 centres at the end of last year and is rebranding the remainder. Of the 65 outlets still in operation, 63 will become Firestone Complete Auto Care centres and two are being rebranded as Hibdon Tires Plus stores.
What’s in a name? Keeping a good name means as much in business as in life. When it comes to online marketing it arguably means even more. For the last nine years Tyres & Accessories has surveyed the prominence and sentiment of tyre brand names in the online world. We’re not experts in the very specialist and highly technical research field so we have spent all this time partnering with a company in silicon fen, which knows a whole lot more about this than we do. Previously our research partners were known as Envisional, but in the year since our last report the company has re-branded itself as NetNames. Nevertheless it is the same system and therefore it continues to be comparable with our data archive.
Hankook’s results for the second quarter (April-June) of 2013 continue to show steady growth with operating profit up 11.3 per cent and sales up 1.4 per cent year on year. The company achieved a global sales revenue of KRW 1.87 trillion (1.276 billion euro) in the quarter, with operating profit marked at KRW 271.3 billion (185.2 million euro). The company stated that increased sales in the ultra-high performance tyre sector and premium brand equity helped it secure solid sales increases in its major markets.
Although its first quarter sales are down 1.7 per cent year-on-year and 1.3 per cent lower than in the final quarter of 2012, Hankook Tire describes its consolidated sales for January to March 2013 as “well-sustained”, and the company’s bottom line faired well. The company earned global revenues of KRW 1.68 trillion (£975 million) in the first quarter, while operating profit amounted to KRW 254.4 billion (£147.8 million), a 10.4 per cent year-on-year improvement and 14.4 per cent higher than in Q4 2012. The operating profit to sales ratio reached 15.2 per cent.
Another leading name may be the top brand in terms of both prominence and sentiment according to our annual online brand equity survey (see ‘Michelin top again, but is lead eroding?’ for more on this), however there is a new top social tyre brand in town. A year after we kicked off our coverage and analysis of this segment in last years’s e-Commerce feature, Goodyear has shown itself to not only be the faster riser, but also the top overall tyre brand when it comes to social media influence.
On 28 June brand valuation consultancy World Brand Lab announced its ninth annual list of China's 500 most valuable brands. Amongst the good and the great appearing on the list were Shandong Linglong Tyre and Aeolus Tyre, producers of the Linglong and Aeolus brands. It position in 128th place secured Shandong Linglong the highest ranking of any Chinese tyre maker. The company reports its brand equity as being RMB 11.652 billion (£1.18 billion). Aeolus Tyre climbed nine places from last year to 206th place, and boasts brand equity of RMB 6.416 billion (£648.41 million).
Hankook Tire has reported continued sales growth during the first quarter of 2012. Growth was experienced in North American and European markets, and the company said demand for its ultra high performance tyres had rapidly increased during the first three months of the year. Seung-Hwa Suh, vice chairman & global CEO of Hankook Tire said: “Despite continued global economic downturn, we have been able to set global sales growth and operating profit based on consistent tyre quality improvement as well as brand equity enhancement.
Indian manufacturer Metro Tyres has introduced the latest product to result from its technical collaboration with Germany’s Continental AG. In a statement, the company reported the release of its first tubeless motorcycle tyres. The new product will initially be manufactured at the company’s factory in Ludhiana plant; production will later be extended to a second plant.
Toyo Tire U.S.A. has appointed Amy Coleman its new senior director of marketing. In this role Coleman takes on responsibility for leading all aspects of the company’s marketing, placing a focus on business growth while enhancing brand equity and awareness. The department Coleman oversees includes advertising, sales promotions, communications, web initiatives, dealer support, sponsorships and events.
Deutsche Bank analysts have estimated Pirelli’s investment in Formula One sole tyre supply between 2011 and 2013 as being US$70 million per season. This annual sum, which may represent a figure at the conservative end of the spectrum, is seen by the bank as positive news for shareholders as it should improve brand equity without affecting profit and loss. As Tyres & Accessories has already reported, Pirelli intends to finance its F1 activities at least in part by reducing its expenditure in other motorsport sponsorship, including WRC.
US company Tire Group International has added a premium radial truck tyre line under the Cosmo brand name to its portfolio of products. With a range of more than 350 sizes in the Light Truck, Truck, Industrial, Agricultural and OTR segment, Cosmo Tire is now offering the following radial truck tyres with additional sizes and patterns under development: