Since T&A last visited Matador there have been a few changes in the management team. These have been brought about by the retiring of company patriarch, Stefan Rosina Snr. There can be little doubt that Stefan Rosina Snr. is not only a sound businessman, but also an astute politician; if he were otherwise he would not have been able to guide Matador into the free market as he did. The many years involved in the business have placed Mr. Rosina in a commanding position to help develop Matador’s relations both with the Slovak government, of whichever hue, and with politicians and businessmen in the new markets of Russia and the former Soviet influenced states. Although no longer at the helm of Matador, Stefan Rosina Snr, still plays a major figurehead role both as a consultant and as a powerful lobbying tool for Matador.He has been replaced as president of Matador by his son, Stefan Rosina Jnr. as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr Rosina Jnr. told T&A that the company aims to remain fully independent although working towards new projects with joint venture partners in growing markets. Mr. Rosina reported ongoing developments in Russia at Omskshina, where the JV was now producing 1.5 million tyres per annum and selling every single piece on the Russian domestic market where the Matador brand had already developed a strong following of loyal and satisfied customers. Two other joint ventures in Russia were still under development. Much there depended upon final negotiations and Due Diligence work before any official announcements could be made. However, a JV with Addis Tyre in Ethiopia was in the course of being finalised as we spoke. “This is a long term investment, we will build gently in Africa through our Ethiopian partners. We have long term plans to develop the region, create jobs and wealth and provide education. In Matador, wherever we are we see the potential to provide good employment prospects through the generations. My father worked for Matador, Miroslav (brother) and myself work for Matador and our children also have started working for Matador. We see that same opportunity for all our employees families.”The direction of the company may not have altered but the structure of the upper management has. Stefan Rosina Jnr is the President and Chairman, he is supported by Miroslav Rosina as Vice Chairman and Director of International Operations. The top layer of management is completed by Jozef Vozar, vice president for strategy and General Director Štefan Prekop.
Nokian Tyres plc and Matador AS are signing a contract manufacturing agreement. This transaction will mean that Matador will produce Nokian branded speed categories S, T, and H car summer tyres at its factory in Slovakia. The tyres will be sold in Eastern European markets. The production target for 2003 is 100 thousand Nokian tyres with initial sales taking place during the first quarter of the year. Volume manufacture will increase to 300 thousand tyres by the end of 2005.Through contract manufacturing Nokian will continue to ensure its growth potential in Eastern Europe. Production capacity at the company’s factory in Finland will be freed to produce ultra high performance tyres. The agreement will be valid until the end of 2005 and after that on a one-year basis.
Motokov UK Ltd is the long-standing importer and distributor of Matador tyres from Slovakia, the UK subsidiary of a Czech company. Its tyre division is a high efficiency, low cost hands-on operation offering a dedicated service for the Matador brand. The King’s Lynn-based operation is perhaps one of the most straightforward tyre import businesses in the country. The tyre division at Motokov is handled by Paul Mills and Steve Eke. Paul has been with Motokov for seven years, Steve for 17. Their sole raison d’etre is to ensure the availability and supply of Matador tyres.The company which has been dealing in tyres for over 30 years, has been the importer of Matador tyres for the past ten years and has recently taken on the agency for Triangle crossply truck tyres and earthmover tyres from China.
Since January 1999 Continental has held a 75% stake in Matador’s truck tyre production. Now rumours suggest that Continental is seeking the same deal for passenger car tyre production. There is no confirmation of this from Continental. Up until now Matador management has been keen to remain independent as far as passenger car tyre production is concerned. Matador see opportunities to develop passenger car market share throughout Europe as well as maintaining its successful position in Russia.