Kumho’s Allaire: uncertainties and optimism
Even though 2012 has been a year filled with many uncertainties, Kumho Tire executives expressed confidence that business will be good in 2013 at the 2013 Kumho Tires Dealer Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, Dec. 6-10, 2012.
There were two new tires to announce, a yet-to-be-named new Ecsta AST UHP tire and the Kumho Sense touring tire, which is positioned below the Kumho Solus KR21.
“Fuel for the future” was the theme of the meeting and Armand Allaire, national vice president of sales for Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc., gave a recap of 2012 and a prediction for more of the same in 2013.
“Twenty-twelve…what a ride,” Allaire told the 40 key North American dealers in attendance, including 32 from the U.S.
“The third year of the Chinese tariff was definitely going to end – maybe. We were going to get a new president of the U.S and a new political culture – maybe. There were no fiscal solutions to the economy or government spending has yet materialized and we’re heading toward the ‘fiscal cliff.’”
The year also saw dealers destocking to minimize risk of inventory devaluation. Dealers and tire makers also had to adjust to shifts in buying behavior of consumers and associate dealers.
To help dealers continue on that success, Allaire told attendees that the company has progressed from two geographic divisions to three during the second half of the year. The company also launched the (T/E) Premium Fuel Program in October that expanded from six Ecsta tread patterns to 14 and includes touring, CUV and light truck tires.
“The end of the Chinese tariff has made it possible to utilize our available capacity in China to keep supplying all your needs and maintain the highest fill rates,” said Kumho Tire North America’s President and CEO, J.B. Kim. “We have listened very closely to your input and we are excited about the opportunity to extend our sales with you. We are here to focus on helping you in 2013 through new programs and new product.”