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Falken closes in on Ohtsu phase-out

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Falken Tire Corp. will discontinue the marketing and distribution of the Ohtsu medium truck tire line effective Jan. 1, 2005.

Itochu International, the exclusive distributor of Ohtsu medium truck tires in the western half of the United States since the 1970´s, will take over distributing the tires throughout the U.S. and Canada. Falken´s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., markets Falken brand medium truck tires everywhere else in the world. (Sumitomo officially abosrbed its Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. subsidiary in 2003.)

Giving up distribution rights will allow Falken "to concentrate 100% of its efforts on the Falken brand," which the company says has experienced dramatic growth over the last few years.

Falken says it will work closely with Itochu "to ensure the smooth and trouble-free transition" for Ohtsu medium truck tire customers.

The company discontinued domestic sales for Ohtsu passenger and light truck tires in 2001.

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