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Sumitomo Rubber to boost Falken capacity

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Falken Tire Corp. parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is "increasing capacity in all of our key areas," according to Richard Smallwood, Falken vice president of sales and marketing.

"This year we'll be triple what we were in 1999" in units shipped, he says.

"We have a number of larger dealers who are 100% over last year."

Smallwood also revealed to mtdealer.com that Sears Roebuck & Co. is now carrying Falken tires again.

The companies parted ways in early 2003 following the publication of a Falken ad that Sears deemed controversial.

The Chicago, Ill.-based mass merchandiser decided to start carrying Falken tires this past March and began advertising the products in April.

"Sears is a good representative of the brand," says Smallwood.

"They do a good job selling our tires and don't create any conflict with our dealers."

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