Retail

Tyrexpo Asia, Day One: 'Southeast Asia is the market of the future'

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Here's a report on Day One at Tirexpo Asia 2001, courtesy of Tyres & Accessories Editor Peter Gardner:

* In his opening speech at Tirexpo Asia 2001 at the Singapore Expo Center, Tom Farmer, chairman and CEO of Kwik-Fit, referred to Southeast Asia as the market of the future.

He says retail operations in the Far East are among the most sophisticated in the world. Kwik-Fit, a major tire and automotive service chain based in the United Kingdom and owned by Ford Motor Co., already owns 30 stores in Bangkok. Farmer says he is looking for other opportunities for the chain in Southeast Asia.

* Stamford Tyres, the Singapore-based tire distributor, will introduce the Sumo Firenza passenger radial into the United States market early next year. Made in Japan, the tire line will be available in 14- through 18-inch, V- and Z-rated sizes.

Stamford already sells Sumo brand truck and agricultural tires in the U.S. through STC Tires in Miami, Fla.

* Shandong, China-based tire manufacturer Triangle plans to increase annual production from six million tires to 10 million by 2005. Triangle produces both radial and bias-ply tires; 75% of the increase will be in radial tire production, which reflects growing radialization in China.

* Gaither Tool Co., based in Jacksonville, Ill., is one of the U.S. exhibitors at Tyrexpo Asia. The company has been showing off its J1 tool, which mounts and demounts 22.5-inch tires -- a popular size in Southeast Asia, excluding Japan.

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