Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. is not a significant player in the medium truck tire market. But CEO and President H.E. “Harry” Choi hopes to change that.
At the 2014 Kumho Dealer Meeting in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, earlier this month, Choi admitted that increasing truck tire sales is a step-by-step process the company is only just beginning.
It starts with supply. “We don’t have excess truck tire capacity for the time being,” he said.
The Kumho brand has a 1% share of the replacement truck tire market in the U.S., according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics. That totals about 160,000 units.
Choi also explained that Kumho’s five-year plan, started at the beginning of this year when Choi came on board, centers on the “5 P’s, 1 S” philosophy. The five P’s stand for product, price (Choi emphasized “consistent pricing policies”), promotions, place (i.e., distribution channels) and people. The S stands for “system-based sales.”
As part of its five-year plan, the company wants to sell 10 million consumer and commercial tire units in the United States in 2017.
Kumho Tire U.S.A. recently hired John Hagan as national sales vice president. He replaced Armand Allaire, who left the company to take over as vice president of marketing for Giti Tire USA Ltd.
Hagan comes to Kumho with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, the last four with Toyo. Most recently, he was responsible for passenger, light truck and commercial tire sales in the United States.
Choi said the recently announced alliance between Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and Kumho Tire Co. Inc. will have little effect on their respective subsidiaries in the U.S. He said the “limited strategic alliance” is focused on research and development.
(Modern Tire Dealer is a sister magazine to Heavy Duty Trucking)