THAILAND: Local Toyo Tire subsidiary aims to capture bigger share of market

The company, which was officially launched in April with registered capital of Bt100 million, plans to sell 25,000 tyres per month this year, but the figure is targeted to increase to 400,000 units in 2014 and 600,000 in 2015.

The company also plans to increase the number of dealerships from the existing 250 to 500 by 2015, executives said.

On 16 July 2013, TTT executives announced that the company would also proactively enhance brand awareness among Thai customers through five new tyre models.

This move represents Toyo Tire & Rubber's confidence in Thailand as a strategic market in Southeast Asia, said Kanji Kasai, managing director of TTT.

"TTT's settlement in Thailand aligns with Toyo Tire & Rubber Company's strategy. We aim to establish a market presence, grow in sales, and build customer confidence here in Thailand and are committed to supporting the growth and development of Thailand's automobile and tyre industry," he said.

Toyo Tire & Rubber plans to grow its tyre-supply system to 12.5 million units in Asia by 2015. TTT's establishment in Thailand will not only enhance Toyo Tire & Rubber's entire tyre business unit, but is a crucial move in the company's growth strategy in Asia, Kasai added.

Suthipol Leenawat, executive director at TTT, said: "Thailand in particular has caught Toyo Tires' attention as it has become Southeast Asia's largest automotive market as well as the 13th-largest car market in the world with more than 1.4 million cars sold nationwide."

"This was an 80-per-cent year-on-year increase in 2012, which has deemed Thailand a crucial strategic market in Southeast Asia," he added.

He said the company would stage roadshow events in 12 major provinces nationwide, which would help increase dealer sales and, at the same time, enhance Toyo Tire brand awareness among consumers.

"This is a significant milestone for TTT in Thailand as it will not only strengthen the relationships between TTT and stakeholders, but also provide strategic support to increase dealers\\\' sales and promote quality products to Thai consumers," Suthipol said.

Source: Daily "The Nation", Bangkok; 17 July 2013

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)