Mike McNulty at R&P News has posted an interesting interview with two of Yokohama Tire’s top people in the US: Rick Phillips, director of the Yokohama’s commercial sales, and Fred Koplin, director of marketing communications. Among the points
* In commercial tires (mainly light to heavy commercial truck tires), Yokohama “have literally sold everything that we are able to build.” * Tiremakers are entering 2012 with very little truck tire inventory, similar to the situation in 2011. * Truck tire demand is expected to continue to outstrip supply through at least mid-year 2012, with demand especially tight in the OEM segment. * Raw material, transportation, labor and associated costs have risen faster than tire price increases, implying future price hikes. * Yokohama recently expanded at Salem, VA, and is expanding worldwide in Russia and the Philippines. * Product focus is shifting to higher-end tires. * Areas of the world where most growth for tires will occur include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the United States.
Yes, you read that last item correctly. Maybe it’s time to change the BRIC countries to BRICUS?