AKRON-U.S. private brand marketers are being received to varying degrees in Europe despite Far Eastern private branders' success in that area. Some officials at U.S. private brand marketing companies contacted by TIRE BUSINESS, including Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Coker Tire Co. Inc., said they have experienced sales increases during the past year due to more favorable exchange rates and unstable European aftermarket tire prices that have consumers looking toward lower priced products.
Most of those officials also declined to go on record with their thoughts about European conditions citing the competitive nature of that market, which is estimated at 118 million to 128 million units.
Their experience coincides with that of low-end brand importers from Korea, Taiwan and other Far Eastern nations that have seen S- and T-rated market share climb in Europe between 20 and 30 percent.
But U.S.-based Jetzon Tire & Rubber Co. Inc., which markets Jetzon brand tires in Europe, has found little change in that market over the past 15 years, according to COO Jeffrey Hoffman.
``I don't think there can be a resurgence because (U.S.) private brands never really had a place in Europe,'' he said.
To succeed there, U.S. firms must overcome a strong U.S. dollar, disparities in tire sizes and the European consumer's preference for flag brand tires, Mr. Hoffman said.