AKRON (Jan. 24, 2002) – Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc., shooting for 30-plus-percent sales growth for the second straight year, is launching tire dealer and consumer incentive programs designed to increase sales of its Ecsta high-performance tire lines and enhance customer awareness of the brand.
At the dealer level, Kumho is introducing a $2 per tire spiff program for the counter sales personnel at its direct dealers. Sales personnel will accumulate the bonus cash on a new American Express debit card created especially for Kumho, according to David C. Hudrlik, vice president, sales.
For consumers, Kumho will offer a “Momo/Kumho Way To Go” premium, offering a set of Momo design sunglasses (an $80 value) with the purchase of four Ecsta tires.
To support the program, Kumho is launching two additions to the Ecsta product range—the MX ultra premium and STX sport utility vehicle tires—and opened a warehouse last year in Atlanta, its fifth in the U.S.
Promotion-wise, Kumho Tire also is stepping up its involvement in grassroots sports car and off-road racing programs, and will continue to promote the brand through its association with the BASS Pro Fishing circuit.
In 2001, Kumho's sales in the U.S. shot up 32 percent, to $217.6 million, and the company is forecasting 32-percent growth again this year. The company's sales are equal to about a 2-percent share of the U.S. replacement market.
In the past few years, Kumho Tire U.S.A. steadily has gained more direct control of its distribution, to the point where it now moves about half of its tires through its direct dealers and half through independent wholesalers. The company claims 2,500 direct dealer points of sale and “several thousand” more associate dealer locations, Mr. Hudrlik said.
For 2002, the U.S. company plans several high-performance tire launches, new dealer incentive packages and a revival of its medium truck tire business, which plateaued in part because of capacity constraints, he added. The company is targeting 40-percent sales growth for truck tires.