Kumho Tire USA Inc. officials are targeting 20-percent growth in 2005 after posting record sales of $354 million last year.
At the company's annual dealer meeting in Cancun, Kumho officials said their sales target for 2005 is $423 million-nearly $70 million or a full 20 percent ahead of last year's results, which were 16 percent ahead of 2003.
Still, raw materials costs are expected to take a substantial bite out of potential profits. Dave Hudrlik, senior vice president of sales, told dealers that raw materials costs rose 11.4 percent in 2004 and could jump as much as 20 percent this year.
In 2004, Kumho had sales increases in the ultra-high performance and high-performance sectors of 24.4 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively, compared with the industry's growth of 23.6 percent for UHP and 6.5 percent for HP, Mr. Hudrlik said.
In passenger tires, Kumho's sales grew 14.8 percent to the industry's 0.9-percent growth, and light truck tires for Kumho rose 7 percent compared with the industry's 1.2 percent. Medium truck tires had no change for Kumho while the industry grew 2.9 percent.
``We're going to continue to grow, we're going to continue to focus on the United States market in 2005,'' Mr. Hudrlik told dealers.