Singapore-based tire and wheel wholesaler Stamford Tyres Corp. Ltd. has hired former Continental Tire North America Inc. and Bridgestone/Firestone executive Jim Seidel to head up its entry into the commercial tire business in North America.
Mr. Seidel, 38, was named COO and vice president of Stamford Tires & Wheels Inc., a subsidiary of Stamford in Medley, Fla., in mid-September.
He is responsible for the sales organization and research, product development, manufacturing and logistics of the unit's commercial tire business for North America.
Until now, Stamford has not distributed tires in the U.S. or Canada, using its 20,000-sq.-ft. Miami-area warehouse to service Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Seidel will initially work from an office in Charlotte, N.C.
Stamford will begin early next year with a full range of radial Sumo Firenza truck tires, made in China to Stamford's specifications, according to Hanifah Abu Bakar, Stamford CEO. Passenger, light truck and other tire types will follow later.
Stamford already distributes in North America its own range of SSW wheels, made in Thailand.
Mr. Seidel is a 16-year tire industry veteran, starting with Bridgestone/Firestone in the commercial truck tire division. He became national sales manager for retailer Great American Tire & Auto in 2003.
Last year he joined Conti as director of dealer sales for passenger and light truck tire sales in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Established in the 1930s, Stamford Tyres is a global tire and light alloy wheel specialist, operating distribution companies in a dozen countries on five continents.
Besides its proprietary Sumo, Sumo Firenza and Stamford Wheels brands, it distributes and retails brands such as Falken, Dunlop, Continental and Toyo throughout Asia. It has retail outlets in Singapore and Malaysia and a wheel making subsidiary in Thailand.
The firm reported sales of $114 million in fiscal 2005.