For the short term, Emanuele ``Manny'' Cicero has an overriding concern as the newly named president of Alliance Tire USA: supply, supply, supply.
``I've had several conversations with our dealers,'' Mr Cicero said during a visit to Tire Business' booth at last fall's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas, ``and they've all told me the same thing: `We'd sell more if we had more. We need more supply.'''
Mr. Cicero's hiring in October to head Alliance Tire USA coincides with a change in ownership and strategic direction for Israel's Alliance Tire Co. (1992) Ltd.
``(The ownership change) signals a new direction for Alliance,'' Mr. Cicero said. ``It shows a desire to grow this company globally, including in North America, which up to now has been underrepresented in Alliance's sales mix.''
Alliance's changes include plans to build a second factory, in India, and revamp the company's Israeli plant for higher value-added radial products. (See accompanying story for details.)
``The new plant will give us the ability to be a full-line supplier,'' Mr. Cicero said, while at the same time noting the U.S. farm tire market is still largely bias-ply.
Mr. Cicero said he knows new Alliance owner Yogesh Mahansaria from the latter's time as a senior manager at India's Balkrishna Tires Ltd. (BKT). Mr. Cicero, then president and CEO of Denman Tire Corp., had discussed various business arrangements with BKT.
``I was impressed with him,'' Mr. Cicero said. ``We developed a relationship. I was hoping all along something like this would work out.''
Mr. Cicero left Denman in May after two years with the Ohio tire maker. Prior to that, he was with Bridgestone/Firestone for 21 years, including six as president of BFS's Off-Road Tire Group. He also worked for six years for Michelin North America Inc.
He holds a bachelor's degree from Colgate University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.
In hiring Mr. Cicero, Alliance CEO Joseph Anglister cited his ``customer focus'' and ``intimate understanding of the OTR tire industry.''
Mr. Cicero replaced Shaul Nuri, who was named vice president of outsourcing for Alliance worldwide, the company said.