KOBE, Japan (Oct. 2, 2015) — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) expects the dissolution of its 16-year-old global business alliance with Goodyear to enhance its “management flexibility” in terms of branding strategy and regional business strength.
Sumitomo said it will be able to “further strengthen its global operations” by using both the Dunlop brand, recognized as a premium brand with high fuel efficiency, and the Falken brand, which is well known for its motorsports heritage mainly in Europe and North America.
In terms of regional operations, SRI said it will be able to strengthen its competitiveness in North America by expanding its OE tire business with Japanese vehicle makers and its motorcycle tire business. SRI said having its own manufacturing and research and development in the region will enable it to “further strengthen its competitiveness” and support growth in the region.
It now controls one plant — for car, light truck and motorcycle tires in Tonawanda, N.Y. — and a test track in Huntsville, Ala.
In Europe, the dissolution will enable SRI to establish its own manufacturing and R&D bases. The company only recently opened a plant in Turkey that could be used to supply Europe.
SRI said because of the growth opportunities offered by this change, it now aims to surpass its earlier disclosed financial goals of $10 billion in sales and an operating ratio of 12.5 percent by 2020.
The company expects to disclose “in a timely manner” the impact of the dissolution on its fiscal 2015 results.