By Stephen Downer, Special to Tire Business
MEXICO CITY — Off-highway tire maker Alliance Tire Group (ATG) is aiming to boost its sales in Latin America 12 months after being acquired by Tokyo-based Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd (YRC).
“In Latin America we have not really scratched the surface,” Dhaval Nanavati, ATG's president for the region, told Tire Business in a March 10 telephone interview. “The market is huge. We see growth, absolutely.”
Mr. Nanavati is also vice president/sales for Alliance Tire Americas Inc., an ATG subsidiary that sells agricultural, forestry, construction and OTR tires under the Alliance, Galaxy and Primex brands.
YRC agreed to pay global investment company KKR & Co. L.P. and other interested parties $1.18 billion for ATG in March 2016.
Previously, Mumbai, India-based Alliance's main focus was on markets in Europe and the United States, according to Mr. Nanavati. “Now our focus is on emerging markets, including Latin America.”
He said that ATG's “under-penetration” of Latin America had left much room for improvement. “My best guess is that we have a 2-3 percent market share” currently, he said, declining to put a value on that stake. ATG has a global turnover in excess of $500 million a year, according to its website. (http://www.atgtire.com/)
While identifying Argentina, Ecuador and Chile as the company's largest markets in the Latin America region, Mr. Nanavati added that Brazil and Peru have the greatest growth potential.
“We see Brazil as being more stable than last year and the year before.”
Asked whether ATG plans to set up a manufacturing base in Latin America, Mr. Nanavati said: “This is something we are continuously evaluating. If there is a possibility, we will look into it.”
But he stressed that ATG already has sufficient production capacity. “Now our focus is on emerging markets, including Latin America. Right now our focus is not capital investment.”