PANAMA CITY, Panama —Another upstart tire brand has set its sights on selling its products in the ultra-competitive U.S. market.
This company, however, has been part of the global tire industry for nearly four decades.
Davanti Tyres Ltd., a Merseyside, England-based company that began — and still operates — as a distributor, plans to begin selling some of its portfolio, including passenger, SUV/CUV and all-terrain tires, in the U.S. Southwest before year-end.
Three years after it contracted with Qindao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. in Qingdao, China, to produce its first Davanti tire, the U.S. market is the "next logical step," according to Davanti General Manager Peter Cross.
"With our production in China, antidumping (duties) makes it more of a challenge for us," Mr. Cross said while sitting in the Davanti booth during the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo, held earlier this summer in Panama City.
"Because we're relatively new, it's not been a priority for us, but it is certainly now, as we gain momentum."
Mr. Cross said the company has targeted some distributors "who we feel would be a good fit for the brand. We're in relatively early stages of discussion with them about becoming distributors on an exclusive basis for certain regions of the U.S."
He said the most advanced discussions have been with distributors in Southern California.
Davanti took a roundabout way to the crowded field of contract tire manufacturing.
The business started in 1980, according to Mr. Cross, as a single retail shop. Gradually, it grew as a wholesale distributor, serving as an exclusive distributor for various brands. Today, it distributes 3 million tires per year in the United Kingdom, everything from Tier 1 to entry-level Chinese brands.