MIAMI — Oriente Tire USA, a new independent company created by tire industry veterans Gus Lima and Marco Zigni, has become the exclusive U.S. distributor for tires manufactured by Kirsehir, Turkey-based Petlas Tire Corp.
The agreement between the entities is part of Petlas' plan to expand globally as well as develop its passenger, light-truck and SUV tire lines, according to the company.
Messrs. Lima and Zigni operate Oriente Triangle Latin America Inc., which has had a long relationship with Petlas in Latin America. A director soon will be named for the Petlas project, Mr. Lima said.
Petlas, owned by Turkish tire and auto parts distributor Abdulkadir Ozcan A.S., produces passenger, light truck and SUV tires ranging from 12-inch to 20-inch rim diameters. The line includes 4x4s and runflats.
According to Mr. Lima, initial plans call for a direct-delivery duty-paid container program for Petlas- and Starmaxx-brand products. The business plan calls for a just-in-time delivery inventory in the U.S. when required by direct-container dealers.
Sinan Evcan, Petlas' current representative in the U.S., will continue to assist the new program, Mr. Lima said, along with handling other duties for Petlas.
All Petlas tires are covered by product liability and are not subject to any U.S. antidumping or countervailing duties.
Mr. Lima said he expects Petlas to challenge traditional tier pricing. "We may ultimately see the Petlas tires placed in Tier 2.1 (at a) good competitive price and great quality niche, a great product for the end users and a money maker for the dealers," he said.
In Tire Business' 2018 Global Tire Rankings, Petlas is ranked at No. 51 with nearly $400 million in sales in 2017.
The firm's plant in Kirsehir, in central Turkey, is rated at 11 million car tires, 1.5 million agricultural tires, 850,000 TBR tires, and 400,000 OTR tires a year.
The company recently disclosed it has added capacity for radial grader, earthmover and loader tires, and has expanded its range of radial truck/bus tires to include products for urban application, long haul-highway and short distance-regional.
Since 20015, Petlas said it has invested nearly $775 million in capacity expansions.