TUCSON, Ariz. — BKT USA Inc. President Doug Kershaw wants the subsidiary of Indian tire maker Balkrishna Industries Ltd. to become a "one-stop shop" for U.S. OTR tire dealers.
His goal for expanding in the U.S. market involves proving the tires' quality — and strategic growth.
"We want (dealers) to be successful with our product. Without them we can't be successful. Our tagline is 'growing together.' We have to do it together. We can't do it alone.
"Quality is our No. 1 key success factor to us. Because if our product is not performing to what the market needs, then we won't be successful, period," Kershaw told Tire Business during an Feb 23 interview at the TIA Off-the-Road Tire Conference in Tucson.
"It doesn't matter what the price is, it doesn't matter what the logistics is, it's quality," he said. "If you can count on our product, then you'll get good performance, keep your costs in check, your customers happy as a dealer. We're happy. Everybody is good. That's the way we want it. It is our number one key success factor."
Kershaw and Minoo Mehta, senior adviser at BKT USA, both said the biggest challenge for the company this year is supply-chain logistics. While tire demand has been good and last year's supply-chain disruptions have eased, the company still has to stay on top of the logistics of getting overseas supply into the U.S. in time to meet its dealers' orders.
Adding to the logistics challenge is meeting dealers' on-demand needs.
"I think the dealers don't want to stock as much. They're watching their cash flow. So they're really relying on the manufacturers and vendors to stock the product and get it to them when they need it. That's really the big trend I'm seeing — they're really keeping their inventories at their dealership locations down," Kershaw said.