Tariffs and antidumping/countervailing duties on TBR tires have caused great volatility for many tire makers, especially those based in China. Walter Weller, senior vice president at China Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C., the North American subsidiary of Double Coin Holdings Ltd., discussed this issue, among others, with Tire Business.
Q: How would you describe business thus far in 2019?
A With the huge influx of product in December 2018 due to the potential implementation of the second part (15 percent) of the Section 301 tariff and the confusion caused by the sudden implementation of the antidumping/countervailing duties in February, and then the actual implementation of the second half of the Section 301 tariff recently, customers either had huge inventory or were concerned about bringing in inventory due to uncertainty in the market.
Q: What pleasant surprises are you seeing in the industry?
A I wouldn't say it is either pleasant or a surprise but the tariffs and duties do appear to have had an affect on tires coming from China.
Q: How have tariffs and/or antidumping and countervailing duties affected your company?
A We were already transitioning to other sources of supply so the tariffs/duties have not had much of an affect on us. We plan to continue to offer high quality tires at a reasonable price as we have in the past. We have a strong brand and fantastic customers who have committed to us and we to them. We are focusing on making sure we are able to supply our existing customers' needs going forward.
Q: What advice would you give a dealer in North America who is concerned about prices and/or supply?
A Prices will be determined by supply and demand and the marketplace. Align yourselves with a supplier or suppliers who have the ability to meet yours and your customers' needs.
Offering the lowest price is not always, if ever, a good marketing strategy. A better strategy is aligning your business with strong brands that are committed to the market with people, warehousing, high quality products that retread and represent a good value to the end-user.
Q: What steps is Double Coin taking to get its message out to those who make policy on tariffs and its effects?
A We have been very active within the industry at trade shows and directly involved in government hearings etc. countering those that attempt to paint all products from Asia as low-cost, low-quality products as the (United Steelworkers) has tried to do.