How is the supply chain improving?
The supply-chain delays that we experienced in the past years have subsided. Freight rates and shipping availability have returned close to pre-pandemic levels. Raw-material pricing for tires seems very flat with no large increases or decreases.
Do you anticipate price increases this year?
With the demand reduction and cost stabilities, it seems unlikely to see additional price increases.
As far as the truck/bus tire market goes, what are you seeing in 2023 and what do you expect the rest of the year?
The TBR business has been slow due to a reduction in demand and an increase in supply. As the USTMA reported, we had three years of replacement market growth with the last two being double-digit increases. We expect a down market when all said at the end of 2023.
How is the push into the farm tire market going with the distribution of Özka-brand agricultural and OTR tires?
Özka farm and OTR sales are slow but gaining traction. We see a trend upward every quarter.
Have you been able to grow your mining business?
Our mining coverage is 35-inch (rim diameter) tires and below, so that area of the business has been average for the year.
What are some of the pleasant surprises you are seeing in the industry?
Customers are utilizing our warehouse inventory as a just-in-time (JIT) supply.
How important is the North American market to CMA/Double Coin?
North and Central America, which are handled by CMA, are the single largest export market for TBR and OTR for our parent Double Coin. As we grow and meet the challenges put forth by the market this year and beyond, quality personnel are a key factor. Just like our investment in tires, investment in people is a key strategy for Double Coin's sustainability.
What kind of trends are you seeing in the marketplace?
JIT delivery seems very important at this time. We've also seen the trend of prices falling and dealer inventories being bloated with overpriced tires.
What sectors offer the most growth potential? How have you addressed that?
OEM sales are fairly vibrant so far in 2023. We are emphasizing this channel in our growth strategy. Utilizing JIT deliveries has always been a key factor for the OEM channel.
Do you expect to roll out any additional products in 2023?
TBA … several TBR products should be announced later this year.
What technology will be a game-changer in the tire market?
AI (artificial intelligence) seems to be the topic of growth and concern, with many ways of utilizing this technology in the industry, especially in the electric vehicle (EV) segment of the market. EV tires must have features and properties to address this type of vehicle dynamics.
What is the most compelling initiative your company has or is taking to address sustainability?
The continuous process of utilizing sustainable materials and designs is at work 24/7. This includes lighter and lower rolling resistant tires as well as production improvements.
What are some of the challenges of the industry going forward?
Oversupply and lack of demand are items that seems a big challenge.
What do you want tire dealers to know about the company and what's happening at this point?
As our advertisement tag line explains: We've Got You Covered! We were here before, during and after the pandemic with our products programs and people.