FRANKLIN, Tenn. — China's Qingdao Keter Tyre Co. Ltd. has opened a U.S. sales office in Franklin and hired tire industry veteran Rick Phillips to be CEO of the new unit, Keter Tire USA (KTUSA).
Mr. Phillips brings 40-plus years of tire industry experience to the new position, which involves launching Keter's NeoTerra brand — which recently went into mass production in Thailand — in the U.S., the company said.
Mr. Phillips said the NeoTerra ("New World") brand was developed for the U.S. market and features full lines of passenger, light truck and commercial truck tires backed by "one of the best warranties in the industry," including a money-back guarantee.
"It's certainly been a challenging environment to start a new business and to introduce a new brand," Mr. Phillips said, "but we are very pleased with the early success we've enjoyed. We're actually pretty bullish on the rest of the year as we continue to build our distribution network and assemble our team."
During the U.S. company's startup phase, orders will be containerload only, a spokesperson said.