KIDDERMINSTER, England — Titan International Inc. has secured an offtake-supply deal for Goodyear-branded radial agricultural tires with an as-yet unnamed Turkish tire maker for sale throughout Europe.
The deal, disclosed by Titan's Goodyear Farm Tires business unit in Kidderminster, will help Titan meet growing demand in Europe for the Goodyear-branded products it sells there under license.
In 2015, Titan secured the rights from Goodyear to make and distribute Goodyear-brand farm tires in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and other former Commonwealth of Independent States countries. At that time, Titan purchased certain Goodyear molds and other assets located in Poland, Turkey and South Africa and transferred them to its factory in Volgograd, Russia.
It relaunched Goodyear-brand farm/forestry tires in the European Union in 2019. In 2015, Titan estimated the market value for the Goodyear ag tire business in Europe at $100 million annually.
Titan also owns the rights to sell Goodyear farm tires throughout the Americas.
Titan's Goodyear Farm Tires unit said the unnamed off-take supplier is in the process of adding capacity of up to 125,000 radial tires a year at its factory in Turkey, providing benefits in terms of speed, availability and service for distributors and farmers, according to Titan International.
Up to now, Titan has been sourcing radial farm tires from its own factories in the U.S., Brazil or Russia, according to Lindsay Hart, European sales director for Goodyear Farm Tires within Titan.
"This is a significant development in our offering to farmers in the U.K. and across Europe," Hart said. "The fact that we will now receive a significant supply of radial tires, as well as the existing bias offering, from Turkey will make a huge difference."
While Titan declined to identify its offtake partner, coincidentally Özka Lastik ve Kauçuk — an independent producer of farm, light truck and industrial tires — disclosed it has just completed a capacity expansion of its factory in Kocaeli, Turkey, focused predominantly on radial agricultural tires.
Other tire companies in Turkey with agricultural tire capacity include: Anlas Anadolu Lastik in Bolu; Billas ve Kaucuk in Bilecik; Brisa Bridgestone Sabanci Lastik in Izmit; Petlas Tyre Industry & Trade in Kirsehir; and Prometeon Tyre in Izmit, according to data gathered by Tire Business for the annual Global Tire Report.
Initially, Titan plans to offer 20 key radial sizes for European customers, with that figure set to double by year-end, Titan said.
"Due to the pandemic and a host of other reasons affecting supply, customers have suffered shortages in the provision of agricultural tires from all major manufacturers over the last 12 months, and Titan has made this strategic move partly in response to those issues," Hart said.
"Come February, we will be able to offer shortened lead times, swifter distribution, improved stock and product availability so we are ideally placed to meet the needs of our customers in the UK and European market," Hart said.
According to the pact Titan signed with Goodyear in 2015, Titan pays Goodyear a licensing fee of 2% of sales for the rights, including an up-front payment of $1 million.
Goodyear phased out its farm tire business in Europe in 2014 after failing to reach a deal to sell it to Titan; it closed a plant in Amiens, France, as part of that decision.
European Rubber Journal contributed to this report