KOBE, Japan (Oct. 22, 2009)—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is increasing prices for Dunlop-, Falken-, Sumitomo- and Ohtsu-brand tires it exports by 5 to 15 percent, depending on size, category and market.
In North America, the Falken, Sumitomo and Ohtsu brands are handled by three importers/distributors—Falken Tire Corp., Treadways Corp./Sumitomo Tire and ITA.
Falken said it will notify dealers of its intentions regarding a price action by Nov. 2.
Ohtsu-brand importer/marketer ITA said it notified its dealers that prices will be going up Nov. 1 by varying amounts within the 5- to 15-percent window and that a second increase may be in the offing later.
Treadways has not yet responded to calls for comment.
Sumitomo cited the rising cost of raw materials, including natural rubber and crude oil, as the reason for the increases. The company is anticipating additional increases and said it cannot absorb such additional costs internally. In the U.S., Falken echoed Sumitomo's statement, saying rising raw materials prices and the weakening dollar make it necessary to trim expenses and “raise prices to a level that provides a sustainable level of profitability.”
Sumitomo, through its SRI Tire Trading Ltd. unit, will increase prices of tires for passenger cars, light trucks, trucks and buses and motorcycles it exports to markets in Asia/Pacific, Near and Middle East, the Americas, Europe and Africa.
The price increase will begin from November but specific dates depend on markets, SRI Trading said. They will range from 5 to 10 percent mostly, but will include increases of up to 15 percent on certain types, sizes and markets, the firm said without being specific.