LAS VEGAS (Nov. 6, 2009)—American Pacific Industries Inc. has entered into a partnership that manages China's Good Friend Tyre Co. Ltd. to support its plan to take the Gladiator brand global
API joined the partnership with the owners of Jiaozuo, Henan-based Good Friend Tyre and a Hong Kong-based investment company about six months ago, according to API CEO Jeff Kreitzman. He talked about the deal at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, where the firm had a booth.
API owns an undisclosed stake in the Hong Kong investment company and has made a "substantial" investment in the factory itself, Kreitzman said.
Good Friend Tyre will retain its name, and API will link the Gladiator and GFT names in its sales and a marketing efforts, the company said. GFT already is a producer of Gladiator-brand tires for API and the partners plan to ramp up production to make it a primary source for the brand.
“We wanted to go beyond contract manufacturing, and be able to control our product and the way we build it and sell it,” Kreitzman said.
API is evaluating the possibility of investing in a second plant, he said, but cautioned that's a longer-term goal.
The Good Friend plant has capacity for about 1.2 million truck tires a year, Kreitzman said. Good Friend's investors spent $82 million in 2005 to build the plant, according to Good Friend's Web site.