QUINCY, Ill. (April 27, 2010)—Titan International Inc. plans to boost its sales and service capabilities in North America this year with a distribution joint venture in Mexico and a mining industry service facility in Canada.
Titan also is developing wheel and tire combinations for a wider range of farming applications, including for large row crop and four-wheel-drive tractors, with lower soil compaction and reduced rolling resistance.
In Canada, Titan plans to open a facility north of Fort MacMurray, Alberta, by the end of the third quarter to service its new mining customers there, said Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO. He said there is potential for sales because of oil sands exploration.
In Mexico, Titan is looking to set up a joint venture to distribute its entire product range, Taylor said, noting there's a large potential for farm and mining tires there. He did not elaborate. Titan sells in Mexico now through independent distributors and farm equipment makers' distributors.
Titan does not break down its sales by geographic regions but did say exports represented $82.7 million in sales last year, or about 11 percent of global sales.
In Titan's first-quarter earnings press release, Taylor also said the company continues to conduct due diligence on its possible acquisition of Goodyear's European farm tire business.
“On the acquisition front, there's the good, the bad and ugly,” he said. “The good is that there are a lot of deals for Titan, the bad is that everything takes so long, and you have to look under so many layers of carpet to find all the dirt.
“This means lawyers, lawyers and more lawyers, before you even get to the accountants. Many things are ugly—a lot of companies want too much money, period. Manufacturing is tough wherever you are.”
Earlier Taylor said Titan was hoping to make a decision on the Goodyear deal before the end of the first quarter.