AKRON—Triangle Tire USA's Akron technical center will play a key role in the impact the tire maker will have on the U.S. market, according to the Triangle Tyre Group Ltd. subsidiary's CEO.
Named A3T L.L.C., the center has been Triangle Tyre Group's lone presence on U.S. soil since August 2011 when it was launched with one scientist on board.
Today, General Manager Edward Montgomery, an industry veteran, is at the helm and it features eight engineers with an average of 32 years of experience in the tire industry.
A3T's prime job is to help develop tires specifically for the U.S. market, Montgomery said. The center conducts research and development in a number of areas, including tire technologies, tire manufacturing processes, rubber processing, testing, design, rubber and compounding.
“The Akron facility was created and staffed to focus on the needs of the U.S. market, feeding important market needs to our technical and manufacturing facilities in Weihai, China,” said Manny Cicero, recently named CEO of Triangle Tire USA. “It is a strong commitment to the U.S. market, one that very few other off-shore manufacturers have made.”
Those on hand at a March 29 press conference held at the Akron center included Montgomery; Cicero; Marketing Director Mary Ma, who worked in marketing at Goodyear for 12 years before joining Triangle; Sidney Parr, director of commercial tire sales; and D. Tunney Vandevender, manager of consumer tire sales.
They provided a breakdown on the newly formed Triangle Tire USA operation and A3T.
Both Parr and Vandevender joined the company in early March to fill the top sales posts.
Montgomery, who worked at Goodyear for 35 years before he signed on with Triangle in February 2013, said the center has experts from several different fields on hand to help customers with problems. They concentrate heavily on passenger, light truck and medium truck tire development.
“We're building a world class technical center here,” he said. “We use local resources and resources from around the country. We handle polymer material research development and tire design.”
Formula files and specifications are sent to Triangle's R&D center in China, where molds are made. The tires are produced at Triangle's plants in China.
“We primarily develop products that fit our market in the U.S.,” according to Montgomery.
And the day could come when Triangle could produce its tires in the U.S., Cicero acknowledged, but a plant in the country is not currently on the drawing board.