CYPRESS, Calif.—Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and its North American subsidiary, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., increased their sales and earnings in the first quarter of 2017.
The tire maker reported a 3.4 percent gain in revenue in North America to $398 million and 14.9 percent growth in other markets. Sales in Japan slipped 4 percent.
Roy Bromfield, president, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., discussed business so far this year and expectations for the remainder of 2017, with Kathy McCarron, a reporter with Tire Business, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News.
With the year at its halfway point, how would you characterize business thus far?
Toyo's business in the first half of 2017 has been solid, with overall growth exceeding the market, especially in light truck and commercial truck tire segments. We believe that this is a result of our customers responding favorably to our diverse and innovative product offerings, our growing brand strength and because we focus on being a high profit brand for our dealers and distributors.
What kind of forecast do you see for the second half of the year?
We are hearing of some softness in retail markets but are optimistic that as the spring turns into summer, this will disappear and retail sales will heat up. Commercial truck tire sales are robust, and we anticipate them staying that way.
Do you foresee additional tire price hikes in the second half?
We constantly monitor raw material movements and will raise prices, if necessary, to recoup raw material increases. It is too early to say if this will be the case for the second half.