The US firm is competing among a galaxy of tyre brands in the Gulf but is confident having already registered strong growth and launched promising models
US-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, which introduced three new tyre brands to the Gulf recently, has marked out the region as a key market in its strategic business review.
Jeff Schumaker, managing director of Cooper Tire, Europe, said the Gulf was identified as such because “when you put the GCC together it is a big market” and “the variety of vehicles in the Middle East provides great potential for the Cooper Tire brand.”
“There is a huge variety in vehicles in the region including SUVs, 4X4s and passenger vehicles which fits our product portfolio perfectly,” he added.
Schumaker counted the UAE as Cooper Tire’s biggest geographic market in the Gulf.
The company’s global turnover in 2014 was $3.4 billion and its fastest-selling brand was Cooper Tire. That and its other well-known brands such as Mastercraft and Avon have been available in the Gulf.
But last month the company introduced three new tyres at the Dubai International Motor Show – the Discoverer STT Pro, described as an advanced mud terrain product; the Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport, designed for luxury on road SUV vehicles, and the Cooper Zeon CS8, a high-performance passenger car tyre which is said to offer exceptional grip, field efficiency and handling.
“We believe all three models will do a great job of meeting the needs of consumers in the Middle East,” said Schumaker.
The official said the company had witnessed solid growth in its Gulf sales over the last four years and was viewing the region as one where it could continue to grow.
“We have two key focuses for the market. Firstly, product, as the car park of vehicles is so varied in the Gulf we want to make sure we meet the consumers’ needs, whether driving a passenger, SUV or 4X4 vehicle.
“Secondly, we want to increase brand awareness within the region. We are making several steps to reach this goal, including being the official tyre sponsor of the Dubai International Motor Show 2015.”
Schumaker said the motor show provided Cooper Tire with a strong platform to get its name out to its consumers and introduce them to its new models. The company also recently launched its website and marketing materials in Arabic with a view to giving customers easy access to its products and dealer
Cooper Tire’s distributors in the UAE are Renaissance for Cooper Tire, Al Habtoor for Avon and Romer for Mastercraft. Other regional distributors are: Kuwait – Al Ghannam (Mastercraft) and Mohammed Nahar (Cooper Tire); Oman – Zubair (Cooper Tire); Lebanon – Rebco (Cooper Tire) and Itar (Mastercraft and Avon); Jordan – Sami Karadseh (Cooper Tire).