Modern Tire Dealer

MAY 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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8 N e w s / V i e w s O ur goal is to achieve a market share of 3.25% by 2020 while maintaining and developing a balanced distribution network throughout the North American Market." at's the clear message John Hagan, executive vice president of sales for Nexen Tire America Inc., delivered during a dealer appreciation event in Napa, Calif., in early April. Hagan also told dealers that the com- pany wanted to "market the Nexen brand in a way that supported Nexen and its customers' goals." Globally, Nexen wants to become the 10th largest tire producer by 2025. Currently the company is ranked 14th with roughly $1.8 billion in annual sales. During a sit-down interview with Modern Tire Dealer, Hagan provided additional insight. "e 3.25% is for the consumer replace- ment market. We believe we are at 2.1% right now," says Hagan. To obtain the increase, Nexen wants to leverage its origi- nal equipment business, particularly for consumers coming in for the "first time replacement" of tires. e company enjoyed a 10% increase in unit volume during 2018, and plans to increase volume again this year, says Hagan. is will come about in spite of a market that he views will be flat, at best. "We're looking to gain ground with increases through our existing customer base and adding new customers." Hagan says the company sees growth opportunities in the Northeast and North- west, both at the wholesale and retail levels. Nexen has streamlined its decision- making process and is committed to getting answers back to dealers within a 24-hour cycle. Hagan says it is critical to do so because dealers need answers quickly, as evidenced by how rapidly market condi- tions have changed over the course of the last two years. Although no new product lines are being introduced during 2019, Hagan says there are plans for new lines in 2020. e company is focusing on its Roadian MTX line, which was introduced last year. Hagan says Nexen also will continue to expand its vision by moving beyond passenger and UHP tires and into SUV/ CUV and light truck tire lines. At the same time, the company continues to increase its emphasis on the UHP side of the business. Earlier this year, Nexen hired Megan Wentz as its marketing manager. She told MTD that her immediate plans are to "use the first half of this year to focus on planning, refining and promoting the suc- cesses in recent years through 2019, such as with the Nexen Heroes campaign. We then want to get a jump start on planning for 2020 and beyond to ensure longevity and consistency." e company is continuing its American Muscle for American Heroes campaign. Last year, Nexen partnered with the Purple Heart Foundation for the program. e parent company, Nexen Tire Corp., is continuing its sponsorship of Manchester City soccer, and Wentz is looking "for opportunities to promote global efforts, such as this sponsorship, throughout the U.S. market as well." Nexen's new technical center in Ohio plays a pivotal role in bringing new products to the North American market, says Hagan. For instance, the center is working on EV (electric vehicle) tire technology to be ready for those fitments as they become available. e company's NexenACE training program has far exceeded its expectations. "When it started, it was for our associate dealers with a connection to our company store," says Hagan. "Now, we're seeing a lot of usage and our challenge is to keep it fresh." e company recently added reminder cards that can hang from a car's mirror to its portal. Hagan says the test went so well that they ran out of cards within two days, "a great problem to have!" Looking forward, Nexen has no plans to have a manufacturer's direct-to-consumer website. Hagan says the company works with its dealers and distributors for online exposure and directs everyone to hold to the manufacturer's suggested retail price, but does not intend to have MAP pricing. — Greg Smith Nexen wants more A 3.25% MARKET SHARE TOPS THE LIST OF AMBITIOUS GOALS M T D M a y 2 0 1 9 John Hagan (left) and J.S. Kim hosted the recent Nexen dealer appreciation event held in Napa, Calif. Nexen Tire America's marketing initiatives for the Roadian MTX tire included hosting off-road driving events for social media influencers, who publicized the tire by shar- ing their driving experiences via their blogs and social networks.

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