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Maxxis inflates profile

Taiwanese tyre manufacturer Maxxis is looking to build its share of the UK passenger car market and raise the brand profile through a series of trade and consumer initiatives.

Product will be distributed by Maxxis International UK following a deal with East Anglian firm Bickers, which has been developing the Maxxis range for motorcycles and scooters, ATVs and lawn care for around 30 years. In a joint venture Bickers and Maxxis have set up a new operation in Felixstowe to cover the UK and Ireland.

Derek McMartin, managing director of Maxxis International UK. says: “We will be promoting our products on performance and price to develop the consumer confidence that will enable us to seize the ‘upper-middle’ position between existing premium and budget tyre brands.”

Maxxis has enjoyed success in several niche sectors including mountain biking, Moto-X, ATVs and lawn care.

Its car tyres have been available in the UK for around four years. However, following a major reorganisation of its UK operation, the brand is now focusing on increasing its share in this sector.

Initially, Maxxis will offer a range of passenger car tyre ranges and sizes throughout the UK and Ireland, selected in conjunction with the UK’s major car tyre distributors.

These products will be stocked by distributors Group Tyre and BITS, while Maxxis UK will carry small stocks of the more unusual tyre sizes, feeding them through to the distributors when they are required.

Although Group Tyre and BITS also deal in 4x4 tyres, Maxxis International UK is looking to increase its share of this growing niche market by developing relationships with off-road tyre specialists.

The company declined to comment on its market share or marketing budget in detail, but confirmed that Maxxis UK is putting people into the field to visit independent garages and fast-fit operators to encourage them to sell its tyres.

To generate greater interest in the brand’s product portfolio, the tyre manufacturer is increasing its support to wholesalers and retailers.

The company has appointed West Midlands-based J M Bailey Communications to develop a new corporate advertising campaign and public relations programme. It has also signed a sponsorship deal with Aston Villa FC, the latest step in a burgeoning sponsorship programme reflecting its global corporate marketing strategy.

McMartin says: “Thanks to our achievements in mountain biking and Moto-X, Maxxis has attained a high profile within the youth sector and we are keen to secure these enthusiasts as customers for our car tyres as they gravitate from two wheels to four.”

Maxxis is an OE supplier to General Motors, Ford, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Its parent company, Cheng Shin Rubber Ind Co of Taiwan, operates from five manufacturing centres in Asia and has technical centres in the USA and the Netherlands.

It is ranked 13th in the global rubber sector, employing 15,000 staff. In 2004 turnover was $1,015bn.

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