Specialty tyre importer/distributor Tiron Tires and Wheels USA Inc. (Tiron USA) is experiencing good business during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people now have more time to pursue outdoor projects. According to Jack Kim, Head of corporation at Tiron USA, the company started to see a surprising demand jump, especially for original equipment (OE) customers, in April, a trend which continues today; around 70% to 80% of the company’s US sales are in the OE market.
Kim added that the company paid “a bit more” to import supplies in time to keep up with the spike.
Tiron USA, a subsidiary of South Korean off-the-road (OTR) and commercial tyre maker Hung-A Co. Ltd., was established in 2016. Hung-A manufactures tyres for tractor, construction equipment and forklift manufacturers in South Korea, Japan and the US; while Tiron USA supplies OE to Branson Tractor, Yanmar America, LS Tractor USA, TYM USA, and KIOTI tractor from its warehouse near Atlanta, Georgia.
“We are currently focusing on agriculture tyres, where there is a value market we want to jump into,” Kim said; in the Asian market, Tiron competes strongly with, among others, Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) and Alliance Tire Co. Ltd., but in the US, Tiron is considered a “newcomer.”
Kim, who has been leading Tiron USA for a year, was brought on to expand the US distribution network and improve awareness of the Tiron brand to a level more on par with that in South Korea, where Hung-A has been doing business for nearly 70 years. He said they are pursuing new OEM and wholesale customers in the US, including for segments such as OTR, TBR and industrial.