By Denna Bowman
Goodyear is hoping to buck the economic downturn by expanding its tyres sales in the thriving Middle Eastern market, according to a top company official.
The tyres manufacturer is aiming to continue its double-digit growth in the region, because its consumers are ‘extremely sophisticated’ and demand for premium products continues to rise.
Michael Rzonzef, President of Goodyear Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the company plans to introduce 50 products and increase its marketing expenditure by double-digit compared to last year.
And the biggest tyre manufacturer in the US expects the volume of sales to increase despite the economic downturn.
Mr Rzonzef told Emirates Business: “Consumers in this part of the world are extremely sophisticated, they are really looking at solutions that go beyond what was on offer maybe 10 years ago and Goodyear is offering products and service solutions that meet this demand.
“So that is why I think we have a winning recipe. We have already seen growth in the first quarter of this year and the demand for premium products is still there, it’s not going down.”
He also explained why the recession had not driven down sales in the Middle East, but led to an increase: “The crisis has had little impact because in this part of the world our business is mainly in the replacement market.
“The aftermarket sales are close to 100 per cent so we are not too much affected by the ups and the downs of the car industry.
“In the Middle East there was a dynamic that started five or six years ago where consumer spending has been increasing. And you cannot change that from one year to the next. I think the fundamentals that happened in this part of the world will not change.”