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Technology, marketing to spark its drive
Armed with what the company calls "the most important breakthrough in tire technology" since introduction of the radial and a methodical market-by-market plan for a "strategic alliance" with dealers, Michelin Americas Small Tires (MAST) is aggressively seeking a larger share of the North American tire market.
MAST President and COO Dave Schaub, who runs Michelin North America's passenger and light truck multi-brand operations, sounded the battle cry as the highly energized keynoter at a recent dealer meeting in San Diego.
For the first time the media was invited to the meeting, another sign of Michelin's change to a more "open" corporate policy.
Schaub outlined a five-point "game plan" for 1995 designed to increase profits and improve the position of all MAST tire brands in the marketplace.
The first initiative in this program is titled "Best Product Every Segment" and involves introduction of new products coordinated between the original equipment and replacement markets.
Toward this end, Schaub said MAST is testing an Alliance Program in three markets designed to customize its approach to meet the needs of dealers and customers in each area.
The Alliance Program is underway in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and San Jose, Calif., and will be expanded to the rest of the country as necessary research is completed.
Schaub said the program is designed to help small dealers gain share and improve profitability.
MAST will not try to "force-fit" a "one-size-fits-all" national plan in all markets, Schaub said.
Schaub said the Alliance Program will complement not replace tire distribution to clubs, mass merchants and large dealers.
Point two in MAST's strategy is to "remain the most innovative tire manufacturer."
Schaub said a continuing series of product …