Iris reveals big ambitions

Iris takes part in the Cologne tire fair in Germany. Algerian tire manufacturer presents its new products and continues its international development.

An unmissable event for players in the global tire market, The Tire Cologne, the largest trade fair dedicated to the sector, opened its doors on Tuesday 24 May in Cologne, western Germany.

More than 300 companies from about thirty countries, including Algeria, will take part in the event over the course of three days. Among them are several heavyweights in the industry: Pirelli, Continental or even the world tire leader, the French group Michelin.

For the first time, the Algerian company Iris takes part in the exhibition. An opportunity for Algeria’s leading tire manufacturer to present its new products and expand its network of customers and partners.

In Cologne, TSA was able to talk to Hishem Hammoudi, the commercial director of the Iirs group, which is also known for its home appliances brand. In this interview, he returns to his company’s perspective and explains how Iris “was able to win the trust of the Algerians.” Service.

This is the first time Iris is taking part in this world tire show. What does this event represent for you?

This is our first participation in this event. We are very proud to be part of this. It is the world’s largest tire show. It is held every two years.

Since we started producing tires in 2019, we have participated in three major international exhibitions: Dubai Fair, Shanghai Fair and Sema Show in Las Vegas, USA.

We are all the more proud that this is the first participation of an Algerian company in this fair. This event brings together all industry professionals. We are sure. This is an opportunity for us to represent our industry and our products in the best possible way.

How is the tire market in Algeria?

The tire market is important in Algeria. Approximately 4.5 million passenger tires (designed to equip so-called standard cars) are sold per year.

After three years of existence, we are the market leader. In the sizes we sell, we have a market share that far outstrips the competition.

We have done everything possible to be able to present a quality tire at an affordable price. Drivers trust us. We are number one in our market. With the new sizes that we are going to bring to market next year, we are going to conquer more markets that we are currently absent from.

What were the consequences of the health crisis and the rising cost of tire raw materials?

Like all companies, we have been hit by the crisis, but we have limited the damage. We have done everything to limit price increases as much as possible.

It must be said that the light tire market has not suffered much. This is the market that affects mobility. Despite the crisis, people continued to move, which limited the impact of the crisis. The worst is over, the crisis is over.

How is Iris doing now?

We are in our third year of production. In terms of production and marketing, we are doing well.

What is your production capacity?

Our production capacity is two million tires per year. Today it is quite limited compared to the demand we have. Demand is so important, whether it be the local population or our foreign partners, that we are going to launch an expansion to be able to respond to it. This expansion will allow us to double our production capacity.

What are the development prospects for Iris?

First, there is the expansion project that I just talked about. It will be completed by the end of next year. With this expansion, we will double our production to over four million tires a year.

We are also going to start producing tires in other sizes that are not currently on sale. In terms of exports, we already export to more than twenty countries, but we will see the possibility of exporting to even more countries.

In addition, there is a project related to the production of tires for trucks. This will open up a new market for us, both at the local and export levels. This will come into effect by 2024 or 2025 at the latest.

In Algeria, many roads are in poor condition. What technologies does Iris use to ensure tire stability and motorist safety?

We use premium raw materials. We produce tires based on silica. Budget brands do not use this material because it has a certain value.

Brands that want to play on quality or price don’t use this stuff. We use 100% of what we can use from this material. This material gives products strength and reduces fuel consumption.

Thanks to this, the tire is more flexible, withstands impacts better and follows the shape of the road. This gives more comfort to drivers.

Sometimes there is a certain distrust of locally produced products. What strategy have you chosen to position your products in the local market and gain the trust of the Algerians?

From the very beginning, we have never tried to produce inexpensive tires or achieve savings at any cost. We wanted to develop the best product, that was our first goal.

Once that was done, we tried to place it in a way that would be accessible to all budgets. The Algerian market is 80% price oriented.

It was extremely important to us that the Algerian consumer could afford to buy an Iris tire and take advantage of premium technology. This was our goal.

At first it was maybe a little difficult. Over time, we won the trust of the Algerians. When they see that we are exporting our products to the most demanding countries in the world, such as the USA, or to countries in Europe where it is very difficult to obtain certificates, this is a guarantee of quality. This reassured the population, who began to use the product. Rumor has done the rest.

How do you react to negative reviews?

We cannot impose our opinion or change the mentality of people. We do our best to provide correct information. This should be judged by professionals.

We trust the judgment of our fellow citizens to tell the difference between a professional opinion based on technical and mechanical information and an opinion without any basis.

What will be your innovations in the coming months?

We have a full range of tires for recreational vehicles, tires for professional vehicles, as well as vehicle tires for 4×4 vehicles and SUVs.

We have a new collaboration with an English company to produce tires for electric vehicles, which are the future of cars and will be used in London taxis.

In addition, we will start producing truck tires while continuing to develop tires in other sizes to meet national demand and the demand of our international partners.

As for export, what are your ambitions?

We export to about twenty countries including Spain, UK, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Jordan, USA. Reviews about these companies are very positive.

Demand from these countries has indeed increased, to such an extent that today it is difficult for us to meet all the demand from our foreign partners.

We have relationships with many countries that we cannot reach yet, because our production capacities do not yet allow us to do this. As soon as our expansion is ready, we will be able to fix it and make new agreements, whether in Africa, Europe or Asia.