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SRI Hires Senior Sales, Marketing VP to Reestablish Falken Brand

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darrenthomas_hsSumitomo Rubber North America has appointed Darren Thomas to senior vice president of sales and marketing to help Falken lead as a tier 2 brand.

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Thomas will report directly to Richard Smallwood, Falken Tire president and CEO.

In his new role, Thomas will be responsible for the passenger, light truck, and medium truck tire sales and marketing efforts for the Falken, Ohtsu, and private brand categories in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Prior to his new role, Thomas managed the efforts of Franzen Hill Corp., a Petroleum/CNG/LNG contractor for his family in Central California and served as vice president of sales and marketing for Falken from 2002 to 2008.

“I’ve been looking forward to a return to the tire industry for the past 6 years. SRI’s obvious commitment to make Falken a globally recognized brand through the rapid expansion of OE fitments, a global marketing campaign, and the strongest product line ever, makes my return home to Falken very sweet indeed,” Thomas said. “I’m excited to reconnect with our dealer base and immediately take the lead in the continued evolution of the Falken brand and its distribution. It’s time to take Falken back to its Tier 2 roots and provide our dealer base with a brand that provides solid margins and product that moves efficiently through the distribution network.”

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Thomas will begin his transition during Q4 of 2016 in order to realign the sales and marketing departments and develop the 2017 Dealer Program.

“Our goal is to provide a clear and compelling 2017 Dealer Program well in advance of 2017 so that we can hit the ground running on Jan 1, 2017.”

Thomas will be based out of SRNA’s North American headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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