Thomas Manfé van Vee Tire Co
1. Who are you and what is your role at Vee Tire Co?
“I am Thomas Manfé and I am in charge of the global marketing of Vee Tire Co. Vee Tire Co is the mountain bike / BMX department of Vee Rubber, based in Bangkok. Vee Rubber is one of the biggest natural rubber tire producers. For any tire you would like such as car, truck, bike, motorbike et cetera. We have about 6.000 people working in Bangkok, with a production of 40.000 tires a day. Vee Rubber has its own rubber plantation, we control the entire process, from A to Z. And we work globally, in addition to the production in Bangkok, Vee Tire Co America for example is based in Atlanta, we have a warehouse in Bologna, Italy and the marketing office is located in France. That’s the location where I work, with my team of four. Of course in close cooperation with our (marketing) colleagues in Bangkok. Nice to mention: next year the Vee Tire Co department celebrates its 10 year anniversary.”
2. What are Vee Tire Co current goals and challenges?
“Since Vee Tire Co is quite new to the BMX market, we consider ourselves the underdog. Companies such as Tioga have a much longer history in BMX, so it’s a big task but we strive to get to the top as well! Also in the mountain bike world there are a couple of brands bigger than we are, but we get big sympathies of our riders. In use of the tires, but also in the appearance of our brand. We hope to continue to develop as we did so far, then in 10 years’ time we hope to be on the same level as the big brands. At the moment we mainly focus on what we call ‘aftermarket’ business, so we focus on riders who buy new tires for bikes they already own.”
3. What is your favourite BMX-moment thus far?
“Absolutely the two world titles in 2019. When Twan became world champion, one of the pump track riders we sponsor also won the world title, only two weeks after Twan. I started working at Vee Tire Co a couple of months after that, but I remember the amazing and positive energy at work. Just recently one of our French riders, Arthur Pilard got some podium finishes at World Cups, that was awesome as well.”
4. What does ‘Take yourself further’ mean to you?
“It stands for bringing something extra to the product. It’s more than just building tires, we also stand for bringing technology, new concepts, sponsorships et cetera. It’s a great match with professional sports since top athletes also need to bring some extra energy to their performances.”
5. What do you wish for these upcoming months?
“A gold medal in BMX of course. There are three riders competing in Tokyo and we have big expectations for Twan! We are 100% behind him and really hope he can reach his objectives, which of course is our objective as well. So all the best Twan!”