LONDON, October 7 (RIA Novosti)
UK-based tires and exhausts firm Kwik Fit is planning to use its brand to launch in the Russian market, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
The expansion plans were announced by Kwik Fit’s Managing Director Kenji Murai in his first interview since the firm was taken over by Itochu, Japan’s third largest trading house, for 623 million pounds ($1.02 billion) last year.
"We're interested in Russia and Eastern Europe because Itochu has an operation there for tire retail and wholesale under different brand names," he said. These will become Kwik Fits "because Kwik Fit is an Itochu leader brand now."
Murai said Itochu had 15 branches in Russia but was going to expand and "could easily" reach 200 to 250.
Asked if he thought Russians would be able to pronounce the new name, he added: "Yes, of course. Kwik Fit has a nice sound. Kwik Fit is easy for them."
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).