Commercial Business

Commercial Tire Strategy: TBC Relies on its Numerous ‘Controlled’ Brands

Bob Ulrich
Posted on October 6, 2017
“Sumitomo has always been known as a very good performing, consistent program,” says Bill Dashiell, senior vice president of TBC’s Commercial Tire Division.
“Sumitomo has always been known as a very good performing, consistent program,” says Bill Dashiell, senior vice president of TBC’s Commercial Tire Division.

The TBC Purchasing Group is responsible for the acquisition of all goods for resale by the sales channel of TBC Corp. As a result, Bill Dashiell, senior vice president of the group’s Commercial Tire Division, not only serves as a commercial tire marketing manager, but also acts as a liaison to the TBC Wholesale Group.

Modern Tire Dealer talked with Dashiell about TBC’s commercial brand strategy — yes, it includes refreshing the Sumitomo truck tire brand — and some of the key issues affecting the independent commercial tire dealer.

MTD: Jon Vance, vice president of product marketing for the TBC Brands Division of TBC Wholesale, says the goal of the consumer tire product screen is to occupy every price position across every market segment. In addition, the marketing efforts center on the company’s private and exclusive brands. What is your commercial brand strategy?

Dashiell: The commercial division is really kind of a hybrid within the purchasing organization, in which we do both product marketing and purchasing. As far as the brands and products are concerned, the programming is somewhat similar to our consumer brand strategy. We have our TBC-controlled proprietary or core brands, including Power King for the on-highway truck tire segment as well as some off-highway OTR products, and our Harvest King farm tire program. Both brands are designed more for the value segment of the market.

When you look at some of our other products, such as in our TBR lines, our offering is very similar to what Jon has. We have products for multiple tiers, with Sumitomo really being our flagship brand, a dedicated brand for the North American market for TBC. We also offer Sailun and then our opening price point programs, Dynacargo, Advance and Crosswind.

MTD: What about in addition to the TBR and bias truck tire brands?

Dashiell: On the trailer side, we have the Towmax, Trailer King and Towstar brands. Those are all radial programs. We supply the OE market as well as the replacement market with ST tires. Towmax is our flagship ST program. We’ve offered it for a number of years, and it’s well positioned in the OE market. We also have Power King, which is a predominantly bias trailer tire brand. In the solid tire segment, we have handled the Advance brand for the last couple of years.

MTD: It sounds like you have enough brands not to overlap in any commercial tire dealer’s market.

Dashiell: The strategy is to be able to provide a solution for our customers when it comes to their product needs. On the truck side, we really offer what we consider a complete solution for them, whether it be with our reinvigorated Sumitomo flagship brand or a lower-tier quality product. It was really time for Sumitomo to come out with some new products with real evolutionary changes, not only for Sumitomo, but also in the truck tire segment as a whole. The performance of the tire and customer reaction to it has been extremely exciting.

We offer a multistep approach in all our commercial segments. We give customers products that will perform at different levels, but also allow them to be able to slot them into where they see each one fits the best. We also have the ability to sell different products to different customers in the same market. For example, one customer might have the Towstar while another has the Trailer King, and that helps us maintain exclusivity. And the marketing programs and incentives are the same for all our brands.

The reality is we’re here to service the customer, because without them the programs don’t work.

MTD: There suddenly seem to be new players or players-to-be in the U.S. replacement truck tire market. Do you agree?

Dashiell: Certainly in the lower tiers, the decision by the International Trade Commission not to impose tariffs on truck and bus tires from China is a big reason for the increased number of brands. There’s always another brand coming into the aftermarket, but our goal is to make sure we have the products that perform in the way the customers expect them to, and the products that are there on a consistent basis to allow them to be profitable. ■

Related Topics: Bill Dashiell, Bob Ulrich, commercial tires, TBC Corp.

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Triangle leader Ding Yuhua died unexpectedly on June 13, 2018.

Triangle Tyre's Chairman Ding Dies at 69

Triangle Tyre Co. Ltd. announced today that Ding Yuhua, executive chairman and director of the board, died unexpectedly on the morning of June 13, 2018. He was 69 years old.

"As a carbon black manufacturer, we are also able to produce customized carbon black of non-ASTM grades that are not available on the market," said BKT's Vaidya.

Vaidya Reveals How BKT Designs Radial OTR Tires

“Only innovation will take us to the next level," said Dilip Vaidya, president and director of technology, at BKT's celebration of its Earthmax radial OTR tire line in Crete, Greece, on June 6, 2018.

To date, 5,127 letters have been mailed to U.S. senators on behalf of companies and individuals from all over the country.

Retread Instead Coalition to Participate in TIA Lobby Day

Each year the Tire Industry Association (TIA) sponsors a Lobby Day event in our nation’s capital to encourage TIA members to meet with members of Congress to inform, educate and make requests regarding the most important issues facing the tire industry.

The second day of Falken Academy is spent behind the wheel, both on the track at the Auto Club Speedway and on the Cleghorn Trail. On the trail, four tires on the ground is optional in some parts.

Falken Invests in Its Dealers With Falken Academy

A year ago Falken Tire Corp. was investing its money into marketing itself as the Official Tire of Major League Baseball. This year, the tire maker is spending that money on independent tire dealers.  

Nearly 200 international and retread manufacturers ad distributors met with buyers at the 2018 Latin Tyre Expo.

Successful Ninth Latin Tyre Expo Held in Panama

The ninth annual Latin Tyre Expo showcased nearly 200 international tire and retread manufacturers and distributors who met and connected with buyers over the course of the three-day event.

Dill’s kit includes a drill bit with specialized stop feature, a custom CNC-machined drill guide, easy-out tools, wheel protecting O-rings and an easy-to-follow user’s guide.

Dill Offers TPMS Hex Nut Removal Kit

Dill Air Controls Products LLC says problems caused by corroded valve stems are a thing of the past thanks to its U.S.-made 5010 TPMS Hex Nut Removal Kit.

The new ST719 was engineered using Sumitomo’s S-Tech Design elements. The result is more miles per 32nd-inch and an extra-wide tread face for increased vehicle stability.

TBC Introduces Sumitomo ST719 All Position Truck Tire

The new SumitomoWhat fleet owner doesn't want greater wear, stone-ejecting performance and improved retreadability from their steer tireTBC Brands LLC Introduces Sumitomo ST719 All Position Tire Advanced design

Poddar said Earthmax is "a true representative" of BKT's corporate history and values.

'Earthmax Is a Milestone in BKT’s History,' Says Arvind Poddar

At BKT's celebration of its Earthmax radial OTR tire line in Crete, Greece, on June 6, 2018, Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Poddar took a moment to outline the key values of the company. Here is what he had to say to the attendees who celebrated the 10th anniversary of Earthmax with the company's top executives.


U.S. AutoForce Has Bought Tire's Warehouse

The landscape for U.S. tire distribution continues to change, as two more companies are combining forces. U.S. AutoForce (USAF) has acquired Tire's Warehouse Inc. (TWI) as of June 1, 2018.  

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!