Falken Tire Corp. announced plans to expand its Ziex, Wildpeak, Sincera and Ohtsu lines to help it compete in a larger segment of the market during its dealer meeting last week.
Rick Brennan, Falken’s new executive director of marketing, says the CUV growth in the vehicle fleet has caused a significant shift in market complexity. Brennan said the CUV segment at OE is was 4.163 million vehicles in 2013 and should hit 4.490 million by 2015, clearly the largest segment of vehicle types.
This segment uses tires ranging from LT names and patterns to passenger HP tires to specific CUV touring tires. This factor, coupled with growing numbers of higher speed rated tires at OE and consumers that are holding onto vehicles at long periods of time puts dealers and manufacturers in a position for more SKUs to stay competitive, says Brennan. Currently, consumers are keeping new cars for an average of over 72 months and used vehicles for 50 months.
Brennan says vehicles ten years and older have increased by 19 million units from 2009 until 2012. Using a Toyota Camry as an example, he showed dealers how the vehicle has gone from an OE tire of 205/65R15, to 215/60R16, to 215/55R17 to today’s 225/45R18 size. In the meantime, consumers still want mileage and comfort/low noise but now higher performance from their tires.
To address these needs, Falken launched its Ziex ZE950 A/S that it says is delivering 63% better mileage than the original compound in the Ziex ZE912. The company is including 18 new sizes for its Wildpeak H/T line with June production and August availability, giving that line 80% coverage in the LT/SUV/CUV market.
The Ziex STZ05 will receive six new sizes in the 18-inch to 20-inch categories, with five sizes coming in right now and the last size to hit the market in October. Falken’s Sincera SN211 will have four new sizes coming in September and October. These T-rated tires will have one 16-inch, two 17-inch and one 18-inch size added.
Later this year Falken will be introducing the Wildpeak M/T tire. Three sizes, a 37x12.50R17 in load range D; a LT265/75R16 in load range E; and a 38x13/50R17 in load range C are being launched this year and 23 other sizes will come out in 2015.
The company is also adding six sizes to its Ohtsu FP7000 line late this year, ranging from 16-inch to 19-inch in H and V speed ratings.
Brennan added that the company will have consumer rebate programs this year. The Sincera SN211 will have a $50 rebate for a set of four in June and July while the Wildpeak H/T will have an $80 rebate for a set of four during the same time period.
The Ziex ZE950 will have an August and September rebate of $50 for a set of four tires.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.