Hankook Tire America Corp. is working with the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) on the school’s Design Innovation 2020 project.
The event, during which participants compared the Sailun tires against a Tier 1 brand, was designed “so that dealers got the chance for a hands-on, blind tire test to illustrate that the meaning of value is much more than just price-based,” says Mark Pereira, marketing communications manager for Sailun.
Attendees drove Chevrolet Impala Premier sedans and BMW X3 xDrive30i CUVs on a tight autocross course set up in the speedway’s parking lot.
Sidewalls were buffed to hide the identity of the tires, and drivers were asked to not look at the tires before they ranked them. At the end of the event, Sailun showed the results of the rankings, in which their tires performed very well versus the Tier 1 brand.
Pereira said that in the Atlanta market, the Tier 1 brand was selling at a 70% premium versus Sailun’s Inspire tire and at an 80% premium versus the company’s Terramax HLT tire.
“An event like this provides us with an opportunity to debunk the many myths out there about value tier brands and tires from overseas,” he told Modern Tire Dealer. “We get a chance to explain how the Sailun brand was created, how we deliver products with proven performance and high standards, and why Sailun is the top alternative to the big-name brands out there for drivers seeking to save some money without sacrificing safety, quality or performance.”
She used Modern Tire Dealer data that showed attendees Tier 3 and Tier 4 brands have continued to gain PLT market share steadily since 2013. During this time, those tiers have grown by almost 4%, now standing at about 30% of the market.
Rouleau told NTW attendees that “you establish how you want to sell our brand in your markets.” At the same time, she said it was Sailun’s responsibility to supply quality, build trust and offer support to them. “We need to make sure you know and trust that we stand behind you and our products that you sell.”
Sailun’s consumer market research shows that consumers depend on tire retailers for brand recommendations and at the same time are looking for a good value proposition, said Rouleau.
Adding further to the complexities of the market, Rouleau said that 15- and 16-inch rim diameters would continue to decrease as diameters continue to increase. She said 17-inch would remain the dominant size segment through 2021.
Pereira said Sailun is committed to providing its dealers updated point-of-sale and merchandising, customer training, and customer incentives and promotions for its line of tires. This also includes more events, such as track days, sponsorships and customer co-op promotions.
In 2003, Sailun’s first plant was built in China. Today, the company has five factories, with four based in China and one in Vietnam, said Rouleau. She said all of Sailun’s PLT tires are coming from its Vietnam-based plant, but “by the end of the year, all of our tires will come out of our Vietnam plant, except for a handful of tires.”
The company also is in the process of building a new TBR plant in Vietnam as part of a joint venture with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Rouleau said Sailun is the 18th largest global tire company, with tires sold in 167 countries and research and development facilities located in Asia, Europe and North America. Sailun currently supplies 1.5% of the global aftermarket with PLT tires and 3.5% with TBR tires. Global sales have grown from $296.6 million (USD) in 2008 to $2.3 billion in 2018. ■
Sailun is targeting the ever-growing SUV and light truck market with the new Terramax HLT, a premium, all-season tire that has been designed to deliver a quiet, stable ride thanks to its special, noise-reducing tread pattern.
The Terramax HLT also features a large contact area for enhanced handling and tread wear, as well as four extra-wide tread grooves that channel away water, giving vehicle owners “the traction they need to drive with confidence,” according to Sailun officials.
The tire is currently available in more than 45 P-metric and LT sizes, ranging from 15 inches to 20 inches in diameter. Two new sizes, a 235/65R16/C and a P285/45R22, will join the line next year, say Sailun officials.
The Inspire is an all-season touring tire designed for fitment on a wide range of popular compacts, sedans, SUVs and CUVs, according to Sailun officials. The tire features:
The Inspire is currently available in 48 popular OE replacement tire fitments, ranging from 14 inches to 19 inches in diameter. Fifteen additional sizes, ranging from P225/55R16 to P255/45R20, are in development. The tire also comes with a 70,000-mile/60-month limited tread life warranty.
Sentury Tire USA Inc. is refreshing its Landsail brand as part of the company’s “new strategy to communicate a clearer message to both end users and trade customers.”
Bartec USA has released a tool software update for its Tech400SD, Tech300Pro, Tech500 and Tech400Pro tools.
Titan International Inc.'s exclusive sales training program for its dealers, Titan University Summit (Titan U), is taking on a new format.
Bridgestone Corp. showcased its latest concept – an airless, or what it calls an “air-free” tire – during last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Nev.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has launched its AndGo fleet service in major California markets, and by the middle of 2020 promises to extend it to Boston, New York City and Chicago.
The new Roadian GTX is designed to fit the rapidly growing sales of new crossover (CUV) and sport utility (SUV) vehicles.
The all-season Avid S34RV has earned an original equipment fitment on another Chrysler-brand vehicle — the 2020 Chrysler Voyager.
Martins Industries Inc. has introduced two models of pickup truck tire cages, Pickup Tire Xpeditors MPTX-50 and MPTX-100.
Modern Tire Dealer will not publish Hotwire on Monday, Jan. 20, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Look for the next edition on Jan. 21.
American Tire Distributors Inc.’s Tire Pros subsidiary has added 22 locations across 14 states.
China Manufacturers Alliance LLC (CMA) is the exclusive distributor and marketer of the Tianli brand of agricultural, forestry and construction tires.
Michelin North America Inc. is bringing the BFGoodrich brand back to the farm tire market, beginning with the Implement Control Tire. And more tires are coming later in 2020.
Tech Tire Repairs has a new digital trainer: Izzy. She presents best practices for tire repairs in videos posted on Tech’s YouTube channel.
Another 218 dealer locations added Vast software from MAM Software Inc. in 2019, giving them access to even more third-party integrations and functions.