Hercules has 'best year ever' in 2002, announces new tires

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Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. had its best year ever in 2002 with growth in new customers, sales and profits, according to Hercules officials.

"We had a very, very good year," says Hercules Director of Sales and Marketing Kevin Breen.

The Findlay, Ohio-based company held its annual shareholders and sales meeting in Naples, Fla., this past weekend, where it introduced several new tires, including:

* an H- and V-rated touring tire for the Hercules and Merit brands based on Hercules' Ultra Touring TR tire that was rolled out last year. It will be available in late 2003/early 2004, says Breen;

* the Hercules S209, a 19.5-inch all-position medium truck tire;

* the Hercules S208, a 22.5-inch medium truck tire;

* the Hercules S307, a closed-shoulder, drive axle medium truck tire in 22.5- and 24.5-inch sizes;

* the K702 open-lug, 16-ply medium truck tire, for drive axle applications, and the K902 shallow-tread, 14-ply medium truck tire. Both will be available "within a couple of weeks," according to Breen.

Hercules also is adding sizes to its Terra Trac AW light truck tire: P265/75R16; P245/75R16; LT245/75R16 (6-ply); and the LT265/75R16 (10-ply).

In addition, the company announced a new direct container program with industrial tiremaker United Solideal and named Bruce Campbell as its new director of commercial tire sales.

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