Retail

Winter tire manufacturers, marketers ramp up selection

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Tire dealers thinking about ordering winter tires for the 2008/2009 season have more choices than ever as several tire manufacturers and marketers have added new products to their winter tire line-ups.

The following companies, among others, have rolled out new winter tires and sizes within the last 12 months:

* Hankook Tire America Corp., which added six sizes to its Ice Bear W300 line.

* Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., which added size 225/60R18 to its Avalanche X-Treme passenger tire line.

* Nokian Tyres plc, which rolled out its Hakkapeliitta 5 and Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV winter tires.

* Michelin North America Inc., which introduced its Michelin X-Ice Xi2.

* Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., which added three sizes (255/60R17, 275/55R19 and 265/50R19) to its Open Country G02 Plus light truck tire line, plus new sizes for other lines.

* Yokohama Tire Corp., which unveiled three new winter tires: the iceGUARD IG20, the Geolandar i/T G072 and the W.drive.

Looking ahead, a number of tire manufacturers and marketers -- including Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC, Treadways Corp., and Sentaida International/ZT Wholesale -- will add new winter tires and sizes as 2008 unfolds.

For a complete look at the North American winter tire market, including what defines a real winter tire (as opposed to a snow tire), see the March 2008 issue of Modern Tire Dealer magazine, available now.

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