Retail

SEMA, DAY FIVE: Hercules introduces new lines

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Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. President and COO Larry Seawell was upfront about the company's focus at the 2005 Hercules Dealer Meeting, held during the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

"Hercules is still committed to the independent tire dealer. This is the place we have put our stake in the ground, where our entire strategic direction lies."

To that end, Hercules executives spent most of their time introducing new Hercules, Merit and Signet products, plus the new Avalanche family of tires. And the company also addressed its truck tire supply problems.

New products and size additions to existing lines include the following:

* Hercules Ultra Touring: two sizes will be added to the line in the fourth quarter (225/60R17 and 235/65R16); three will be added in the second quarter of 2006. All are T-rated.

* Hercules Terra Trac A/T: The line will be available in six LT sizes and 11 passenger tire sizes in the first quarter.

* Hercules Terra Trac SUV: Four LT sizes of the new SUV tire will be available in the first quarter.

* Avalance X-Treme: When its complement of sizes is completed in 2006, the new X-Treme will have 40 passenger, 16 SUV and 13 LT tire sizes.

With the help of three China-based companies, Hercules also is adding to its medium radial truck tire offerings.

From Gajah Tunggal, Hercules will receive the Hercules K802 premium steer tire, K902 shallow tread steer tire and K602 trailer tire (size 215/75R17.5).

From the Sailun Group, Hercules will have the Super Express S617 premium steer tire and the S762 and S762A close shoulder drive tires available in the Spring of 2006. Bias Super Express tires also will be available.

Hercules also has two Delinte lines of truck tires in stock: the GR266 premium steer tire and the GL555 closed shoulder drive tire.

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