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Hercules decides to phase out Merit

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Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. is phasing out its Merit brand. "We're basically focusing on the Hercules brand," says Joshua Simpson, the company's vice president of marketing.

"We're looking at this as an opportunity to grow our Hercules brand, (which is) our core brand."

Hercules made the decision to discontinue Merit "based on sales data" and other factors, Simpson told

Meanwhile, the Findlay, Ohio-based private brander plans to broaden its Ironman associate tire brand in the U.S. "We're bringing additional lines in." Ironman, which was introduced to the U.S. market last year, had mainly been sold in Europe and the Middle East, Simpson noted.

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