Blog 3: BKT Plant Update, Fury Tire Blitz and More

Bob Ulrich
Posted on November 6, 2019

It's Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the 2019 Global Tire Expo (GTE) in Las Vegas. Yesteday, I received a lot of congratulations on my pending retirement, and one heartfelt, "You S.O.B.!" Thanks to all of you, even John.

But what actually happened on the trade show floor? Here are some of the odds and ends I discovered or observed in Blog 3 of my 5 Blogs in 5 Days series.

Last year at this time, BKT announced it was going to build an off-highway tire plant in the U.S. In August, the company announced it was putting those plans on hold because of the "challenging economic and business environment."

On hold for how long? I had the chance to talk with Arvind Poddar, chairman and managing director of Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT), and his son, Rajiv, joint managing director about the company's plant capacity. They said they have enough capacity options to meet demand.

All four of BKT's India plants are either adding capacity or have capacity options. For example, the newest plant in Bhuj has additional land on which to build. The other three plantsåç are in Aurangabad, Bhiwadi and Chopanki.

In 2016, BKT produced 2,400 SKUs. Three years later, that number has increased to 2,700 SKUs. In two months, the company will have a 57-inch OTR tire in production.

Arvind said the company's board of directors will revisit the planned plant in the U.S. in two years.

Fury brand off-road light truck tires are creating some buzz at the show. In addition to displaying its lineup on the lower level (no H/T or A/T tires to be found in the booth), Fury Off-Road Tires LLC also fitted vehicles outside the Las Vegas Convention Center with its tires, including the flagship Country Hunter M/T in size 42x16.50R30LT. It has two new series for 2020: the Country Hunter X/T and UTV. Not bad for a company only three years old. 

* Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. made its presence felt at the front of the South Hall. First, the company introduced its Discoverer EnduraMax tire for small and midsize SUVs. Then nearby, more specifically behind Cooper's booth, its Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels subsidiary showcased its tallest D.O.T.-approved LT tire, the Baja Pro XS. It will be available next year in 10 sizes ranging from 35 inches to 58 inches in diameter.

Leffler said his invention will "save tires that otherwise would have been scrapped."
Leffler said his invention will "save tires that otherwise would have been scrapped."
* Steven Leffler, owner of five Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers in metropolitan Chicago, can add inventor to his title. Leffler was granted a patent for his Repair Boundary Indicator, which is located on the interior or exterior of the tire to indicate the boundary of the area of the tire that can be safetly repaired. 

"This is a safety feature that I'm willing to license for a nominal fee," he said 

* Was that a custom vehicle being displayed in the Kelsey Tire Inc. booth near the front entrance of the South Hall? Yep. And the Golden Sahara II sported Goodyear prototype tires that actually light up in different colors! If you don't believe me, visit owner John Kelsey at Booth No. 40019. Once again he is joined by his wife, Jan, who is recovering from a broken leg.

Related Topics: 2019 Global Tire Expo, 2019 SEMA Show, Arvind Poddar, B.O.B., consumer tires, Cooper Discoverer EnduraMax, Fury Country Hunter M/T, Fury Country Hunter X/T, John Kelsey, light truck tires, OTR tires, passenger tires, Rajiv Poddar, Steven Leffler, Suburban Tire

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Toyo heavily promoted its Treadpass area that connected the south and central halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2019 SEMA Show.
News

Toyo Will Continue to Tap 'Influencers'

"Influence the influencers" will be Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.'s mantra as it continues to build purchase intent among consumers, Tim Chaney, the company's vice president of marketing, told Modern Tire Dealer during last week's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

News

Falken, Dunlop and Goodyear Tires Included in Recall

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. used an incorrect rubber compound during three separate production runs, and as a result the tire maker is recalling the Falken-, Dunlop- and Goodyear-brand tires with that compound. More than half of the tires were sold to an original equipment manufacturer.  

Tire Discounters stores, including this one in Smyrna, Tenn., participated in a week-long fundraising effort to support the Wounded Warrior Project.
News

Tire Discounters Supports Wounded Warrior Project

During a week-long event Tire Discounters Inc. locations in three states didn't charge customers labor on tires or oil changes, and instead collected donations for the Wounded Warrior Project. The first-time event raised more than $20,000.

News

ATG Ag Tire Wins Silver Medal at Trade Fair

Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. reports the Alliance Tire Group (ATG), its off-highway tire manufacturing and sales subsidiary, won an Agritechnica Innovation Award Silver Medal for its Alliance 398 MPT agricultural tire.

News

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Adds Alabama Location

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service, which has more than 170 Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Centers in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, has one more with the grand opening of a Pelham, Ala., location. 

Yokohama will continue to build its Advan line in 2020.
News

Yokohama Will Pump Up Advan Line in 2020

Yokohama Tire Corp. is breathing new life into its Advan line, Fardad Niknam, Yokohama’s senior director of product marketing and planning, told Modern Tire Dealer during this week’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

The new Roadian GTX all-season touring tire is expected to be a big hit for Nexen in 2020, says John Hagan, sales executive vice president.
News

Nexen Reports Double-Digit Growth in 2019

“Our growth this year is over double digits for the second year in a row,” John Hagan, sales executive vice president for Nexen Tire America Inc., told Modern Tire Dealer during this week’s Specialty Equipment Market Association Show.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!