SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-Under the umbrella of its new parent company, Treadways Corp., El Dorado Tire Co. is preparing to release a number of new passenger/light truck tires during the next 12 to 18 months. ``Things are going very well (since the acquisition),'' said Dan Wire, Treadways senior vice president of sales and marketing. ``I think there is a lot of excitement at the dealer level.''
Since it acquired the Troy, Mich.-based private brander earlier this year, Treadways has concentrated on producing new El Dorado products, including:
A 75-/80-series tire with a 50,000-mile warranty that will debut during the fourth quarter;
A new line in 55-, 60-, 65- and 70-series sizes due out during the first quarter of 1996; and
An H-rated, all-season tire, possibly by 1996's third quarter-though this tire still is in the planning stage, Mr. Wire noted.
The lack of high performance passenger tire lines was a weakness in the El Dorado lineup, Mr. Wire admitted. ``It's the one area we are hearing from the dealers that we should be concentrating on.''
Earlier this year, Treadways-which does business as Sumitomo Tire (U.S.)-acquired El Dorado to gain an established private brand to market worldwide in areas where the Sumitomo and Dunlop brands already have a presence.
The need for the acquisition stemmed from the complicated corporate structure between two separate Japanese companies.
Treadways Corp. is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. of America, which is itself a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp., a Japanese holding company.
A separate Japanese holding company, Sumitomo Electric, is parent to Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., the company that owns Dunlop Tire Corp. in the U.S. and several other tire-making companies worldwide.
Sumitomo Rubber manufactures the Sumitomo brand for both company families. While Treadways markets Sumitomo tires in the U.S., contractual limitations in some countries have slowed the firm's worldwide marketing plans, Mr. Wire said. The answer was to acquire another brand, separate and distinct from both Sumitomo and Dunlop.
Mr. Wire said Treadways should have a worldwide marketing effort for the El Dorado brand in place by the end of the year.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. manufactures the El Dorado brand under a long-term contract.