ATLANTA-Hankook Tire America Corp. plans to rev up sales of its Aurora-brand associate tire line with the introduction of two new tires. The Hackensack, N.J.-tire maker is seeking to create a new image for the brand, which has not been marketed aggressively in recent years, according to Wayne Jung, marketing manager of Aurora Products.
Hankook will handle the brand separately through a newly created unit known as the Aurora Division.
The new tires include: the Aurora 868 All Season Radial, a premium tire featuring a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty that is currently in stock; and the Aurora 847 Opti-Trac All Season, an H-rated tire, that will be available in October.
The line also includes the Aurora Sport IV, two other passenger lines and three light truck tires. Hankook is targeting the Aurora line at large independent tire dealers, Mr. Jung said.
To spur Aurora-brand sales, the company is offering territory protection and good profit margins, Mr. Jung said.
The company also is preparing point-of-sale materials.
``Aurora dealers make money because they can make money,'' Mr. Jung said. ``With an assigned market area and freedom to manage, (dealers) have a solid money-maker on their hands.''
The product line is being introduced with a print advertising campaign that, according to the company, plays off of a ``relationship'' theme.
For instance, one advertisement asks dealers, ``When was the last time you had a relationship where you set the rules?''
Hankook is building the tires at its plants in Kumsan and Taejeon, South Korea.
The tires will be sold in container loads only.
``We've built this brand to benefit dealers, who will profit in a number of ways,'' Mr. Jung said. ``It's going to take the market by storm.''
Next year, the company is looking at the possibility of adding an entry-level tire to the Aurora line, a 50/60-series tire, a touring tire and new light truck tire, according to Mr. Jung.