PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.—To counter what it termed a flood of cheap imported tires from economically depressed Asian countries, TBC Corp. is introducing the ``Sonar'' line of passenger and light truck tires designed to ``meet all competitive price points with acceptable gross profits'' for dealers. Unveiled Jan. 11 at TBC's annual marketing meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, the Sonar brand is being produced in Taiwan by Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd. and includes 34 sizes, 70 through 50 series, with H speed ratings.
Available in truckload quantities from a West Coast distribution center owned by Nankang, the line is being offered as a substitute for competitors' con tainer programs.
Turnaround time will be seven to 10 days, TBC said.
``I know the competition has forced many of you to source imported product to remain competitive,'' Louis DiPasqua, TBC vice chairman and CEO, said to dealers atten ding the meeting. ``I suggest you review the Sonar line as a replacement for your current sourcing.''
Nankang is Taiwan's largest tire manufacturer and provides original-equipment tires to Toyota, he said. ``They are stable and have made a firm commmitment to provide capacity to meet our needs for 1999.'' Mr. DiPasqua predicted that severe economic conditions will force some Pacific Rim tire manufacturers into bankruptucy. Other companies, he said, will be sold or acquired.
Nankang, he believes, has the stability to survive the region's tough economic conditions.