LAS VEGAS—Stephanie Tires Corp., a North Miami, Fla.-based tire wholesaler and exporter servicing primarily Latin America and the Caribbean, has launched its own private tire label: Sunstone. Sunstone tires are made in China using technology supplied by Dunlop International Technology (U.K.) Ltd., said Stephanie Tires President Isaac Dargoltz, in an interview during the recent International Tire Expo in Las Vegas.
They are DOT-approved in the U.S. and have similar approvals in Europe and Brazil, he added.
The wholesaler/exporter currently is stocking Sunstone-brand bias light and medium truck tires, but is planning to work with the manufacturer to start developing radial truck tires in the first half of 2000 in four sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 11.00R20 and 10.00R20, Mr. Dargoltz said.
He would not reveal the name of the Chinese manufacturer for competitive reasons.
The company began shipping the tires in July.
Besides the company's traditional marketing areas, Stephanie Tires plans to market the Sunstone brand in the U.S. and around the world.
Although Stephanie Tires sells a broad array of tire brands, including Hankook, Firestone, Goodyear, Roadmaster, Kumho and General, Mr. Dargoltz said his company needed its own brand to develop and market worldwide.
"The market is changing so fast, and we are projecting our image as a manufacturer and distributor," he said.
Mr. Dargoltz said having its own brand will permit direct shipping from the factory, saving his Central and South American customers duty charges and costs associated with handling and warehousing the tires in the U.S. and then reshipping them.
In addition to factory-direct shipments, Stephanie Tires also stocks the tires in its 15,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Medley, Fla., for immediate delivery.