COMPTON, Calif.—An aftermarket supplier to the four-wheel-drive off-road market has decided to "dabble" in the tire business and debut its own mud and all-terrain tires. Pro Competition Tire Co. introduced two private label lines of off-road tires last month during the International Tire Expo/Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas.
Pro Comp's Radial Mud Terrain and All Terrain tires, made by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., are available in the following sizes: 31x10.50R15, 33x12.50R15, 35x12.50R15, 305/70R16, 315/75R16 and 305/70R17.
"One of the reasons we came out with the company (Pro Comp Tire) and decided to dabble in the tire business," President Scott Ward said, "was the need for a 16-inch aftermarket tire size with a 35-inch outer diameter."
Mr. Ward was formerly marketing and sales director for Transamerican Auto Parts in Compton, Calif., which formed Pro Comp and operates two units that do business as Transamerican Wholesale and Four Wheel Auto Parts.
Transamerican also has three other manufacturing divisions: Explorer Pro Comp Suspensions, Genuine Steel Products and Genuine Gear.
Response to the new tires at the ITE show was "excellent," Mr. Ward said. "We had a very high response in the export side of things."
Pro Comp expects the new tire lines to generate about $5 million in first-year sales. Pro Comp tires will be distributed exclusively by Explorer Competition Products and by Transamerican Wholesale through its five distribution centers and about 30 Four Wheel Parts Performance retail outlets in seven states.
Besides tires, those stores also provide custom installation of products including suspension parts and other accessories for off-road enthusiasts.
"We came out looking to get into the `me, too' market," Mr. Ward said, while giving the tires "a little technology with some siping and a severe weather rating."
Pro Comp's two-ply tires use a higher denier cord for the sidewall ply, Mr. Ward said, and a dual rubber compound that begins at the tread and comes down the sidewall to resist cuts and scrapes, especially if the tire is "aired-down" for rock crawling.
The Mud Terrain has siping in the middle of two lugs only. "By putting sipes in the center, we hope we'll get an even wear out of the tire," he said.
The All Terrain tire has a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty and has received the Rubber Manufacturers Association Severe Weather Rating—required by some states for operating a vehicle without tire chains in heavy snow conditions.
Pro Comp is looking at adding a 17-inch tire in the future "to keep up with the suspension lift market," Mr. Ward said, promising "we'll try to stay on the cutting edge of what the off-road aftermarket is all about."