LAS VEGAS—Toyo Tires (U.S.A.) Corp. launched three new tire lines and introduced a new commercial dealer certification program during its Oct. 31 dealer meeting, held in conjunction with the International Tire Expo in Las Vegas.
The tire maker is boosting its light truck tire lineup with the new Open Country A/T all-terrain tire and by adding the industry's first 23-inch performance truck tire to its Proxes S/T line. Toyo also introduced the M-147, a premium steer tire to replace its M-114Z.
The M+S-rated Open Country A/T will be available in P-metric sizes in January and in light truck sizes in April, said Steve Weinger, Toyo vice president of sales. The tire comes with a 50,000-mile warranty on treadwear and a 500-mile trial offer.
"It was designed and built for value-conscious upgrades from original equipment tires," Mr. Weinger told 143 dealers who attended the company's Hawaiian-themed meeting at The Beach nightclub.
Each of the new tires incorporate Toyo's exclusive DSOC II technology. Built with a high turn-up polyester construction and spiral-wound cap ply, the Open Country has an aggressive block tread pattern that features a special wavy sipe arrangement for a smooth, quiet ride, Toyo said.
It comes in 32 14-, 15- and 16-inch sizes, including 18 S-rated and two H-rated P-metric sizes, 10 LT-metric sizes and two flotation sizes.
The M-147 steer tire has a new side differential groove—a design Toyo is seeking patents for in both Japan and the U.S., said Doug Alberty, national sales manager. This innovation provides better resistance to shoulder-edge wear, tearing from road hazards and curbing, and eliminates stone retention.
Overall, the new design provides improved resistance to irregular wear, better endurance and lower noise.
Mr. Alberty said the M-147 also is the first tire Toyo has built with a 12-segment mold, he noted.
The tire comes with a 66-month warranty, a casing allowance covering two retreads and a retread rubber allowance for the first retread, he said. It is available in the following sizes: 285/75R24.5, 295/75R22.5, 11R24.5 and 11R22.5.
In the Proxes S/T line, Toyo rolled out a 23-inch high-performance sport truck tire, which Earl Knoper, senior vice president of marketing, called the "biggest, baddest tire we could make." The Proxes S/T features a unidirectional, all-season tread design with low- and high-angle tread grooves to resist aquaplaning, Mr. Knoper said.
Toyo also added a rim protector to the Proxes S/T that's built into the lower sidewall to help protect expensive wheels from scratches and abrasions. The tire will fit the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Chevy Suburban and Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade.
Just like its current retail certification program, which Toyo kicked off two years ago, the new commercial dealer certification program contains a kit with information ranging from basic tire knowledge to tire conditions and maintenance, Mr. Knoper explained.
Dealership employees take a 50-question test based on the material in the kit and send the answers to Toyo training headquarters in Cypress, Calif. A passing grade of 80 percent or higher qualifies an employee to become a Team Toyo certified commercial sales professional.
A dealership with certified sales personnel is eligible for various rewards and incentives, including a cash-back coupon on the purchase of Toyo tires, Mr. Knoper said.
"Toyo is committed to independent dealers like you, and when you're successful—when you succeed—we succeed," Mr. Knoper said. "That's a lot better than merely surviving."