PHOENIX (Jan. 15, 2001) — Michelin Americas Small Tires will target the sport compact market this year with its Riken associate brand, the company told dealers at its 2001 national sales meeting in Phoenix.
MAST will offer an expanded range of Riken sizes for the fast-growing "fashion performance market," according to Tom Bennett, brand manager, private and associate brand marketing.
"We think Riken is the perfect choice for the price-conscious buyer in this segment," Mr. Bennett said. Riken is the brand Michelin acquired when it bought into the Japanese tire maker Okamoto Riken in 1988, and thus offers the right image for buyers in this segment, which is dominated by Japanese cars.
Mr. Bennett said buyers in this segment are youthful and multi-ethnic, interested in the appearance of their vehicles. As a result, owners are apt to be big buyers of custom wheels and are looking for "edgy" tires to help them set their car apart, he said.
In addition, dealers should be able to benefit from partnering Riken with the BFGoodrich brand for a full performance range of products, he added.