PALM DESERT, Calif.-Seeing a potentially large market waiting to be capitalized on, TBC Corp. is launching a fleet of sport-utility vehicle tires.
The company announced five products aimed at that particular vehicle niche: the Multi-Mile Wild Country Touring SUV, Cordovan Wild Trac Radial SUV, Vanderbilt Turbo-Tech Sport SUV, Sigma Stampede Radial SUV and the Multi-Mile Wild Country Radial XTX all-terrain, all-position tire.
The Sigma Stampede is made by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; the others are Goodyear products.
TBC will follow those products with the introduction of the Multi-Mile Grand Am LXI this spring. The tire is what a TBC spokesman called a ``clone'' of the Ultrex IV.
``We believe that over the next few years our best bets lie...in premium product categories,'' a TBC spokesman said at the company's Private Brands Division Marketing Meeting at the Marriott Desert Springs Resort.
That specifically includes two growing market areas: large touring SUV's, such as the Cadillac Escalade and Ford Expedition, and lighter platform SUVs, such as the Toyota RAV4.
``We're trying to attack both of those segments,'' said Greg Ortega, TBC's marketing and product procurement manager for light truck products. ``They're the next-generation SUV markets.''
In addition to the touring models, the Multi-Mile Wild Country Radial XTX offers an off-road option. Its tread design features large tread blocks designed to help the tire perform as well on the road as off.
``Since we came up with more of a highway-type touring tire, it allowed us to get more aggressive in the design of our all-terrain tire,'' Mr. Ortega said.
TBC also announced at the meetings that a new Cordovan Wild Trac would be introduced in 2003 to replace the current RVT model.
All new tire lines will include opening-order discounts, extended terms and POP ads, according to TBC.