Fairfield, Calif.-based wholesaler and commercial tire dealer East Bay Tire Co. is partnering with wholesalers in Europe and Asia to launch VSP, an Indonesian-sourced passenger tire brand.
East Bay Tire, which is marking its 60th year in business this year, has exclusive rights to the brand-which stands for Velocity*Security*Precision-in North America, according to CEO George Pehanick.
The brand is available initially in two tread patterns, the P001 and high-performance V001. East Bay lists 10 H- and V-rated sizes for P001 and 25 V- and W-rated sizes for the V001. East Bay is marketing the tire using the slogan, ``Bite the Road.''
Mr. Pehanick said East Bay was in the market for a new brand in order to enhance its line of exclusive products and broaden its ability to market nationwide. East Bay also markets the Dawg Pound line of specialty commercial tires for forklift, skidsteer, compactor, loaders and back hoes, but the company has been pestered with legal challenges to the name from a range of companies and individuals, including representatives of the end zone football fans at Cleveland Browns stadium.
The VSP line is being made in Indonesia by P.T. Multistrada Arah Sarana Tbk., a relatively new company that took over the P.T. Oroban Perkasa plant in Bekasi, Indonesia, three years ago and has invested $100 million since to modernize and expand the 11-year-old factory, according to Uthan Sadikin, commissoner for the firm. One purpose was to equip the plant to make V- and Z-rated tires, he said.
Multistrada's flag brands are Strada, Corsa and Achilles. The company generated about $35 million in sales last year, with 95 percent coming from export, according to information on the firm's Web site.
In addition, East Bay Tire has expanded its burgeoning commercial tire arm, adding a sales/service outlet, its fourth, in Benicia, Calif. Mr. Pehanick said the company got into this business segment a few years back by taking over a dealership that was in arrears with East Bay.
Since then the firm has grown to four outlets and become one of the largest Michelin truck tire dealers on the West Coast, Mr. Pehanick said.
On the wholesale side, East Bay operates three warehouses in California and one in Hawaii. It stocks a full range of tires, from industrial and trailer tires to earthmover tires, and is a ``direct dealer in good standing'' with worldwide major brands such as Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, General, Bridgestone/Firestone, Dunlop, Yokohama and BFGoodrich.
East Bay Tire was founded in 1946 by Joseph M. Fuetsch, Mr. Pehanick's grandfather, in Oakland, Calif. Prior to that he had been a Firestone store manager in Reno, Nev., and a regional manager in the San Francisco area. Mr. Fuetsch died in 1998 at age 98.