Stamford Tyres closes U.S. subsidiary in N.C.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Singapore tire distributor Stamford Tyres Corp. Ltd. has closed its U.S. subsidiary in Charlotte, Stamford Tires & Wheels Inc., but continues to offer its brands to those interested in ordering containerloads.
Stamford opened an office and 80,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Charlotte in 2006 after starting U.S. operations in Medly, Fla., in 2005. The company did not explain its reasons for closing the U.S. operation.
For order purposes, Stamford has divided the U.S. into zones, which affects the price the company offers, according to Clare Law, senior vice president and U.S. dealer contact.
Stamford Tyres sells China-sourced Sumo Akina- and Cougar-brand tires and SSW-brand alloy wheels in North America and is an international distributor of Dunlop, Continental, Toyo and Falken-brand tires, concentrating mostly on the Far East, Middle East and Australia/New Zealand.
Stamford posted $287 million in sales in fiscal 2008, about three-fourths of which came from Southeast Asia. Sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2009 slipped 6.6 percent, the firm reported.
TGI opens Nicaragua office, hires manager
MIAMI—Tire distributor Tire Group International (TGI) has expanded its presence in Latin America with the opening of a sales office in Managua, Nicaragua.
Miami-based TGI named Rigoberto “Rick” Reyes to head the new office. He previously worked for Progressive Custom Wheel Inc., California Wheel Corp. and Martino Tire Co.
“As part of our continued marketing strategy, Nicaragua is the next country where we will build a stronger presence, which will greatly enhance TGI's reach through our expanding series of brands and segments,” said Orlando Delgado, TGI senior vice president of business development.
TGI also has hired Ricardo Villanueva as its country manager for the Dominican Republic sales office it opened in March 2008. Mr. Villanueva, who has more than 15 years of experience in the tire industry, most recently worked as vice president of sales for Serit Tire Wholesale.
TGI distributes more than 40 brands of tires, including its own private labels—Astro, Cosmo, Industar, Luna and Orion. The company also sells tubes and automotive products.
Pirelli Tire warehouse opens in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Pirelli Tire Inc. has opened a distribution center in Vancouver, its second warehouse location in Canada.
The new facility, operated by Schenker of Canada Ltd., will serve customers throughout western Canada, Pirelli said. Schenker is a company that specializes in the management of value-added logistics, Pirelli said.
Pirelli's existing distribution point in eastern Canada is operated by Pival International Inc.
Hankook Tire moves Canadian headquarters
BRAMPTON, Ontario—Hankook Tire Canada Corp. has moved its headquarters and warehouse to larger facilities in Brampton.
The new headquarters in Brampton is located within a 118,000-sq.-ft. warehouse, where the firm employs 19 full-time plus four contract workers in the warehouse, according to Bill Hume, national sales director.
The company, a subsidiary of South Korea's Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., moved into the newly built facility in late January from a smaller warehouse about three miles away in Mississauga, Ontario.
“The new facility is the initial step to establish a bigger and better sales network in Canada,” Mr. Hume said. The warehouse is located near the junction of two major Canadian highways and near a major intermodal shipping yard.
Hankook primarily will service dealers in Ontario from the new location, Mr. Hume said. La Cie Canada Tire in Montreal handles most of the firm's business in Quebec and farther east, he said, and dealers in western Canada are served by local wholesalers or by direct shipment from the firm's plants in Asia.
The company's new address is: 30 Resolution Drive, Brampton, Ontario L6W 0A3. The phone is (905) 463-9802.
Toyo Tire launches ad campaign for dealers
CYPRESS, Calif.—Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has launched a national TV and print advertising campaign that will run through June to support its dealer network.
A new 30-second television ad, entitled “People Who Know,” features a Toyo dealer explaining that Toyo offers it all—quality, value, style and performance—without the need for consumers to spend it all, the tire maker said.
Airing nationally, the commercial will be seen on the NASCAR Series airing on ABC and ESPN2, the NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup on NBC, PINKS programming on SPEED, “Modern Marvels” on the History channel, and “American Chopper” on TLC. It is viewable at http://toyotires.com/about-us/tv-commercials.
The new print ads will run throughout the year in mainstream publications such as Motor Trend, Car & Driver, Road and Track and Automobile. Toyo's print advertising plan also includes niche publications to support the performance, tuner, hot rod, drag and light truck markets: Truckin', Dirt Sports, Car Craft, Hot Rod, Modified and D Sport, among others.
Also promoting Toyo's full line of products is a new dealer point-of-purchase kit entitled “Natural Selection.” Loosely based on the Darwinian theme of “only the fittest survive,” the light truck, high performance and luxury touring tire categories are referenced.
Alliance Tire opens Tenn. warehouse
DENVILLE, N.J.—Alliance Tire Co. (USA) Ltd. has opened a warehouse in Portland, Tenn., which the company said will allow it to improve support for its distributor network.
Orders are being shipped from the warehouse, which Alliance Tire is stocking with farm, forestry and industrial tires, President Manny Cicero said.
“We are now able to stockpile many of our most popular designs and sizes,” he said. “Keeping key tires in inventory helps us maintain 'safety stock' for our OEM customers, and it helps us support our distribution around the country.”
The location, according to Mr. Cicero, sits near entrances to several highway routes, which allows the company to “easily send tires to customers in any direction.” He added that getting to areas such as the Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Northeast and the upper Midwest is “pretty much a straight shot.”
'Bright' concept vehicle rolls on Bridgestones
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone Americas is equipping a “green” concept vehicle introduced by Bright Automotive with Bridgestone Turanza tires.
Bright Automotive is a new automotive manufacturer focused on producing clean energy vehicles in the U.S. The concept car—called the IDEA—is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that Bright Automotive claims will achieve 100 mpg.
The PHEV was unveiled April 21 in a briefing ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Members of Congress and representatives from companies involved with the vehicle attended the event.
Although the concept vehicle is sporting Bridgestone Turanza tires, the IDEA eventually will be fitted with Bridgestone fuel-efficient Ecopia tires as the OE fitment.
On a full charge, the IDEA will operate in all-electric mode for the first 30 miles before switching to hybrid mode for a full range of 400 miles, Bridgestone claimed. The IDEA is said to consume a half gallon of gasoline during a 50-mile drive.
Michelin to debut line of energy saver tires
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. is debuting this summer the Energy Saver All Season tire line, which it claims will deliver fuel savings and long tread life.
Targeted at passenger car owners who drive less than 10,000 miles per year, the Energy Saver All Season will have Michelin's “Green X” symbol on the sidewall, indicating to consumers a level of increased fuel-efficiency.
The tire decreases rolling resistance but still offers tread life, wet braking and all-season performance, Michelin said.
Vogue marks 95 years with video contest
MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill.—Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co. is holding an “I Luv Vogue” video contest in celebration of its 95 years in business.
Vogue Tyre will award the winner of the competition with a complete set of Vogue white and gold tires and wheels valued up to $5,000. Each video entered will be judged based on originality and creativity using Vogue products.
The contest began May 1 and runs through June 12, Vogue said. Customers can sign up to participate online at voguetyre.com.
Toyo Tire unveils more 'user-friendly' Web site
CYPRESS, Calif.—Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has launched a redesigned Web site, at toyo¬tires.com, which the tire maker called the biggest facelift to date for the company's online presence.
Toyo said its goal was to create a user-friendly resource tool for consumers and dealers. Users can search for tires to fit their car, light truck, SUV or commercial vehicle. Each tire has a product page with features and benefits, sizes and specifications and warranty information.
Users also can search for an authorized Toyo tires dealer by zip code or by city and state and narrow their search by dealer name or specific products and services.
The Web site also offers a “share this” feature on every page so users can post a link back to a page on sites such as Facebook, Digg, Redditt, MySpace and Twitter, or link in an e-mail.
Falken Tire redesigns Web site, adds content
FONTANA, Calif.—Falken Tire Corp. has redesigned its North American consumer Web site, falkentire.com, adding a content-driven interface with easy navigation and improved load times.
The updated site, which features the company's blue, red, white and teal color scheme, was created with emphasis on thorough user experience through current events, visuals and multimedia, Falken said.
Included on the site is an improved motorsports section that will allow users to access event photography, streaming videos and personal biographies for drivers and Falken models. Falken, a subsidiary of Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., is also retaining its Pro-Fit guide that allows visitors to locate direct and upsized wheel and tire fitments for their vehicles.
Mickey Thompson launches video Web site
STOW, Ohio—Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels has launched a video Web site, www.mickeythompsontv.com.
The site, which features a variety of video content on Mickey Thompson strip, truck, motorcycle, off-road and Bonneville racing tires, will allow viewers to select and embed videos into other Web pages to share them. Visitors to the site also can upload their own video content, and members will be able to share comments, participate in forums and access Mickey Thompson product information, company news and apparel.
The site has been developed for use with Adobe Flash Player 8 and above, and it has been optimized for multiple Web browser platforms, the company said.
Stow-based Mickey Thompson is a subsidiary of Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Uniroyal brand to give away soccer prizes
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc.'s Uniroyal Tire Soccer Program will celebrate its 10th anniversary of supporting youth soccer by giving away several prizes.
At the end of 2009, the Greenville-based company will select a winner of the Uniroyal year-end Soccer Season Survival grand prize, which includes the following features: a $500 gas card; a set of Uniroyal-brand tires; a camera/video recorder; free automotive service for the season; a GPS system; car detailing; a cooler and chair package; $250 parents' night out gift card; $250 snack/food gift card; and a $500 sporting goods gift card.
The grand prize winner will be chosen from a pool of 365 daily winners—one will be chosen each day in 2009—who will each receive free soccer balls. Entrants must be legal U.S. residents over the age of 13. Official rules of the contest can be found online at uniroyal.com/sweeps.
Bridgestone phasing out Gillette brand
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone Americas Inc. is phasing out its Gillette associate brand and rebadging its Winterforce brand a Firestone line as part of a refining of its product portfolio.
The Gillette brand dates back to the early part of the 20th century and the Gillette Rubber Co. of Eau Claire, Wis.
Bridgestone Americas predecessor Bridgestone/Firestone bought the rights to the Gillette brand in 1997 from Gillette Tire Co. of Milford, Mich., along with the Peerless brand. Gillette Tire had acquired the brand name in the mid-1980s.
Bridgestone is offering a limited range of Gillette passenger and light truck tires until supplies run out, the company said.
The Peerless brand continues, marketed by Denver-based retailer Peerless Tyre Co. throughout its seven-state distribution area, and by Bridgestone in areas outside of Peerless Tyre's marketing area.
Bridgestone launched the Winterforce winter tire line in 2003.