A number of well-known brandssuch as Avon, Laramie, Merit, Republic and othersleft the North American tire aftermarket in the past year, but a dozen or more new brands, both private and imported, have emerged in their place.
Among the more high profile names to be phased out are:
* Avon: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s associate brand is no longer available as a car or light truck tire after mail order/Internet retailer Tire Rack ended a six-year run of being the brand's exclusive distributor in North America.
The label still exists here for motorcycle owners, distributed by Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper's Mickey Thompson Tires sales unit.
* Laramie: TBC Corp. said it has discontinued marketing the brand, which has been around since 1970.
* Merit: Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. is phasing out its Merit brand as part of a corporate realignment of the firm's sales efforts. Hercules instead will focus on its broad-portfolio Hercules and Ironman brands and Avalanche winter tire program, according to Josh Simpson, vice president of marketing.
Mr. Simpson said Hercules will continue to sell Merit tires out of stocks on hand but has stopped ordering new tires from the brand's suppliers.
* Remington: Goodyear has phased the Remington associate brand out of its consumer tire product lineup but continues to make and sell Remington truck tires.
In place of the Remington brandwhich Goodyear has controlled since 1999 when it acquired majority ownership of Dunlop Tire Corp.the Akron-based tire maker said it is steering dealers toward its Dunlop and/or Kelly brands.
* Republic: Goodyear dropped the Republic brand as part of a larger strategy to expand distribution of the Kelly brand to its full dealer network, creating a multi-brand package with its Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tire lines.
In addition, the Galaxy and Primex brands were taken over late last year by Alliance Tire Group following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of GPX International Tire Co. GPX's Maine Tire, Brawler, MITL and ITL brands are now handled by Maine Industrial Tire L.L.C., a successor company.
The Denman brand is in limbo after Leavittsburg, Ohio-based Denman Tire Corp.which had been in operation for 91 yearsfiled for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation earlier this year and ceased operations. The Denman brand has been in the marketplace for more than 70 years.
Also, Falken Tire Corp. has taken over responsibility for the Ohtsu truck tire brand, which had been distributed since 2004 by Itochu International Inc. Both the Falken and Ohtsu brands are controlled and produced by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Falken's parent company.
Among new brands in the marketplace are:
* Atlas: A revival is under way for the Atlas brandonce the domain of Standard Oil Co.'s gasoline station networkby a new company, Ling Long North America L.L.C., which is doing business as Atlas Tire out of Copley, Ohio.
* Atturo: A brand developed and distributed by tire industry veteran Don Mathis through a new company, Atturo Tire Corp., Atturo-brand tires are built in Taiwan by Federal Corp. They are being targeted at an audience desiring a premium quality, yet affordable performance tire, Mr. Mathis said.
* Corsa: A brand owned and produced by Indonesia's P.T. Multistrada, the tires are being offered by Omni United USA Inc.
* Rosava: This brand from Ukrainian tire maker CSJC Rosava is imported and distributed by GTS North America L.L.C., a unit of a Ukrainian import/export firm.
* Sonar: This brand is made by Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. and imported and distributed by TBC Wholesale.
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