Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) plans to launch a wide-base trailer tire this year followed later with a wide-base drive tire, Dan King, YTC senior vice president of sales and marketing, said recently.
YTC has been testing both trailer- and drive-axle wide-base singles with fleets in North America, Mr. King said in a question-and-answer interview prepared by YTC.
Mr. King noted the jury's still out on wide-base singles among fleets, with some asking for it because of the fuel-efficiency benefits while others are still skeptical because of the risk of having a unit stranded by a flat tire. Still others don't believe the operating cost benefits will cover their costs of converting. We're definitely watching it closely, he said of the wide-base single debate.
Yokohama already has two wide-base tires in its portfolioMY507A and RY253for specialty and long-haul applications, respectively. YTC also plans to launch a long-haul steer tire, the 101ZL, along with evaluating a lower-positioned economy steer tire, Mr. King said.
The firm also is banking on its SmartSolution communications program to help it and its dealers build business with fleets. Launched in August 2010, SmartSolution highlights Yokohama's core technologies and how they match up to the fleets' critical requirements of product longevity, efficiency, availability and dependability.
The campaign includes print advertising, dealer materials and a dedicated website presence as a communication platform.