LAS VEGASChina Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C. and its parent company Double Coin Holdings Ltd. are getting close to launching Warrior-brand passenger tire sales in North America.
Monrovia, Calif.-based CMA displayed the first two products and discussed plans for the brand during a press conference at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.
The first tires to be offered are the Warrior R29, a touring all-season tire featuring a symmetrical tread design, and the Warrior R30, a high-performance all-season tire with an asymmetrical tread pattern.
CMA executives said they expect the tires to be available starting in the first quarter. Eventually the company plans to add light truck sizes to the line.
This is the second time Warrior brand tires have been sold in North America. They previously were offered by Michelin North America Inc. through a joint venture with Double Coin. That venture ended in 2009 when Michelin Group bought out Double Coin's minority share of Shanghai Michelin Warrior Tire Co. Ltd.a venture they had owned jointly since 2001.
CMA also sold Wynstar-brand passenger tires in North America made at the Shanghai Michelin Warrior factory.
This latest reincarnation of the brand also involves a new joint venture involving Michelin, Double Coin and Double Coin's parent, Shanghai Huayi, but with Double Coin marketing the brand in North America and Michelin selling Warrior-brand products in China.
The manufacturing venture, Double Coin Group (Anhui) Warrior Tires Co., is based in Wuwei, Shandong Province. Double Coin and Shanghai Huayi own 60 percent of the new company and Michelin controls 40 percent.
The partners invested nearly $500 million in the plant, which eventually will be able to manufacture 15 million passenger and light truck tires annually.
Michelin already is selling Warrior tires in the Chinese domestic market, said Aaron Murphy, CMA vice president.
Ken Coltrane, CMA's vice president of consumer tires, described the Warrior line as a new brand with premium benefits.
This includes the new Warrior Protection Promisewhich covers all Warrior tires sold to consumerswith a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, free roadside tire assistance, limited treadwear mileage warranty and a manufacturer's defect warranty that provides a free tire replacement if a defect occurs in the first 50 percent of usable tread life. Free mounting and balancing also is included.
The R29 comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, while the R30's is 65,000 miles.
Mr. Coltrane, whose primary role involves sales, marketing and branding of the Warrior line, considers Warrior a fantastic namea Warrior to protect you and get you there safely, he said during the press conference.
The majority of CMA's marketing efforts for Warrior will mainly target consumers, who will then be put in touch with their local dealer.
The company also intends to use social media in its marketing efforts.
CMA will distribute the tires out of its two U.S. warehouses, one in Memphis, Tenn., and a 129,000-sq.-ft. facility in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., the company broke ground on in May.
Mr. Coltrane said in showing the Warrior tires at SEMA, including a future ultra-high-performance tire and a winter tire, the company wanted to hear from dealers about how we can help them with the brand.
CMA plans to partner with dealers and retail outlets nationwide to offer the brand with a strategy of service after the sale, Mr. Coltrane said.
The goal, Mr. Murphy added, is not to just sell products but to build a brand and create demand.
CMA and Double Coin are positioning Warrior tires as tier-two, mid-range, first-replacement products that offer a high profit margin.
We anticipated this launch and opportunity for some time and it's here today, Mr. Murphy said. Warrior-branded products had curb appeal in the past and through global efforts in technology and partnerships, the brand is back and ready to take off to new heights, he said.
CMA will offer the R30 in 12 sizes, ranging from 205/65R15 94V to 225/50R17 94V, and the R29 in 24 sizes from 155/70R3 75T to 195/50R15 82V.