NEW ORLEANSPrivate brand tire distributor SURE Tire Co. is expanding on two fronts, broadening its product portfolio and adding more international distribution.
Wentzville, Mo.-based SURE disclosed these changes at its recent annual shareholder meeting in New Orleans, where it marked the 40th anniversary of the Summit brand.
Looking to affirm its place in the changing market, SURE Tire has expanded the Summit brand to include 31 sizes in 17-, 18-, 19- and 20-inch rim diameters to its Summit HP Radial Trac performance/UHP powerlines and 13 sizes in 16- to 20-inch diameters in the Summit HT Trail Climber SUV/CUV line.
It also launched a Summit-brand medium radial truck program, offering 35 sizes in highway, open-shoulder drive, closed-shoulder drive and trailer positions to maximize applications and performance.
This year the firm plans to add a dozen OE fitment sizes to the HP Radial Trac and HT Trail Climber lines. Additional sizes are also in line for the Trail Climber AW and Trail Climber CT designs.
SURE is offering just the Summit brand for now. The Heritage brand is not being offered currently.
The company is working with Thailand's Deestone Tire Co. Ltd. for the new products, according to SURE Tire President Pat McLaughlin, who told the distributor's members that SURE Tire's manufacturing partners are moving quickly to meet the ever-changing demand for OE replacement fitments.
In 2014, the Summit HP Radial Trac will add 12 new OE fitment sizes. The Summit HT Trail Climber will add 12 SUV/CRV sizes to round out its offerings. Additional sizes are also in line for the Summit Trail Climber AW and Summit Trail Climber CT designs.
On the membership front, SURE Tire added members in Australia (Citic Autoparts Pty. Ltd.) and Venezuela (Covencaucho Industrias S.A.). In 2012 it added Total Tire Distributors Inc. of Kelowna, British Columbia, to cover western Canada from its five warehouses in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
A group of five independent distributors started the Summit brand in 1974, hoping to create a brand they controlled with protected territories through the entity they created, Summit Tire & Battery.
Today that vision is still as valid as ever, Mr. McLaughlin said.
SURE was established in 2000, when Summit Tire & Battery and Remington Tire Distributors formed a dealership cooperative covering the Summit and Remington brands.