LOUISVILLE, Ky.Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. rolled out new tires and tools for dealers and truckers at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS).
The company's move coincided with the ramping up of supply of its Roadmaster truck tire brand following the interruption of manufacturing for most of the second half of last year.
Cooper's supply of Roadmaster-brand tires has been increasing steadily since the tire maker and its truck tire manufacturing venture in China, Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Company Ltd. (CCT), resolved their differences in the wake of the cancellation of the proposed merger with India's Apollo Tyres Ltd.
The pipeline is filling as we speak, Michael Simon, vice president of marketing for Cooper's North America Tire Operations, said at MATS in late March. We're proud of the fact demand for our product has never been higher.
Chengshan Shandong Tire ceased making Cooper-brand products at its plant in Chengshan, China, last July in protest of Cooper's then-pending alliance with Apollo.
Cooper noted in its fiscal 2013 report that its international sales volume fell $335 million from 2012, more than $200 million of which was attributed to the supply situation at Chengshan Shandong.
Mr. Simon called the Roadmaster product a value brand, in that it delivers what we would categorize Tier I performance at a price level that is very much in line with the customers' ability to pay.
Focusing on moving forward, Mr. Simon said, We are building on the success of Roadmaster by investing further in the brand to grow its position in the commercial tire market.
We see great opportunities in multiple channels because of Roadmaster's proven performance and value and we appreciate the incredible support this brand has received since it launched in the marketplace.
Among the new products that were previewed at MATS were:
RM 181 premium long-haul steer tire and RM 872 long-haul trailer tire, which are expected to be available later this year, the company said. The 872 will differ from the current 871 in having decoupling grooves and reduced rolling resistance.
Cooper also disclosed it now has four tire linesthe RM180 and RM185 steer tires, the RM871 trailer tire and the RM851 drive tirethat are verified as SmartWay low-rolling-resistance tires.
Among the new tools unveiled by the company is a website devoted to Roadmaster tires that offers interactive product information and an improved dealer locator. The site is available in a mobile version as well.
Other new tools include fresh point-of-sale materials and a targeted print advertising campaign that will premier in May.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6145.