At the same time, Vogue has been expanding its field sales force to effect some of the changes in the way it goes to market, Mr. Hathcock said.
Last year Vogue created two vice president of sales positions, hiring automotive sales veteran Dale Noe and promoting company veteran Adam Slominsky.
Mr. Noe brought more than 20 years in sales and management experience — including stints with Kia Motors, American Suzuki and Ford Motor Credit — to the job.
Mr. Slominsky has been a part of the Vogue team since 2001, serving as custom center manager and supervisor, working with dealership customers across the country.
On the product development side, Vogue has been broadening its product portfolio with more ultra-high-performance offerings, including an all-season UHP tire, in an effort to capture that first replacement position, Mr. Hathcock said.
The expansion of UHP fitments began in earnest in 2010 with the launch of the “Signature V” line, which sports a raised gold V on the sidewall instead of Vogue's signature white-and-gold sidewall stripe.
This was considered an overture to owners of luxury import models, who tended to shy away from any kind of sidewall striping, and a shift in the domestic luxury segment to more performance-oriented models.
Next up will be fitments targeted at the growing crossover utility vehicle (CUV) market, he added.
Vogue has considered adding a run-flat tire to its portfolio for more than 20 years, Mr. Hathcock said, but management has never felt those types of tires offer enough value for the money and there are too many tradeoffs.
Mr. Hathcock stressed that his company's warranty coverage plays a big part in the brand's positioning as a premium product.
Among the warranty terms for tires bought in the U.S. or Canada: 60,000-mile limited treadwear coverage; 30-day “Buy and Try” guarantee; roadside assistance covering the cost of a road-assistance call up to $50 and up to $10 for a flat tire repair; trip delay coverage, whereby Vogue will reimburse the customer (up to $120) for a non-Vogue brand replacement tire purchased to temporarily replace the unusable Vogue tire should a customer not be able to obtain a Vogue-brand tire.
Vogue broadened its business model slightly in March with the acquisition of certain assets of automotive restyling products firm E&G Classics Inc., forming E&G Corp. L.L.C., a separate company.