GREENVILLE, S.C.Michelin North America Inc. is targeting intermediate and budget-conscious owner-operators and small fleets with the introduction of Uniroyal-brand medium truck tires to the U.S. market.
The tire maker has launched six tread designs for long-haul, regional and heavy-duty applications under the third-tier brand, complementing the premium Michelin and second-tier BFGoodrich brand commercial lines.
Michelin previously unveiled Uniroyal truck tires in Canada last April and in Mexico in 2014. Previously, Uniroyal radial truck tires had not been produced since Michelin acquired the Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Co. in 1993, according to a company spokesperson.
The target end-users for the new Uniroyal commercial line are price-conscious owner-operators and small fleets. They tend to have new and used vehicles and only some of them retread their tires, said Donna Murphy, business segment manager for Uniroyal Commercial Truck Tires.
The intermediate and budget portions of the market have been growing over the last several years and continue to do so. The Michelin group has decided that it's an opportune time for us to add the Uniroyal brand to our commercial truck tire offering, she said, adding, It allows our dealer network to have a multi-brand portfolio for different segments of the market and different needs of the end-user within the marketplace today.
The new Uniroyal commercial lineup includes:
c LS24, a SmartWay-verified long-haul all-position tire optimized for the steer axle, in four sizes;
c LT40, a long-haul and regional trailer tire, in four sizes;
c RS20, a SmartWay-verified regional all-position tire optimized for the steer axle, seven sizes;
c RD30, a regional and long-haul drive tire, six sizes;
c HS50, an on-/off-road all-position tire optimized for the steer axle, four sizes; and
c HD60, an on-/off-road drive tire, three sizes.
The radial tires are made with Michelin's DuraShield construction which features pyramidal steel belts to promote durability and protect the casing; insulating belt edge strips to reduce stress on the belts; and a heavy gauge inner liner to reduce degradation of the steel belts, all helping to make the tire retreadable, Michelin said. The heavy-duty tires feature a third steel belt in the pyramidal belt construction for additional protection and durability.
The Uniroyal commercial truck tires are backed by a four-year limited warranty. The long-haul and regional tires also are covered by a one-retread limited warranty, as long as they are retreaded in a Michelin Oliver Rubber or MRT retreading facility, the company said.
Twenty-six sizes are available now through Michelin's distribution network, with two more available March 1. A majority of the Uniroyal commercial tires are being built in Michelin's Spartanburg, S.C., plant.
However, due to the market demand for the offer in the U.S. and in North America overall, the Uniroyal sourcing will be augmented in the coming months from other Michelin Group plants worldwide, a company spokesperson said.
Michelin said it will be supporting the introduction with multi-media advertising.