LAS VEGASSentury Tire North America L.L.C. (STNA), the new subsidiary of China's Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd., is launching a brand designed specifically for the North American market that it will market separately from the parent company's Sentury and Delinte brands.
The new brand, dubbed Groundspeed, will debut in the first quarter of 2017 in six Voyager line modelsfour for passenger cars and SUVs and two for light trucksaccording to Michael Perkins, senior vice president, sales and marketing, for LaGrange, Ga.-based STNA.
The new company was established earlier this year to oversee the construction and operation of a $530 million car/light truck tire plant and research and development center in LaGrange.
Sentury Tire will produce the Groundspeed brand initially in the company's plant in Rayong, Thailand, according to Rami Helminen, CEO of STNA, but it will be moved to the new U.S. plant and will be the facility's first product line when it comes on stream in mid-2018.
STNA will position the Groundspeed brand as a Tier 3-priced product with Tier 2 dealer support, according to Mr. Perkins.
Our new Groundspeed brand represents a strong business opportunity for dealers and distributors, he said, noting that ...our entire organization is committed to providing the same high level of quality in every interaction with our partners.
STNA is a separate entity to Miami-based Sentury Tire Americas, the importer and distributor of the Landsail and Delinte brands, Messrs. Helminen and Per-kins said.
Initially, STNA will focus on dealers or distributors large enough to handle container-load shipments, the executives said, while at the same time laying the foundation for a broader retail distribution network for when the LaGrange plant comes on stream.
Sentury Tire Americas, under the direction of Maxwell Wee, director of sales, will continue to be responsible for the Landsail and Delinte brands. That company, also a subsidiary of Qindao Sentury, maintains warehouses in Miami and Memphis, Tenn.
The new line of Groundspeed tires includes six new models designed to meet the diverse driving needs of most domestic and import passenger vehicle and light truck brands.
All-season rated Groundspeed tire models include: Voyager GT, all-around tire; Voyager HP, for family and performance cars; Voyager HT for light trucks and SUVs; Voyager SV for SUVs and CUVs; and Voyager AT for on- and off-road applications.
In addition, Sentury has a Voyager mud-terrain version in development, the executives said.
Every Groundspeed tire is available in a wide selection of sizes and is backed by what the tire marketer typified as a generous warranty, ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 miles for added customer peace of mind.
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