NEW YORK — Apollo Tyres Ltd. had one thought in mind for the debut of the latest Vredestein product: Go big or go home.
You can't get much bigger than New York City.
Apollo heralded the launch of the Vredestein Pinza AT, a light truck/SUV product line, with a billboard on Times Square.
"For the announcement we wanted a venue that would befit our ambitions for the American market — like they say, go big or go home," Abhishek Bisht, Apollo's assistant vice president Americas, said. "We went big to the crossroads of the world — Times Square.
"The reaction to the launch has been phenomenal from both the tire trade and owners of premium pickup trucks."
The product, which carries the industry's 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake designation for winter performance, is available in 47 sizes. It features warranties of 70,000 miles for P-metric types and 50,000 miles for LT versions.
The Pinza AT's initial size range includes 22 light-truck sizes, with 15 more planned for the second phase of the rollout.
Mr. Bisht said the Vredestein Pinza AT has been under development for more than four years, designed and developed for the North American consumer.
With the supply chain in disarray, Mr. Bisht said Apollo delayed the introduction of the tire by three months in order to build inventory over the last half year and ensure enough product at warehouses.
"While supply has been a challenge, we've been working hard to negate the impact for our customers and consumers," he said.
The tire was developed by Apollo's global research and development centers in Europe and Asia. The group was tasked with developing a comfortable all-terrain tire, considering the habits and needs in North American drivers.
The product was tested in different climates and weather conditions on three different continents.
"The Vredestein Pinza AT represents a bold evolution of the Vredestein brand," Mr. Bisht said. "Its arrival demonstrates our unwavering commitment to meeting the drivers' needs and ensuring that they have carefully thought-out and expertly engineered solutions, no matter what they drive or where they drive it."
The Italian name "Pinza" was chosen to highlight power, precision, strength and grip, the company said, describing a product that performs well in all-weather conditions, while also providing capability and durability in off-road driving conditions.
Other attributes of the tire include:
- "Silent groove" and multi-pitch technology, providing a quiet operation;
- Stone ejectors and 3-ply triplex casing for enhanced durability and protection against external damage;
- Jagged edge shoulder design that delivers rugged aesthetics and full capability in mud, sand, and snow; and
- Interlocking sipe design that provides tread stability.
Pinza has received high marks from independent tests conducted by Consumer Reports and Tire Rack.
Testers at Tire Rack said the product "stands out above the rest. With a composed, comfortable ride, low noise, and test-leading wet traction, it delivers the complete package."
Consumer Reports, meanwhile, deemed it a "recommended" product because of its "good mix of all-weather grip, handling and comfort and outstanding tread life."
Apollo relaunched the Vredestein brand in August 2020 in North America, with the goal to compete in the Tier 1 space. After rolling out passenger and winter tires over the last 12-plus months developed specifically for the North American driver, the brand is following the same pattern with the Pinza AT.
The Vredestein lineup in North America includes the Wintrac Pro, a UHP winter tire; the Quatrac Pro, a UHP all-weather; Hypertrac All-Season; Ultrac Vorti / Vorti R for summer performance for premium and high-performance cars; and the Pinza AT.
Mr. Bisht said Pinza provides tire dealers "a top- technology product that they can make excellent margins on."
In April, Mumbai, India-based Apollo rolled out a range of Apollo-branded truck/bus tires in the U.S. and Canada.