HIRATSUKA, Japan — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (YRC) has begun production and sales of high-load-capacity (HLC) tires designed to meet the needs of heavy-duty passenger vehicles, such as electric- and hybrid-powered cars and larger SUVs.
Initially the move — which involves the use of "advanced technology" to ensure quietness and handling stability while maintaining high-load durability — is intended to meet the needs of Yokohama's original equipment (OE) customers, but YRC said it also intends to develop products for the replacement market in line with market needs.
YRC did not elaborate on which of its factories are involved in the production of HLC tires, but Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) confirmed in a note to Tire Business that for now its Salem, Va., plant is not one of them.
Dealers in North America likely will see HLC tires on certain OE applications. YTC said it "will continue to evaluate demand for the replacement market."