FRANKLIN, Tenn. — If there's a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic, it's that many people have embraced outdoor activities for the first time.
For specialty tire and wheel maker Carlstar Group L.L.C., this is reason to be optimistic for the future.
The company is a global supplier of specialty tires and wheels serving the agricultural, industrial, lawn and garden, and powersports markets. Most of Carlstar's products carry the Carlisle flagship brand, but the Franklin-based company also goes to market with the ITP and Marastar brands, covering ATV/UTV tires and wheels and small specialty tires, respectively.
Carlstar is considered the 48th largest tire company in the world, according to Tire Business' 2020 Global Tire Report rankings, with estimated tire-related sales of $495 million in 2019.
The company's balance between original equipment (OE) and aftermarket customers has kept it competitive during the pandemic, Laren Harmon, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Carlstar, said.
"The strength we have experienced in 2020 in our aftermarket business has offset the OE weakness caused by the pandemic," he said.
"In fact, certain segments in which we operate are having a record year for demand as our products are incorporated into many different social-distancing activities. These activities include such things as ATV trail riding, boating and RV, lawn and garden activities."