ATLANTA — Apollo Tyres Ltd. is kicking off the relaunch of the Vredestein brand in North America with a couple of unexpected additions to brand's lineup — a dedicated truck and SUV tire line, the Pinza, and an all-season high-performance line, the Hitrac.
In its run-up earlier this summer to the "official" relaunch of the brand in North America, India's Apollo listed four Vredestein-branded tire lines it intended to offer: the Wintrac Pro UHP winter tire; Quatrac Pro all-weather UHP tire; Hypertrac All-Season wet-weather tire; and Ultrac Vorti / Vorti R summer product for premium and high-performance vehicles.
The launch marks the culmination of a $30 million research-and-development effort to develop products for the North American market, the company said.
The Pinza line — Pinza means "pliars" or "tongs" in Italian — is engineered "to deliver the off-road capability expected of a premium all-terrain tire without the sacrifices many drivers are forced to accept as a trade-off," Apollo said.
Pinza products will offer comfort and quiet, while performing well in wet and winter weather, Apollo claims. The Pinza line will be available for order in the fourth quarter.
The Hitrac all-season high-performance line is designed "to invigorate the daily drive experience and unlock the full potential of North America's most popular mainstream sedans and crossovers while maintaining the quiet and comfort that makes the daily commute more pleasant," Apollo said.
The brand, acquired in 2009 by Apollo, was present in the U.S. from the 1970s to the early 2000s, but now it will be marketed broadly as an Apollo-owned brand. The strategy eventually may culminate in the opening of a U.S. factory, the company told Tire Business earlier.
"For us, the next step in our growth strategy is the U.S.," Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director of Apollo, told Tire Business.
The other products being launched are;
Hypertrac: An all-season ultra-high-performance (UHP) tire designed for strong performance on both wet and dry road surfaces for drivers of premium sport sedans, coupes and CUVs;
Quatrac Pro: An all-weather UHP offering for cars and CUVs;
Wintrac Pro: Dedicated winter UHP tire designed for those who want performance and handling in snowy winter climates; and
Ultrac Vorti: The brand's flagship summer UHP tire, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, an Italian automobile designer, for sports cars and supercars.
"We learned that today's drivers place a greater premium on tire-performance versatility than ever before," Abhishek Bisht, Apollo's assistant vice president for the Americas, Apollo Tyres Ltd., said.
"In North America, we found that the customers want and expect to feel supreme confidence across the wide range of road surfaces, conditions and climates they are likely to encounter during their travels."
Apollo teamed up with MotorTrend magazine to help usher in the brand's launch, with video hosted by Jonny Lieberman, the magazine's senior features editor, detailing the product lineup.
Mr. Bisht said Apollo's "global expertise, combined with a local focus on the North American market, has delivered a complete, market-tailored tire lineup that we believe sets new standards across a full range of usage scenarios."
The Vredestein brand debuted in 1909 in the Netherlands. The name comes from the name of the farm in the Netherlands owned by Emile Louis Constant Schiff, one of the first owners of the company.
"We are, as crazy as it sounds, a new kid on the block, with a 111-year old lineage," Mr. Bisht said.
"We have a diverse and critically acclaimed tire lineup that's poised to make an immediate impact and resonate with North American drivers. We are excited to share our rich and continually evolving brand story with them. It's a century in the making, and yet, it's just a beginning."
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