Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is showing a number of new products – including the CS3 Touring passenger tire and Mastercraft Courser AXT light truck/SUV tire – at its Global Tire Expo/SEMA Show booth (#43009).
With a launch targeted for early to mid-2013, the all-season CS3 Touring features the tiremaker’s “StabilEdge” technology for dry handling stability, crisper steering response and improved ride comfort, according to Cooper. It also offers a five-rib tread pattern for improved wet and light snow traction; a tread pitch and pattern design for a smooth, quiet ride; and a tread compound and profile that promotes even wear and long tread life, the tiremaker added. The CS3 Touring replaces the Lifeliner GLS and will come in 58 T, H and V speed rated sizes.
Mastercraft Courser AXT, available now in 50 light truck and SUV sizes ranging from 15- through 20-inch wheel diameters, features “a progressive five-rib tread design, aggressive off-road capabilities, confident highway control and wear, and balanced all-season performance,” the tiremaker stated. The tire also offers wide center tread elements with an open groove design, as well as an aggressive buttress shoulder design, for better off-road traction, Cooper added.
The company also displayed a handful of new commercial truck tires:
• The Roadmaster RM230 WB, an on/off-road tire with damage-resistant tread suited for cement mixers, dump trucks and haul applications. The tire is available in two common sizes: 385/65R22.5 and 425/65R22.5.
• The Roadmaster RM254 regional drive tire, with treadwear and traction required for frequent stops and acceleration. The tire is available in six load range H and G sizes.
• The Roadmaster RM851, a SmartWay-verified regional and long haul drive tire designed to boost fuel efficiency. The tire is available in four load range G sizes.
According to Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper vice president of global research and development, Cooper has grown its truck tire market share to 6.5% over the last couple years, making the tiremaker the No. 5 supplier of commercial truck tires in North America. He cites the Roadmaster lineup’s product performance and Cooper’s recent capacity expansions for the growth.
The Cooper brand in general is benefitting from recent investments in new product innovation, Yurkovich added, since roughly 28% to 30% of its tires currently sold in North America have been introduced within the last two years (he said the market average is 18% to 20%). “This signifies that our investment in innovation has resulted in products that offer more than just a face change – they actually offer a proven step up in performance,” he said, adding that Cooper is outperforming all other RMA members in market share gain across all tire segments in 2012.
Cooper’s innovation continues, in part, through two recently-awarded grants. The first, $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, will aid in the development of a lightweight, fuel-efficient tire with a 20% reduction in weight and a 30% reduction in rolling resistance compared to today’s passenger tires. The second grant, $6.9 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will aid in Cooper’s development of a domestic source of natural rubber through the guayule plant. The goal, according to Yurkovich, is to design and develop a tire that uses no imported natural rubber – and with development slated for 2013, Cooper could even showcase this concept at next year’s GTE.