Hercules Celebrates 50th Anniversary in Style
Happy Golden Anniversary, Hercules. That was the message for dealers when the Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. met in Cincinnati, Ohio, to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The approximately 47 dealers and distributors who attended the event were treated to an anniversary banquet that covered the entire history of the company. From the company’s beginnings in 1952 with 21 shareholders, to the 1959 deal making Cooper the primary supplier, to the 1981 Thanksgiving Day fire, to its exiting of the retreading business twice ®“ dealers were able to walk down memory lane.
A 50s-style theme, college football championship tailgate party, a costume/dance party, and photos added to the feel of the event. Fifty Year Stockholder Anniversary Awards were presented to Roger Coll, Coll Tire Distributors; Rene Therrien, Central Tire Co.; and Mike O’Shea, Robbins & Franke.
At the sales meeting portion of the program, several new tire lines were announced. New high performance lines include the Hercules G5000Z and Merit Metric XSE-Z in 40- and 45-series, and the Hercules G3000V and Merit Metric XSE-V in 50- and 55-series.
Also announced was a new addition to the premium passenger tire line: the Hercules Ultra Touring TR. The T-rated line, which features a 630 AB UTQG rating and includes the new 225/55R17 size, will be available for delivery March 1 and fit current model Chrysler LHS and 300M vehicles.
As Kevin Breen, director of marketing, pointed out, "In passenger tires alone, our distribution center has 508 SKUs available to you."
Two new performance lines were also added the S-rated Hercules H/P 4000 and the Merit XR 6000. Both lines will be available in 50- through 70-series and carry a 440 AB rating.
"Performance tires were the exception, not the rule, in the mid-90s," said Lou Fontana, director of purchasing and distribution. "But the market has now exploded. It’s trendy, expensive and huge. There has never been a better time to sell performance. Any car can be a performance vehicle because of the tires."