After multiple product launches in 2015 and 2016, Kumho Tire USA intentionally took a break in 2017 to give its dealers a chance to catch up. But that product pause is soon to come to an end, according to Jim Mayfield, executive vice president North America for Kumho Tire USA. In 2018, the company plans to introduce three new tire products, taking a more measured, strategic approach to product introductions moving forward with plans to introduce two to three new products each year, retiring other products at the end of their lifecycle.
Kumho products soon to release for the North American marketplace include:
The Crugen HP71, an all-season tire designed for CUVs and SUVs, will be replacing the KL33. The tire features new compounding and design to enhance both wear and cold-weather/snow performance. Details include a new luxury-designed patterned sidewall. Releasing in Q4 2018, the symmetric-pattern radial will be available in 53 sizes, from 16-in to 22-in. rim diameters and H and V speed ratings.
The Ecsta PA51, a UHP all-season tire, will be launched in Q3 2018. Like the Crugen HP71, the tire has been designed to enhance snow and mileage performance. Combining the current HP A/S and UHP A/S for easier product recognition and knowledge, plus simpler stocking at the retail level, the new PA51 will be replacing the Ecsta 4X II in phase one of its launch with further line expansion to replace PA31 in phase two. The sidewall design features a new racing theme look. The asymmetric radial will be available in 64 sizes, in rim diameters ranging from 15-in. to 21-in. in V, W and Y speed ratings.
“The PA51 line will incorporate a much broader range of sizes, and speed ratings and will eliminate two lines that we have now,” explains Mayfield to the dealers gathered. “Here again, one of the key targets is improved snow traction. All of our testing has shown substantial improvements there and we’re anxious to have this product in market.”
The third tire announced by Kumho to launch in 2018 is the KLD 11e, an all-new drive tire primarily for long-distance commercial drivers and line-haul applications which could also be used for some regional applications. The tire will be SmartWay Certified and features: enhanced mileage and low rolling resistance; increased durability with uniform wear characteristics; optimized grooves for improved traction in all weather conditions, and increased endurance. The KLD 11e is expected to launch in Q2 2018.
Excerpted from the Dec. 7, 2017 article, “Inside the Kumho Dealer Meeting.”