Revamped Styling: Toyo Launches New, Improved High Performance Tire - Tire Review Magazine

Revamped Styling: Toyo Launches New, Improved High Performance Tire

Toyo Launches New, Improved High Performance Tire

Building on the success of its Proxes ST, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. launched its new generation high performance tire created for today’s SUVs, sport trucks and select crossovers, the Proxes ST II.

Like its predecessor, which was introduced in 1998, the Proxes ST II is a result of Toyo’s commitment to performance, quality, ride comfort and style, said Steve Weinger, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

“In a market segment that demands low profile style, the Proxes ST II exudes it,” he said. “In a market segment that demands size options, the Proxes ST II’s offerings are deep. In a market segment that thinks performance and ride comfort may be secondary, the Proxes ST II dispells that notion.”

A pioneer in the area of plus-size fitments, Toyo was first to offer 20-, 22- and 23-inch rim diameter tires for SUVs and sport trucks. The Proxes ST II is no different, with its availability up to 26 inches, Weinger noted.

“We continue to see tremendous growth as a company and as a brand,” he said. “2007 once again brought us double-digit sales growth. Our network of independent dealers across the U.S. continues to grow, and we have increased our brand awareness. This is the fourth new product in just over one year.”

Design Elements
With the goal of appealing to owners of customized sport trucks and SUVs, the Proxes ST II was developed not only to meet the demands of plus-sized applications by offering a smooth, stable ride, but also to provide a high-end image, said Matias Stella, Toyo’s market strategist and product manager for light trucks.

“With its fresh design and unique tread elements, the tire delivers a powerful combination of superb handling and confident all-season performance while still achieving unparalleled noise reduction and consistent wear,” he said.

The tire features a continuous center rib and multi-slanted edges on center blocks to enhance dry performance, as well as four main grooves and an open shoulder for water dispersion, Stella said.
Serrations on the walls of the unidirectional tread grooves disrupt airflow, reducing noise. The tire’s shoulder is constructed with a variable pattern, so the “different sizes of shoulder blocks break up the noise pattern so you don’t have a continuous noise building upon itself, creating an annoying distrurbance as you drive,” Stella said.

The Proxes ST II also has multi-wave sipes in the shoulder blocks that appear as the tire wears. These sipes interlock to decrease block movement and keep more rubber in contact with the road, reducing irregular wear and improving both wet and dry performance, he noted.

Toyo’s tests show the Proxes ST II offers an 8% reduction in heel/toe wear for the front axle and a 25% reduction in wear for the rear axle compared to the original Proxes ST. It also decreases the noise level of the tire as it wears by 26% at a speed of 60 mph and 34% at 75 mph, compared to its predecessor.

The Proxes ST II is available in V, W, and Y speed ratings and includes OE and plus-size fitments for wheels 16 to 26 inches in diameter. The tire was launched June 1 in 28 initial sizes, with additional sizes expected to be introduced later this year for a total of 44 SKUs, the company said.

Marketing Style
To gain consumer awareness of its latest release, Toyo planned an extensive national advertising campaign, including a new commercial aired on major networks that will reach an estimated 100 million households, said Steve Hutchinson, senior director of marketing.

“We also have a 25/5 version, a 30-second spot that’s reduced by five seconds for a dealer tag,” he said. “Toyo dealers across the country can now take this commercial and put their information at the end of it.”

Toyo will also supply its 2,200 dealers with point-of-purchase kits that include banners, inserts and countermats to advertise the entire Proxes family, with emphasis on the Proxes ST II. Also, dealers can log onto toyoads.com to electronically generate their own ads. Toyo has also rolled out an all-new Proxes training site, toyotraining.com, for dealers and their staff to access new product sheets and become certified online, he said.

“This is a very important product for us because we have a real leadership position in the sport truck and light truck category,” he said. “We assembled a really good team of individuals from all different departments of the company to put emphasis on introducing the Proxes ST II with a lot of flair.”

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