Turbo Wholesale Tires introduces Lexani Volt-EC EV tire at annual open house

Turbo Wholesale Tires introduces Lexani Volt-EC EV tire at annual open house

The open house also featured a trade show, a buyers event and dinner for dealers part of the Turbo Wholesale Tires group.

Turbo Wholesale Tires welcomed more than 400 tire dealers to its annual open house at its Oak Park (metro Detroit), Michigan distribution center May 2. This year, the event featured three events at once: a trade show, a buyer’s event and a dinner for tire dealers who are part of the Turbo Wholesale Tires group. The major announcement of the night came from Todd Pickens, chief commercial officer at Turbo Wholesale Tires, who presented Lexani’s entry into the EV tire market: The Volt-EC. Lexani is one of Turbo Wholesale Tires’ proprietary tire lines, which also includes Lionhart and Rolling Big Power (RBP) brands.

Pickens said the Volt-EC is an ultra-high-performance all-season tire designed with EVs in mind. He said the tire was designed with ultra-low rolling resistance to help extend EV range; wet weather performance for traction; and a quiet and comfortable ride. The tire is available for sale now, features an M+S and E4 marking, and comes in 18- to 22-in. sizes with a 40,000-mile warranty.

Todd Pickens, chief commercial officer at Turbo Wholesale Tires, said the Lexani Volt-EC EV tire was designed with ultra-low rolling resistance to help extend EV range; wet weather performance for traction; and a quiet and comfortable ride.

Bridney Jordan, product manager at Turbo Wholesale Tires, provided insight into why Turbo decided to design a tire designed specifically for EVs and how the company has a leg up compared to others releasing tires in this space.

“For an average consumer, a tier one brand features a lot of OE fitments,” she said. “However, we were a distributor first before anything. Tires have to perform and be the right tire for the right application, but you have to have distribution. That’s our advantage because we’ve been a wholesaler for many years.

“Right now, it’s all about electric vehicles and electrification,” she continued. “Mobility is a growing trend; we need a tire to stay on the wave. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Volt-EC. The performance is built specifically to handle what’s needed from an EV. The Volt-EC features lower rolling resistance to extend range and low noise output because EV drivers see noise as a performance feature. We also never want to compromise traction or durability, so we make sure the compound we put on the tire grips the road nicely.”

Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tire, sees the opportunity to sell an EV-specific tire as a lower-tier brand. He said Turbo’s lines aren’t considered Tier 1 or 2, but Kane wants to change that in the eyes of the dealers and drivers. He detailed how Turbo Wholesale Tires’ differentiated strategy may help with that.

“We introduced Volt-EC to say that we have the wherewithal to bring a tire like this to market,” he explained. “If you look around in our tier, there aren’t many other brands who have that capability. [We want] to communicate that if you are an independent tire dealer, you will derive significant value and profit opportunities from our brands. That was the gut-level promise that we started making. We have a business that’s built on growing brand share, and that’s what I’m all about,” Kane said.

He also detailed the “Lexani Ignite” associate dealer program, launched recently at another of the dealer’s yearly dealer conferences in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The Lexani Ignite program rewards dealers with quarterly incentive dollars for purchases of Turbo’s proprietary brands from Turbo and its network of wholesale distributors. Kane said several hundred dealers signed up for the associate dealer program and added he thinks Turbo is just scratching the surface.

“What’s different about Lexani Ignite compared to other similar associate dealer programs is that it’s tremendously simple to understand and easy to administer,” Kane explained. “If it’s too complex, people won’t want to be involved in it. We’re here to focus on buying and selling tires. That’s what I would tell you is the magic of our dealer program.”

Almost one year ago, Turbo Wholesale Tires’ acquired Tire Wholesalers Inc. (TWI), a Michigan-based wholesale distributor of third-party branded tires. This open house was usually part of TWI’s yearly events, and Kane said things could not be going better with TWI since the acquisition.

“This acquisition and transition has been breathtaking,” he said. “It feels like we’ve known each other a lifetime, and we would tell you that from an integration standpoint, we’re way ahead of schedule. We more than doubled the size of our company and fully integrated TWI in less than a year, we couldn’t be happier.”

Towards the end of the event, Turbo representatives gave away 89 prizes worth $25,000 to dealers who purchased tires at the buying event, including small prizes like gift cards and big prizes like a Disney/Vegas combination trip.

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