Toyo Tire USA Corp. used the imminent official launch of two important new tires to redefine its dealer education efforts and expand its consumer event presence.
Coming to the market in September are a pair of all-new tires that Toyo feels will help dealers by filling two distinct, strong market segments.
The Open Country R/T fills the gap between mud-terrain treads and on-road all-terrain light truck tires, while the Versado Noir specifically targets luxury sedans and coupes.
The Toyo All or Nothing Road Tour is delivering the details about the new entries to dealers across the country, planning 20 dealer training stops in 19 cities. The 8,106-mile training journey was scheduled to run through Sept. 10.
Instead of simply using its existing event rigs as it had in the past, Toyo designed and bought an all-new truck, slightly downsized from its current rig, which allows it to park in tighter areas. With a large built-in awning and stand-alone tent area, the “classroom on wheels” includes flat screen TVs, cut-away tires, various display tires and plenty of seating.
During a media program in Atlanta, the truck visited a Kaufman Tire location, and the vehicle was comfortably parked in a tight space between the bay doors and an adjacent strip mall structure.
Toyo officials said they plan to continue with the new rig in the future and are currently evaluating how it has performed on this tour. One of Toyo’s trucks will be on-site at the upcoming SEMA Show/Global Tire Expo. In the meantime, Toyo is working on a redesign of its online training program – toyotraining.com – and its sales staff continues to run on-going training for dealers.
Set for its September launch, the Open Country R/T delivers a combination of reliable off-road performance and on-highway driver comfort. The aggressive-looking tread is said to deliver longer on-road treadlife with less noise than expected, and a unique tread shoulder design option – an open shoulder design on one side, and a closed shoulder look on the other – gives drivers the opportunity to customize their tire buy.
“Our market research revealed many truck, Jeep and SUV owners are looking for a combination of performance and features not available in current mud-terrain or all-terrain tires,” said Roy Bromfield, Toyo COO. “What these owners really want is the Toyo Open Country R/T – a premium tire that handles exceptionally well off-road and looks aggressive, but is also quiet and long-lasting enough for everyday driving.”
The Q-rated, Load Range E tire is produced at Toyo’s plant in Georgia, and comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Initially the tire will be available in eight sizes, covering 17-, 18- and 20-inch LT-metric and flotation sizes, with diameters ranging from 33 to 37 inches.
On the opposite end of the tire spectrum and slotted as a “luxury touring all-season tire,” the Versado Noir was “designed to stand out in the sea of ‘round and black’ tires” on the market today, according to Toyo.
Replacing the current Versado LX and Versado LX II, the Versado Noir delivers 30% longer tread life than some competitive tires, according to Toyo. A new silica tread compound and asymmetrical tread aids traction, treadlife and fuel efficiency, Toyo claimed, important attributes for its target audience of Lexus, Acura, Cadillac, BMW, Audi and other luxury marque owners.
The all-season Versado Noir comes in September with 47 initial sizes covering 15- to 18-inch wheel diameters. With a 620AA UTQG rating, H-rated sizes will carry a 75,000-mile treadwear warranty, while the V- and W-rated sizes will have a 65,000-mile and 50,000-mile warranty, respectively.