Cooper Tire brand launching with fleet focus
ATLANTA, Ga. – Cooper Tire has announced it’s launching a Cooper-branded tire line, aimed at fleets looking for a low cost of ownership, high-performing tire.
The new tire line will be in addition to Cooper’s Roadmaster brand, which was launched in 2007 with a focus on the replacement tire and trailer OE markets. The company has already developed a Fleet Service National Account program, which will be key in bringing the Cooper-branded tire to the fleet market, said Gary Schroeder, global director, truck and bus tire business for Cooper Tire.
He made the announcement at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual Spring meeting.
“In 2018 and 2019, you will hear a lot about Cooper Tire adding additional products to the Cooper-branded truck tire line,” Schroeder said. “We are targeting this brand to go sell to fleets. We’ve had a tremendous amount of success selling the Roadmaster brand through the wholesale network to a lot of owner-operators and small fleets, but the technology and performance expectations for medium and larger fleets are a little bit different. So, we engineered these tires to focus on those types of fleets. We see this brand moving into the OEM as well.”
To start, the company launched products in all three of the new line’s categories.
Phillip Mosier, manager of commercial tire development for Cooper Tire, said there will be a: Pro Series dedicated to longhaul applications; a Work Series for regional haul and P&D trucks; and Severe Series for mixed service applications.
The first Pro Series tire to be launched is the LHD for longhaul drive applications. It features a deep 30/32nds tread depth. A longhaul steer and trailer tire will follow next year.
The first Work Series tires include: the RHA for regional haul, all-position applications; the RHD for regional haul drive applications; an the RHT for regional haul trailer positions. They’re built with scrub and chip resistance for durability in applications with lots of starts, stops, and turning.
The Severe Series launches with an MSA mixed-service all-position tire. It’s designed with chip and cut resistance in mind, well suited for applications with lots of tire scrubbing.
The Pro and Work Series tires are backed by a warranty that includes free tire replacement if there’s a failure within the first 50% of the tread life. Severe Series tires will be replaced if they are taken out of service within the first 2/32nds of tread depth wear. They are also backed by a seven-year, two retread warranty.
“It shows our expectation of the quality of the tire and the brand,” Schroeder said of the warranty.
The Cooper line will be introduced May 1 in the U.S., through commercial servicing dealers, which will be identified later. The tires will come to the Canadian market this summer. It’s a good time to launch a new tire brand, Schroeder noted.
“I’m very bullish right now on the launch of the brand,” he said. “There’s a very strong market right now. Last year, both OE and replacement demand were up, historically speaking quite high. OE is off to a strong start again (in 2018). There’s also high demand in the fleet and OEM channels so we have some tailwinds from an overall industry perspective.”
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