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“There is an incredible amount of opportunity in the value level. But with that being said, there are still objections to be aware of from customers about poor quality at the value level and lack of confidence,” said Jared Lynch, Director of Sales – National Accounts (PLT) In Sailun Tire Americas. We want to prove this wrong. We believe the level of value can still deliver quality, trust and support.”
To prove it, Sailun set up a wet slalom track and a dry highway track to test the traction, handling, braking and ride comfort on its tires against a Tier 1 competitor. Sailun outfitted the Honda Accord with its Inspire all-season touring tire and the Honda CR-V with the Terramax H/T, a All-season highway tire for light trucks and SUVs. With the sidewalls of both tires cleaned to not show the brand, participants didn’t know which tires they were driving until after the event. However, the tire maker did not go out to prove that its products are better than Tier 1; Instead, the aim of the event was to show that quality is on par with the most well-known brands at higher levels.
“There was absolutely no difference between one and the other,” said Brian Zeller, owner of Zeller’s Master Tire with two locations in Evansville, Indiana. “This is a huge win that was as much of a level 4 performance as a level 1.”
Zeller said he’s been selling the Sailun for about five years now and is putting it as the value class in his tire stores. “We recommend it for the second or third car in the family when they are asking for a quality tire.”
After tire tests, Russell “Hayes” Morrison of Hayes Tire in Hart County, Georgia, shared the same sentiments with Zeller. “I couldn’t tell a huge difference,” he said. “Sailun is the brand I put on people’s cars when they want a good tire at a good price. I’ll tell them the brand name and they’ll say they’ve never heard of it. I say if they don’t like it, go back and I’ll put new tires on, but they never come back. When they’re ready for their next replacement. , I ask if they liked the tires in the car, and they always say yes.”
Particularly since the pandemic, dealers like these have helped the Tier 4 segment grow. According to data from the US Tire Manufacturers Association, the Tier 4 segment made up about 18% of the replacement tire market last year, which equates to 48 million units, he said. Lynch for the participants. He said over the years, Sailun has invested heavily in research, development and manufacturing to put its product on the map. Recently, the company opened a state-of-the-art and highly automated tire manufacturing facility in Cambodia, which is set to produce 13 million tires annually when it reaches full capacity late this year.
“We’ve been in the industry for 20 years. We’re not an established brand name in the tire industry. But it all comes down to the quality of our production equipment,” says Lynch.
He said that the quality of Sailun starts with the presence of research and development centers in the markets served by the company. The company has three research and development centers around the world, and it recently opened a research and development center in Tennessee, specifically to meet the needs of the North American market. In addition, the company officially established a North American business office in Toronto, Canada last year.
“We want to make sure we understand this market better than anyone else,” Lynch says.
“This allows us to focus on the North American market and our North American consumers and give them the support they need,” says Mark Pereira, Vice President of Marketing. “The difference now is that we have a division with North American employees that is solely focused on developing products exclusively for the North American market.”
While riding and driving, Sailun employees gave dealers a sneak peek at the tires the company is working on and will be releasing within the coming years—its crown jewel is its Erange EV tire. The Erange EV uses Sailun Ecopoint 3’s proprietary liquid-phase mixing technology, which allows for better rolling resistance and long-lasting life, says Lynch.
Production for the tire, which will come in 32 sizes and cover 80% of the electric and hybrid vehicle market, will begin in the third quarter of this year and be available to order around the end of the year.
For more information about this tire technology and its importance to the Sailun brand, click here.
Other tires the company is working on specifically for the North American market include the Terramax HLT-C, an all-season light truck, and SUV tires that cover 97% of the last-mile delivery segment in seven sizes. This pattern is based on the company’s Terramax HLT, Lynch said, with improvements to its tread pattern to reduce road noise, traction and handling as well as increase the tire’s weight-bearing capabilities.
“It is no surprise that e-commerce continues to build,” Lynch said, noting that the US census expects it to exceed $1 trillion in 2022.[Tires for last-mile delivery vehicles] It takes unique load ranges and frame sizes.”
Next up, Lynch reviewed the SH408, an all-season tire that has an opening price point and promises traction in wet, snow and ice. The tire is slated to come in 56 sizes ranging from 13 to 18 inches. Production is scheduled to begin in September on the tire and be available to dealers to order in January.
Finally, Lynch revealed that the company is working on a rugged terrain tire with a Terramax R/T, which will come with mountain snowflake certification with three peaks. Featuring a strong tread pattern, the R/T will come in 32 sizes with 10 sizes in the F-load range.
“We know that upcoming electrified trucks of the future will be heavier and need higher load ratings, so we are beating them by incorporating 12-class load ratings and sizes we expect these vehicles to use.”