Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Advertorial • Chrysler Pacifica • Fiat 500 L • Fiat 500 X • Ram 1500 (2019) • Ram 3500 • Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City • Kia Optima • Kia Forte • Kia Rio • Hyundai Elantra • Hyundai Santa Fe • Hyundai Tucson • Porsche Macan OE fitments in North America Four automakers source the Nexen Tire brand for their vehicles sold in North America. All models are current production, unless otherwise indicated. company's OE presence in the U.S. has grown rapidly. Nexen went from zero OE business in the U.S in 2012 to selling 2.8 million OE tires in 2017. Projections call for 3.2 million Nexen tires to be fied on new vehicles in the U.S. in 2018 and 3.5 million in 2019. Nexen Tire is one of a select group of tire manufacturers fiing tires on new vehicles in the U.S. e Nexen Tire brand is original equipment on 30 models by four automakers. Outside of the U.S., 123 models by 12 automakers roll on Nexen tires. Nexen Tire has been a strategic partner with Fiat Chrysler's Ram brand since 2012. e company has OE fitments on nearly all Ram vehicles. One of the newest is the 2019 Ram 1500, which will be fied with Roadian HTX RH5 tires in size 275/55R20. "We were awarded the number one market share for OE on that particular size because we outperformed our main competi- tors that have shares of that particular fitment," says Jessy Kim, chief branch officer at Nexen Tire's office in Detroit, Mich. "For Nexen to get on that particular fitment is a testament to how well-perceived our product is from FCA's perspective." Partners to the OEs Proving engineering and technical capabilities is one aspect of gaining original equipment business. Responsiveness is another. e company typically performs additional tests, develops a particular aribute, generates more test data and may even complete a demonstration project to show its response speed as well as technical know-how. e goal is to show that Nexen Tire can be a significant partner to an OEM. "We pride ourselves in how quickly we can turn around our customers' requests for data, testing or tire builds. We highlight the customer service aspect of our business when we approach an automaker," says Kim. OE business and replacement tire sales go hand-in-hand. "Nexen Tire makes tires that are approved by OEMs. We're not just one of the hundreds of different tire suppliers making tires for the replacement market," says Kim. "We can meet the most stringent criteria for tire performance on OE tires and apply that to the replacement market." Consistent quality If there's one thing Kim wishes tire dealers knew about Nexen Tire, it's the brand's high rankings in initial quality surveys of new vehicles. He notes that Nexen has performed very well in customer satisfaction surveys in the last several years in both the U.S. and China. Kim aributes the company's world-class quality to its manu- facturing processes. "e plants are all state of the art and highly automated so we're able to produce very repeatable, very robust high-quality tires on a very consistent basis." Focused on the U.S. market Nexen Tire is one of 12 companies supplying OE tires to U.S. automakers. e company's tire technology center near Akron, Ohio, develops and designs all of Nexen's OE tires for U.S. vehicle manufacturers for the North American market. e tech center also is responsible for designing light truck and sport utility vehicle replacement tires for North America. Nexen Tire has outgrown the tech center, which opened in 2008. Construction of a 44,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to be complete by November 2018. e $7 million project includes offices, lab, testing machines and a warehouse, according to Don Lee, director of technology. e new facility will allow Nexen to expand the scope of the tech center. "Eventually we will be responsible for all OE and replacement product lines in the next few years in North, South and Latin America," says Lee. e tech center developed OE tires for the Chrysler Pacifica as well as Nexen Tire's first mud-terrain and off-road replacement tire. e new Roadian MTX Mud Terrain Xtreme marks Nexen's entry into the hardcore off-road market. Nexen Tire says that many are already calling the MTX a masterpiece of both design and function with dual "Beast" and "Machine" sidewalls, superior handling on mud terrain, exceptional traction for rock crawling, consistent performance on loose gravel and exceptionally quiet performance on the highway. e look of the sidewalls was inspired by the Transformers and This artist's rendering shows Nexen's $7 million North Ameri- can Technical Center near Akron, Ohio, which is scheduled to open in November 2018.

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