Titan International Inc. is phasing out the Kelly farm tire brand in favor of investing in its Goodyear and Titan lines.
Jeff Vasichek, Titan vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed the phase-out should be completed by year-end. Kelly ``doesn't fit the brand portfolio'' and would give Titan duplication of lines it already offers with the Titan and Goodyear brands, he said.
``We have a complete line with Titan and Goodyear, so we'll still have the full complement of products,'' he said.
The Quincy-based tire and wheel maker doesn't expect any loss of sales from the discontinuation of Kelly, according to Vasichek, but instead expects a sales boost from the Titan and Goodyear brands, both of which have original equipment fitments that Kelly lacked.
Titan purchased Goodyear's North American farm tire business late last year for $100 million, including a licensing deal for Titan to pay a royalty to make and sell Goodyear and Kelly farm tires in North America.
Although Vasichek said Titan had ``made it clear'' that it would exit the Kelly line by year-end, Ron Thrasher, vice president of Quapaw, Okla.-based Burggraf Tire Co., said Goodyear began phasing out Kelly-brand farm tires even before Titan bought Goodyear's ag tire unit.
The discontinuation of the Kelly farm brand is not a big deal for Burggraf Tire's business as the wholesaler has had limited offerings in farm tires and is now buying most of its product from TBC Corp., he said.
Kelly, however, did comprise 15-20 percent of ag tire purchases for Lake Odessa, Mich.-based Jerry's Tire & Auto Service, said President Mark Carpenter.