DETROIT—Michelin North America Inc. is consolidating several passenger and light truck tire lines under two family names, Premier and Defender, respectively, to reduce confusion in the marketplace for both dealers and consumers.
Coinciding with this effort, Greenville, S.C.–based Michelin is launching two tires in these lines: Premier LTX for CUVs, SUVs and light trucks and Defender LTX M/S for light trucks and SUVs.
The Premier LTX eventually will replace the Latitude Tour T and the Latitude Tour HP, said Stephen Peters, brand category manager, light truck tire division, for Michelin, who was interviewed earlier this year in Detroit during the 50th anniversary celebration of the giant Uniroyal Tire icon alongside 1-94 in Allen Park, Mich.
The Premier LTX also will become a go-to line for the tire maker for original equipment.
As for the Defender LTX M/S, it will replace the AS, LTX M/S2 and LTX M/S, Peters said. The tire is the second product in the Defender family, the first being the 90,000-mile Defender passenger radial launched in early 2012 as a replacement for the firm's HydroEdge and Harmony lines.
“Really what we are doing with the Premier family and the Defender family is we want to have something that directly appeals to the safety need and that also has something still that goes directly to the treadlife need,” he said.
In studies conducted by Michelin, consumers identified both attributes—safety and treadlife—as primary concerns.
The tire maker launched the Premier LTX in June in 24 sizes and will add another 10 sizes by year-end. In all, the line will consist of 47 sizes, with the remaining SKUs available in April 2016.
The Premier LTX is the light truck/SUV version of Michelin's tire line featuring its EverGrip emerging-tread technology.
Because Premier spans almost the entire passenger and light truck market from winter products to ultra-high performance, the line will cover half of the market, Peters said, meaning “virtually one out of every two cars out there right now has the option for Premier.”