SAN ANTONIO—Sailun Tire Americas is rolling out its RoadX associate brand to the U.S. market, initially through a preferred distribution agreement with the Independent Tire Dealers Group (ITDG).
The rollout comes a few months after Sailun Group initiated commercial-scale production at the firm's newest factory, in Svay Rieng, Cambodia, said Christine Rouleau, director of sales channel development, at the ITDG 2023 shareholders meeting held recently in San Antonio.
While STA's distribution agreement with the ITDG isn't exclusive, it will be nearly so, considering the ITDG's growing distribution footprint—now covering 45 states and counting—and the strong interest expressed by ITDG members in the potential of having a proprietary brand.
The RoadX brand has existed for several years already in Canada, where Kal Tire is the exclusive distributor, Rouleau said. The brand has been in circulation there since Canada has comparatively low import duties on tires produced in China.
The product portfolio for the U.S. market has been under development for nearly four years and has benefited from the opening of STA's research and development center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The timing of the U.S. rollout coincides with the ramping up of production capacity at the Cambodian plant.