ATLANTA—The 111-year-old Vredestein brand has had its share of memorable moments and noteworthy achievements since it debuted in the Netherlands in 1909.
A year into its existence, the company—Vredestein Banden—produced its first bicycle tire. In 1912, it manufactured its first passenger car tire, and four decades later, introduced the Profilux, the first Vredestein-designed passenger tire to the market.
Three years after the U.S. landed on the moon, Vredestein rolled out its foldable spare tire, the Space Master, used by sports car maker Porsche and other high-end car marques. A slew of new tires followed in subsequent decades—agriculture and winter tires among them.
But nothing compares with its latest milestone.
Vredestein is taking on North America.
Or more specifically, the brand that already competes in Europe and in India with the big boys—Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental and Pirelli—will be taking them on in North America for its share of the Tier 1 passenger and light truck tire markets.
The premium tire brand, acquired in 2009 by Apollo Tyres Ltd., launched its North American campaign in late August, and it will run through the remainder of 2020, expanding its marketing presence and dealer reach with an array of products designed specifically for the North American consumer.
While Vredestein was present in the U.S. from the 1970s to the early 2000s, this is the first time it will be marketed broadly as an Apollo-owned brand. It's a strategy that has been more than four years in the making, and one that eventually may culminate in the opening of a U.S. manufacturing facility.
"For us, the next step in our growth strategy is the U.S.," Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director of Apollo, told Tire Business.
Kanwar said the Vredestein brand is the perfect product for the tire maker.
"Vredestein is our premium brand. And I really want to play in the premium segment," Kanwar said. "I don't want to play in the mass segment."