ERJ staff report (TB)
Essen, Germany – Atturo Tire Corp. is bringing to market an affordable run-flat for SUVs and Crossovers that it developed together with the manufacturer Federal Corp. of Taiwan, reported Tire Business.
The AZ850 SUV line will launch later this summer in four run-flat sizes, designated RFT, and 15 sizes in all in 18- to 22-inch rim diameters, Mike Mathis, vice president of Lake Villa, Ill.-based Atturo, said at last week’s Reifen trade show in Essen.
Mathis described the AZ850 as Atturo’s price-point-sensitive solution to the increasing power and handling demands of the SUV/Crossover vehicle market. The AZ850 will deliver dealers a 35- to 40-percent pricing advantage over alternative offerings from the major tire manufacturers, he said, while offering comparable performance in both wet and dry handling and comfort.
The launch of the AZ850 RFT puts Atturo in an elite group of companies offering a run-flat for SUVs. Among the others with OE run-flat offerings are Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Michelin and Pirelli.
The tire is exclusive to Atturo as Federal does not offer a similar product under its own brand. Federal and Atturo have worked together since Atturo was founded in 2009.
Federal Chairman Jamie Ma called his company’s relationship with Atturo a “genuine partnership,” where Atturo comes to Federal with very specific design ideas and timetables.
“It’s a bit like ordering a steak,” Ma said. “Some customers will order from the menu. Atturo is very specific about how it should be prepared and seasoned.”
The initial AZ850 RFT sizes are 255/50R19, 285/45R19, 275/40R20 and 315/35R20, Mathis said, with at least two additional sizes foreseen before year-end. The tire offers an asymmetric tread pattern to help distribute pressure across the contact surface and is rated to run at zero pressure for 50 miles at 50 mph (80 km at 80 km/h).
As for launching the run-flat at a trade show in Germany, Mathis said that Europe is the largest market for run-flat tires and the smaller SUV/Crossover market is the fastest-growing vehicle segment.
By offering an affordable run-flat for SUVs, Atturo is hoping to reach drivers who typically replace their OE run-flats with conventional tires due to the high cost, Mathis said, as well as give other car owners the opportunity to consider upgrading to a run-flat to take advantage of the safety aspects offered by a run-flat.
Technically the tire features high-tensile steel belts and a jointless nylon overlay for high-speed stability and a casing construction designed to distribute pressures evenly during run-flat operation. Atturo and Federal designed the tire from the ground up to be a run-flat, he added.
The debut of the AZ850 broadens Atturo’s product range to five models; the others are two high-performance models (AZ800 and 600) and two SUV/light truck lines (Trail Blade M/T and A/T), the latter produced for Atturo by Deestone Radial Tyre of Thailand.
The launch of the AZ850 line coincides with Atturo’s decision to get involved in racing, where it is sponsoring a team in Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and being a contingency sponsor for the full Lucas Oil Off Road professional and regional race series. Atturo is backing and equipping Hunter Racing drivers Eric Hunter and Ronnie Faisst in Pro Lite class.