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Nexen extends Roadian mud-terrain line with flotation versions

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — Nexen Tire America Inc. is ramping up the scope of its entrée into the mud terrain tire sector, adding 33-, 35- and 37-inch flotation versions of the Roadian MTX Mud Terrain Xtreme that debuted at last year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA).

The addition of 14 flotation sizes complement the product’s already expansive SKU portfolio, which now comprises 35 sizes covering 15-, 16-,17-, 18-, 20- and 22-inch rim diameter sizes, ranging from 33X12.50R15 to 33X12.50R22.

Nexen launched the Roadian MTX last fall after a three-plus-year development period in an effort to break into what it deems the “largest-growing” segment of the North American aftermarket.

Among the key attributes that Nexen feels set the tire apart are: 3-ply sidewall protection; “burly” tread lugs for maximum grip, traction and control; optimized tread block positions for reduced on-road noise generation; F load-carrying capacity on all flotation sizes and maximum air pressure of 80 psi for increased towing capacity; and reinforced rubber tread belt for load-bearing durability.

Nexen also considered consumer feedback for this segment and developed the tire with two distinct sidewall designs — referred to as “Beast” and “Machine” with claw and Transformer-like motifs, respectively.

Designed strictly for the North American market, the MTX is the fifth tire in Nexen’s Roadian lineup, which also includes the Roadian HP street sport truck all season, Roadian HTX RH5 highway terrain, Roadian AT Pro RA8 all-terrain and Roadian CT8 HL commercial van/light truck tires.

Tire Business photo by Bruce Davis Jeeps fitted with Nexen’s Roadian MTX tire make their way up a hillside in the San Bernadino Forest near Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Hoping to gain traction for the product with serious off-roaders, Nexen is working with Jeep owners’ clubs in California to support off-roading in the state. In the San Bernadino Forest near Big Bear Lake, for example, Nexen has adopted 14 off-road trails and is working with off-roading enthusiasts to help with upkeep for the trails.

Nexen invited several key customers and a few selected media this week to test the tires on the Gold Mountain Jeep Trail and help promote the availability of the expanded size range.

The decision to launch a mud-terrain tire that could challenge the established leaders in the sector came in response to customer requests for a value-priced product, according to Kyle Roberts, senior director of marketing.

“Off-road enthusiasts make up the largest-growing segment in the auto industry,” Mr. Roberts said. “Rather than throw a tire out there in the market to fend for itself, we decided to engineer a tire that provides customers with options for customization.”

As such, Nexen is pricing the MTX within 10-20 percent of the market leaders, like the Toyo Open Country M/T, BFGoodrich T/A KO2 or Falken WildPeak M/T, said John Hagan, executive vice president, sales. The MTX’s manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing starts at $205, Nexen said.

Matt Seaburn, president of Rent-A-Wheel/Rent-A-Tire, concurred, saying his company needed a good, value-priced product for this segment, while also noting that “Nexen gets it right” in the appearance department with the distinctive sidewall designs.

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