Superior Tire marks 50 years

Superior Tire & Rubber Corp. in Warren is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The company’s technical excellence has created competitive advantages for many of the world’s largest original equipment manufacturers in the material handling, road construction, road and floor maintenance, agriculture, and infrastructure markets.

The company also serves the aftermarket with material handling and agricultural specialty tires through distribution locations in Chicago and Los Angeles for its well-known brands.

Superior Tire & Rubber Corp. was founded as a tire retailer, re-capper, and molder of solid industrial rubber tires. In 1974, Henri LeMeur Sr. purchased the company and refocused the strategy as a manufacturer of specialty industrial tires.

One of its earliest successes was designing tires for floor scrubbers and sweepers where wet traction, chemical resistance, and high load carry capability necessitated the need for specialty compounds.

Today, Superior Tire has two manufacturing facilities, a technical center, and a third manufacturing facility in the planning stages. All of this is to support a new product development effort that generates 200 new products per year incorporating both high performance polyurethane and rubber compounds, some of which are based on new patents.

Henri LeMeur Jr., who became president and CEO in 1994, said that none of the success that the company has built would be possible without the energy and enthusiasm of a great group of employees.

“Every product challenge I have thrown at our team has succeeded in time,” LeMeur said.

Today Superior Tire & Rubber Corp. is a mid-sized company in diverse markets where product managers have the technical and manufacturing resources to build dominant positions in market niches. While the company is privately controlled by the LeMeur family, key employees who have committed their career to Superior and have made unique contributions have had the opportunity to become shareholders.

Located in the heart of Marcellus Shale country, Superior Tire is surrounded by business optimism. However, the company’s future could be even brighter. The company grew through the out-sourcing era from 1994 through 2004 when most competitors and many customers moved production to China and the “China price” became everything. During this period “we lost our number one customer four different times, which includes one situation when we even “won” a customer’s reverse auction,” LeMeur said.

Since then, Superior Tire’s sales have more than doubled, and the company has been able to attract a talented core of young professionals committed to the rubber and polyurethane industry. Today, with the right people, state of the art equipment, a strong capital structure, recognized brands, and innovative products, Superior Tire & Rubber Corp. is confident its growth will accelerate through the end of the decade.