- The weather is not conducive to an energetic personality. Lemme just vibe with it for just a quick, hot minute. I think I'm gonna have some coffee, that's what I should do. Hey Mario, can you stop laughing in there? We're trying to film a video. Thank you. (laughs) Hey guys, what's going on? It's Alex from Fitment Industries, and today we're gonna be talking to you about the brand that you remember a couple months ago that we did a video on, and then you probably forgot about, and now we're talking about it again so that you remember that they exist. We're gonna talk to you about five things you probably didn't know about Nitto Tires. So before we get into it, don't forget to subscribe and of course, check out fitmentindustries.com if you want all the goodies. But, you don't actually have to check out, I mean you can check out the website, but really what we're trying to push is like 100,000 subscribers and then like our Instagram, which is like @fitmentindustries.com, so, you know if you guys are more about the IG instead of the website, I mean that's cool too. We'll put some respect on it, and we'll let you go there instead. But, we're gonna talk about five things you didn't know about Nitto Tires. Jumping into number one, the first thing that you probably didn't know about Nitto Tires is they had one hell of a time actually getting to where they are today. Their history as a brand started out with nothing more than problems and inventory issues and management issues and expansion problems and damn near anything close-sure to a bankruptcy, everything about Nitto back in the day was actually very, very difficult, even with Toyo coming on board with the partnership. Nitto really had a tough time trying to stay afloat, and at one point had way more inventory than they had in annual revenue, which almost made them ultimately shut down, which if you think about it now in today's day and age you wouldn't have assumed that Nitto was in a place like that.
But because of the fact that they made a couple little, just kind of twerks in terms of what they were planning on doing with their business model, is why they actually still exist today, but back in the day Nitto was not really a top dog, it wasn't even close to top dog. It actually probably wasn't even a dog, it was probably the worm that came out during the rain storm, and you knew it was gonna get dry later in the day and you knew he just wasn't gonna make it because he was in the middle of the blacktop and you almost felt bad for him, and then ultimately, you know, he made it to the grass which is a really weird analogy now that I'm saying it out loud. Anyway, we'll go into the second thing that you probably didn't know about Nitto Tires. The second thing you probably didn't know about Nitto Tires, really kind of saved as an entity by a group of very, very small individuals. And you may know this name already but Tomo Mizutani was the one that essentially coined the team that got Nitto back up on its feet within a short period of time. And with the help of Hiroki Ichiki, with being the person to talk to Tomo in regards to what people were doing, Tomo and his team were ultimately the ones that really started to get the ball rolling back with Nitto. Now you have to remember is... (splutters) Hi-hiro-aki, Hiroki, Hiroaki, Hiroki, Hiroki, Hiroki, Hero-aki. The thing that you have to remember is with Hiroki, is that he was able to help Tomo and his team because they were essentially a shop, and people were talking with the shop as to what they needed for tires, and ultimately the Tuner scene at the time just needed wider tires. They were tires that just weren't being provided for that group of enthusiasts at the time, and really when you have nothing else to really live for the fact that you really only had like three months to come up with something before Nitto was gonna get axed, Tomo and his team began to develop tires for that specific need because he took their advice. Three years later, they rolled the tires into the shop and ultimately had a loyal customer.
They were excited, they had no idea who the brand was and frankly they really didn't give, you know, a damn about the fact of who was on the tire more than the fact that it was just a tire that got the job done. It was in the sizing that they needed and it was with the style that they wanted, too, and that's where Tomo and his team ultimately got the ambition to further push the Nitto brand into what we know today. So, the third that you probably didn't know about Nitto, is that a lot of the success of Nitto as a brand actually comes from their truck side of things, in terms of tires, not the car side of things. Now I know us car guys like to think that we are the bomb.com, that we are like the center of attention, the world is flat and we're in the middle and we're the best, but ultimately a lot of the reason that Nitto is where they are is, well... Trucks. Because, trucks as a growing market, especially in the domestic, in the United States of America trucks are just taking over the world. You go to SEMA, everything is about trucks now, it's just the way that it's been, if you go to SEMA you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you really think about it, a lot of the different factories and different departments that makes and manufactures and all that sort of stuff are switching to strictly making trucks, because that's really the only market that they can dominate in. And, besides, you know, your dad, everybody else that pretty much is an older gentleman seems to want to buy a truck versus having some sort of lowered car that has performance. I mean, sorry, guys, that's just how it is. So, Nitto was essentially supplying these guys with tires as well, and went into the mall crawler meets and asked people what they wanted for their wide truck wheels, and of course, there was no tire sizes that came out in their size. So, Nitto went back to the drawing board, made those wheels, essentially, you know they have the ridge grappler, you have the trail grappler, you have the mud grappler, you have the dune grappler and everything in between, depending on if they were going to the mall, if they were going off-road, if they were going in the mud, if they were going on the trail, get it? Or, if they were just driving around town, which is pretty much what the ridge grappler is meant, not really meant for, but it's like what people actually, you know, like they actually use it for.
It's like when kids buy pairs of like Supreme stuff, like you're supposed to wear clothing and they don't wear it, they just like own it to look at it. It's kind of like that, the ridge grappler is meant, it looks a certain way with the function, but people just like the way it looks. And, ultimately, the ridge grappler is like the iconic tire wheel, it is the wheel or it's the tire that you put on almost every single wheel for a truck. It's just, it's the most popular thing over at Custom Offsets, it's the most popular truck tire that a lot of people run, and it's one that we see almost every single day. So, with the market, and just they way things work out, Nitto has really got solidified because of the fact that Nitto makes really good truck tires, not just car tires. The fourth thing that you didn't know about Nitto, is that they're probably the closest brand that we have in terms of it being you as a car enthusiast that will actually listen to you. So, if you didn't know, if you go onto different websites and things like that it's actually pretty hard to get ahold of people, especially in today's day and age. If you have Charter for your network or internet company, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's just impossible to get in contact with certain companies, because they don't want you to reach out to them, they just don't want you to talk to them at all, they just want you to buy their products and hope that you just never really have a problem with them. Nitto's really interesting because since they essentially rebounded off of the people that helped them figure out what they wanted to make and sell, they actually make it very, very easy to get ahold of them, and they want your feedback. They want the feedback of race car enthusiasts, and autocross enthusiasts, and track day enthusiasts, and car show enthusiasts. They want the feedback of all of those people. In fact, a lot of the wheels tire designs that Nitto came out with at the time, the Nitto Invo was actually based on a competition for looks and performance. I mean, they're just a brand that actually encourages people to reach out to them and talk to them, and it's a pretty cool thing considering how big Nitto is, and the fact that they are partnered with Toyo makes it even more interesting. We've chosen the fifth and final thing that you probably didn't know about Nitto. Now when we say that Nitto is a tire for the enthusiast, it is a drastic understatement. I mean, the entire story of Nitto as a brand, which if you want to watch the full video, you can actually go and check it out above where we talk about the whole history of the brand, but they are a brand that started from the bottom and got to where they are now with nothing more than dedication and hard work and relying on the people that were actually going to buy their products and listen to them, which at the end of the day, Nitto realized were car enthusiasts, and truck enthusiasts.
They weren't commercial biased truck tires, they weren't semi-truck drivers or bus drivers, or anything like that. What they realized is that if there was a market that they were gonna hit, it was gonna be the after-market folk like you and me. And everything that they come out with, especially in terms of different tires, like the Nitto Neo Jen, the Invo, things like that, they make because enthusiasts want those tires, they don't just make them because they
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