http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/2017...-and-popularity some excerpts:
The current trend for light truck wheels is "bigger and bigger and bigger," said Nick Chin, director for American Force Wheels. "Everybody's going bigger. Everybody's going wider." Miami-based American Force and Ontario, Calif.-based The Wheel Group have been increasing LT wheel production to meet the growing demand. He surmised that the LT wheel demand is due to the popularity of light trucks in the U.S. Unlike the Canadian market, where light trucks primarily are used as work vehicles, the U.S. market has embraced light trucks as family vehicles. "I think first and foremost, trucks have become not necessarily a work vehicle any longer. They've become very plush. The interiors are much nicer, they are smoother riding vehicles, they're more family-friendly than they've ever been. So I think that's a piece of it," he said. The Wheel Group builds an array of wheels, from trailer to heavy truck sizes. Light truck wheel business is about 65 percent of overall sales, Mr. Podlovits said, with a "tremendous increase" in LT wheel sales over the past few years. The regions of the country driving the aftermarket LT wheels popularity is the Sunbelt region, from California to Florida, and the so-called Bible Belt of southeastern states, according to Mr. Chin. The demand for bigger wheels is expected to continue for the next few years, Mr. Chin predicted. Mr. Podlovits said his company focuses on safety as well as fitment with the larger wheels. "The payload is increasing literally every single year on some of these (vehicles). We really try to stay above the curve on that. One of the key factors that we always look at is the load rating on the wheel. "Traditionally a load rating has always been tested by using an OEM tire, which is what the specification calls for. We test on a 37-inch tire, which will achieve a higher load rating beyond what most vehicles will actually use."