Keeping 'up to speed' on a vibrant market
Billions of dollars in sales hinge on performance tire marketing every year. It's easy to see why. Performance tires, liberally defined as at least S-rated and higher in sizes 70-series and lower, accounted for approximately one third of all passenger tires shipped in 1993.
In the replacement end, that totals more than 56 million tires.
Tire manufacturers are making some dramatic moves as the competition for more high performance market share heats up.
And more than automobiles are affected. Five speed-rated light truck tires, designed for on-road use, were introduced last year, the latest from a private brand tire marketer. "The vehicles and usage are changing, making it permissible to use speed ratings," says Rick Brennan, manager, consumer products, Yokohama Tire Corp.
Keeping abreast of market trends such as these can help bring your bottom line up to speed.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the high performance tire leader in terms of market share, is hoping its success with the Aquatred will carry over into the high performance market.
It's new Eagle Aquatred, a dual aquachannel high performance tire, will be available in April.
Before then, however, a Super Bowl commercial will whet the public's appetite.
"The Aquatred and Eagle Aquatred are two completely different tires, but we hope that sharing names and using aquachannels will convey Aquatred's wet-traction message to performance tire buyers of Eagle Aquatred," says Barry Robbins, vice president of marketing.
Campaigns from Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. (BFS) are headed in opposite directions.
Pirelli, after a nine-year performance image campaign focusing on performance cars, is taking a different approach this year.
A Pirelli spokesman says the campaign will be more product specific, focusing on not only the high performance market, but also the all-season performance market.
In contrast, BFS is emphasizing brand awareness over specific tire lines. The company's return to IndyCar racing in 1995 is an example of its commitment to this approach.
Most plans revolve around new performance …