Modern Tire Dealer

MAR 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 23 of 77

W i n t e r T i r e s M T D M a r c h 2 0 1 9 22 1. summer, a tire that doesn't have an M+S symbol and is especially designed for summertime use; 2. all-season, which does not feature the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol; 3. all-weather, an all-season tire with the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol and marketed for year-round use; and 4. winter, or tires that feature the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake and are marketed for use in the winter season only. Maher says there are three types of dedicated winter tires. "ere's studdable winter tires, which have holes for studs in them. Some actually have studs already in, while some get studs installed by dealers. "en you have what's commonly termed a performance winter tire. Performance winter tires are sometimes referred to as middle-European tires. ey have a heavy focus on wet traction, not as much on snow and ice. "And then you have studless winter tires, which are also called Nordic or so compound winter tires." Maher says Continental's new Viking- Contact 7 falls into the studless category. "e best overall performer is a studless tire. Not quite as good as a studded tire on ice, but it's still the better overall performer." LATEST AND GREATEST Four tire companies have introduced dedicated winter tires since the beginning of the year: Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC (Blizzak WS90, see page 24), Nokian Tires Plc (Hakkapelliitta LT3, see page 26), Continental (VikingContact 7, see page 27) and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (WinterCommand, see page 58). It's actually five if you count Goodyear's Kelly WinterAccess. ■ which includes branding the symbol onto the sidewall. In the last 10 years, USTMA and its members have helped define winter tires more accurately. Joe Maher, product manager for Continental Tire the Americas LLC's passenger and winter tires in the U.S., says the overall tire market is divided into four classifications: ey have evolved so much that the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol isn't synony- mous with what the manufacturers refer to as winter tires. When the Canadian Province of Quebec made driving on winter tires mandatory during the 2008-2009 winter season, the tires only were required to meet the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake performance standards, Goodyear's new WinterCommand is a dedicated studdable winter tire. It replaces the Ultra Grip Winter.

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