Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 71 of 85

M T D A p r i l 2 0 1 9 70 F o c u s O n I n d u s t r y C ontinental Tire the Americas LLC did not have a tire in the highway terrain segment. It does now. It did not have a size portfolio that covered 84% of the pickup trucks, crossover vehicles and SUVs on the roads today. It does now. And it did not have a tire targeting police departments and law enforcement agencies. It does now. "is is all about creating opportunities for you guys to sell our product," said Joe Maher, product manager for passenger and winter tires in the U.S., at the 2019 Continental Gold Dealer Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. In all, he introduced four tires to the record 375 Gold dealers attending the annual event. ree were Continental lines. One was a new General G-Max family member. PICKUPS, SUVS AND CUVS e new Continental TerrainContact H/T is the company's first highway terrain tire. e tire features TractionPlus+ Technology, which Maher says gives the tire "robust" durability and excellent wet performance, and the driver a quiet ride. It also has full-depth, interlocking sipes that provide stable handling and braking under heavy loads, and all-season grip throughout the life of the tire. e TerrainContact H/T will be available in 34 sizes focusing on pickup trucks and full-size SUVs. ey break out as follows: • 24 metric sizes from 16 to 22 inches; • 10 LT metric sizes, LRE, from 17 to 20 inches. Continental backs the tire with a 70,000-mile limited tread wear warranty (60,000 miles for the LT sizes). It has UTQG ratings of 800/A/B for T-rated and under sizes, and 720/A/A for the H-rated sizes. Direct competitors of the tire include the Michelin Defender LTX M/S; Bridgestone Dueler H/T D684 II and Dueler H/T D685; and the Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude H/T. When Maher told attendees the new CrossContact LX25 was replacing the popular CrossContact LX20, he was quick to promote how the replacement-only LX25 shared the LX20's good attributes — like the Tuned Performance Indicators — and highlight the improvements, such as mileage and wet traction. Continental's latest technology was used in the development of the LX25. Comfort Ride Technology gives the tire a smooth, comfortable ride without sacrificing responsiveness. EcoPlus+ Technology not only helps the tire stop shorter on wet surfaces, but also extends its tread life and saves on fuel. And traction grooves help the tire grip in snow. e LX25 will be officially launched in July in 41 sizes focusing Bob Ulrich By Filling in the gaps CONTINENTAL GIVES ITS DEALERS MORE OPPORTUNITIES Gold dealer David Little, co-owner of Little Tire Co. Inc. in Fredericksburg, Va., talks with Brian McNamee, vice president of client development for Synchrony Financial Car Care. "Obviously 2018 was a year of a lot of big headlines." That is how Bill Caldwell, vice presi- dent of sales and marketing for Continental Tire the Americas LLC, led off the 2019 Continen- tal Gold Dealer Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. "There have been lot of an- nouncements over the last year about manufacturers getting into distribution, manu- facturers changing up their distribution strategy, and you haven't hear a lot from us," he told the dealers in attendance. "We're going to continue to use the path that's been suc- cessful for us — and that is to give dealers options in terms of what distributors they want to get our product from." Caldwell said Continental will continue to "closely part- ner with strong distributors who support our brands and support dealers who want to sell our brands in the right way." H e s e e s n o r e a s o n t o "change that horse" right now, he said. "We know we do good (work)… we build tires and develop tires and design tires and we market tires. And we know what you do well, and that's sell them to consumers. So our plan of attack going forward is to re- main not a competitor of yours, but a partner of yours." And the audience gave Caldwell a round of applause. — Bob Ulrich Taking the path of least resistance Caldwell says Continental will continue to do what it does best "We have… really great distributors that support us," said Caldwell, "and we want to make sure they are suc- cessful as well."

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