Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J u n e 2 0 1 9 64 F o c u s O n I n d u s t r y B ridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC recently introduced the latest additions to the Firestone Destination family to tire dealers on a drive-and-learn event at the Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth. Both the Destination A/T2 and Destination X/T are on- and off-road, all-weather tires, but they address different vehicle segments. e A/T2 is available in 29 P-metric sizes for trucks and SUVs. e Destination X/T is available in 25 LT sizes for larger trucks and SUVs. When they are launched in August, the A/T2 and X/T will replace the Destination A/T in tandem. e A/T is available in 48 P-metric and LT sizes. Firestone's mud-terrain tire, the Destination M/T 2, was introduced in 2017. at leaves the LE2, introduced in 2012, as the only Destination tire needing a makeover. Bridgestone says it will replace the over-the-highway truck and SUV tire in 2020. Robert Saul, director of consumer and tire product strategy in the U.S. and Canada for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC (BATO), said more factors go into deciding when to replace a tire line than in the past. "We look at our overall average life cycle and the industry's overall average life cycle by segments so that we can see where the cadence is and can predict when we think competitors will come out with new products. en we align that with our technology road maps and try to take an even bigger, over-arching look that includes products across different families." Saul singled out the new Destination A/T2 as an example. "Instead of just looking at the A/T by itself and thinking, 'It's time to replace it, so we best start working on it,' we look at its competitors. en we look (internally) at what's going on with all the other products around it. We ask ourselves, 'How important do you think this one is in terms of the intense competition it is facing versus these other three? Which one do we put first?' We try to sequence the whole portfolio, taking all of this into account rather than looking at each individual program vying for resources independently." Saul said Bridgestone is already thinking five years down the road, and that the next generation Destination family is part of the discussion. DESTINATION A/T2 The new A/T2 is backed by a 55,000-mile limited tread wear warranty versus 50,000 miles for the A/T. e A/T2 features an aggressive shoulder tread pattern, which helps improve off-road handling, and full-depth interlocking 3D sipe technology, which is engineered to provide even wear and consistent performance throughout the life of the tire. In addition, Bridgestone improved water evacuation with an increased surface and see-through void design. e A/T2 will be available in 28 S- and T-rated sizes, broken out as follows: 15-inch (1): P235/75R15. 16-inch (8): ranging from P225/75R16 to P265/70R16. 17-inch (11): ranging from P235/75R17 to P265/65R17. 18-inches (6): ranging from 255/70R18 to P265/60R18. 20-inches (2): P275/60R20 and 275/55R20. ere is also one 22-inch H-rated metric size: 285/45R22. Bridgestone says top fitments for the Destination AT/2 are the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, Chevy Tahoe and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Bob Ulrich By Three down, one to go TURNING OVER THE FIRESTONE DESTINATION LINE WILL BE COMPLETED IN 2020 (Above) Bridgestone's Robert Saul says the Firestone Destina- tion A/T2's aggressive new tread design with stone ejectors and a special tread compound help with traction in gravel and dirt. (Inset) The A/T2 is backed by a 55,000-mile limited tread wear warranty versus 50,000 miles for the A/T.

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