Continental Tire Introduces New Products at GOLD Dealer Meeting

Continental Tire Introduces New Products at GOLD Dealer Meeting

Company leadership also detailed updates to marketing and incentive programs.

Continental Tire debuted details on several upcoming new Continental Tire and General Tire products during this year’s GOLD dealer meeting held this week in Los Cabos, Mexico. Three products were discussed on the Continental side as well as three on the General side.

TrueContact Tour 54 – The TrueContact Tour 54 is an all-season tire with a planned August 2024 release in 60 sizes ranging from 15- to 20 in. The tire will replace its TrueContact Tour predecessor as well as the company’s PureContact LS luxury, all-season touring tire to help remove inventory and SKU complexities.

“In some cases, you had overlaps with sizes, and while both products were great, there was always this question: ‘Which one should I sell?’ In this case, we wanted to keep things simple,” said Andrew Hyland, Continental product manager for LT 4×4 on-road. “This is a combination to improve on tread life, which is a requirement for you and from the consumer, while still maintaining or exceeding wet braking, wet handling and dry handling with an improved focus on snow.”

The tire was designed with a symmetrical tread pattern design and a more sleek, modern look on the sidewall, Hyland said. The tire also features Continental’s EcoPlus compounding technology and is engineered to provide extended tread life without compromising on grip. It features the company’s alignment verification system indicators, visual signals located in the tire tread that reveal the tire’s performance level as well as if the tires are wearing evenly.

The tire will also be the first Continental Tire in the company’s U.S. replacement line with an “EV-Ready” logo stamped into the sidewall.

T and H speed-rated TrueContact Tour 54 tires will have an 80,000-mile warranty and V speed-rated tires will have a 70,000-mile warranty.

VanContact A/S Ultra – Continental’s VanContact A/S Ultra all-weather tire is designed as a replacement tire for cargo van applications, available in three sizes. Hyland referred to the tire as a “refresher” of the company’s Van Contact A/S product.

“This is a global product, and the key here was to make improvements against he the current VanContact line with the three ‘Ws,’” he said. “We wanted to improve wet, improve winter, and improve in wear.”

The VanContact A/S Ultra’s construction features a brick-like design on the sidewall and is tailored to withstand the heavy loads and rigorous conditions typical of cargo van usage, Hyland said. The tire is also designed to minimize rolling resistance, a key factor for fleets aiming to reduce fuel costs.

ProContact TX 10 – Currently, Continental’s ProContact line of tires includes the ​​TX all-season touring tire designed for sporty performance and balanced year-round traction for passenger cars and crossovers; the GX luxury touring all-season tire designed for comfort and great fuel efficiency for high-performance coupes and sedans; and the RX, a luxury, all-season touring tire designed for passenger cars and crossovers.

This year the company plans to debut the ProContact TX 10, which will be OE on the Volkswagen ID. Buzz.

The ProContact TX 10 features an asymmetrical tread pattern (as opposed to the ProContact TX’s symmetrical tread pattern), which Hyland said will help the tire meet the OE requirements of lowering road noise and rolling resistance. 

“The key thing on the replacement side is that we can’t sacrifice or lose any capabilities,” Hyland said. “We need to still maintain what we had before [with the ProContact TX], but also now have this improvement based on the OE requirements.”

G-Max AS-07 – The company also showed off products from General Tire, including a refreshed G-Max AS-07 all-season UHP tire for passenger cars, crossovers, light trucks and SUVs in 77 sizes. Similar to the case with Continental’s TrueContact Tour 54, the General G-Max AS-07 is intended to become a replacement for General’s existing G-Max AS-05 and Grabber UHP tires.

“The idea is to make this a power line, replacing the AS-05 and the Grabber UHP,” Hyland said. “Less complexity, same if not better coverage, and only one tire that you’ll have to stock. The mileage warranty remains the same and tread life remains the same as well.”

Hyland said that compared to the AS-05, the AS-07 features 10% improved wet braking, 4% improved dry braking, and 17% improved snow performance. He described the styling of the AS-07 as “evolutionary and modernizing of the pattern of the AS-05.” The tire maintains its 50,000-mile warranty.

Grabber A/T Sport & A/T Sport W – General Tire is introducing new products to its Grabber series, the Grabber A/T Sport & A/T Sport W. The Grabber A/T Sport is an all-season tire with a focus on all-terrain tire aspects, whereas the Grabber A/T Sport W is an all-season tire with a stronger focus on attributes associated with the three-peak-mountain-snowflake symbol.

“We see a lot of times where we have this OE customer but we also need a replacement-minded customer focus in case they need an all-terrain option that needs to be dialed down a little bit. It needs a little bit milder in terms of true robustness and aggressiveness but still needs to meet the OE requirements with lower rolling resistance and noise,” Hyland said.

Updates on Continental incentive programs

Alex Henderson, Continental GOLD program manager, discussed new incentives and enhancements for Continental dealers, starting off with what tire dealers can expect from the company’s GOLD program in 2024.

Continental introduced six marketing lines to the rewards program, which previously contributed to volume sales but did not contribute to dealers’ payouts. Henderson said this change is particularly beneficial because it aligns with Continental’s strong presence in the OE sector, with 750 unique OE articles 43 different manufacturers.

“We don’t own company stores, and so for us at Continental, it’s all about building the value proposition of our brands and our products and our program through our distributors to our dealers. If you don’t succeed, you don’t grow, and then we don’t grow. We’re inherently linked,” Henderson said.

Henderson’s presentation also detailed new reward opportunities, including Q2’s upcoming UHP promotion “People’s Extreme Rewards,” allowing dealers to earn up to an additional $8 on each unit sold for ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus and ExtremeContact Sport products.

Continental is also focusing on consumer rebates to drive sales, with substantial rebates offered for different tire lines throughout the year. The use of Continental’s credit card amplifies these rebates, providing an even greater incentive for customers. Henderson said Continental has found that dealers who offer credit card rebates see around a 70% sales lift versus dealers who do not.

Henderson reiterated Continental’s commitment to Continental’s GOLD app for tracking performance and managing promotions and rebates, adding that the app is constantly changing and improving.

Continental 2024 marketing update

Travis Roffler, director of marketing at Continental Tire, gave dealers a comprehensive overview of the company’s marketing strategies and partnerships in 2024. Continental is putting a large focus on its partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS), as Roffler pointed out that MLS’s audience has surged by 158% in the past three years, in part due to the “Messi Effect” following Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami. 

Roffler explained that Apple TV is broadcasting Inter Miami games across the nation, with around 200 of the over 500 games being broadcasted for free. The brand’s visibility in over 80 national TV broadcasts and its exclusive tire partnership with all MLS teams were also highlighted as key components of Continental’s marketing strategy.

Roffler detailed Continental’s engagement with MLS fans on-site in various cities, emphasizing the impact of these interactions on consumer behavior. Continental has found that consumers who engage with a Continental representative at these events are 12 times more likely to purchase the brand’s products, Roffler said.

“On-site activation, as you can imagine, is extremely expensive. It takes a lot to bring in a tractor-trailer, set it up and activate these markets each and every time. But, we know the Continental brand’s overall market share is around 3-4%, but amongst MLS fans our market share is close to 30%,” he said. “That’s the power of on-site activation.”

Roffler also shared details on Continental Tire’s marketing involvement in college basketball, with the company involved in sponsorships across various tournaments. The company is contracted with 33 college basketball teams.

In addition, General Tire will continue its marketing efforts in sports like NASCAR and major league fishing, Roffler said, underscoring the brand’s diversified approach to reaching various consumer segments. He also covered how Continental is leveraging digital content and geofencing technology to target and engage consumers near retail locations.

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