AKRON (July 16, 2014) — Goodyear rolled out its Assurance All-Season in 15 sizes as of July 15, with 26 more sizes to come by Sept. 1.
The Assurance All-Season tire is targeted to the commuter/touring segment of the market for the value-oriented consumer who, according to Goodyear, wants tires to be economical but also worth the money.
The commuter/touring mid-tier segment represents one-third of the North American replacement market for car tires, David Barnette, Goodyear category planning manager, said.
“It’s a huge piece of the market; it’s the largest piece of the market.”
The average car on the road today is slightly more than 11 years old, so consumers are maintaining their vehicles and keeping them longer, according to Goodyear.
“As vehicles age, sizes that were once very premium, like the 17-inch and 18-inch rim diameters, are starting to migrate down into the mid-tier,” Mr. Barnette told Tire Business.
The Assurance All-Season will come in 42 sizes, both T- and H-speed-rated, covering about 84 percent of the commuter/touring mid-tier segment. Rim sizes range from 14 to 18 inches, and Goodyear said all sizes come with a 65,000 mile/105,000-kilometer limited treadlife warranty.
Retail prices start at $89, according to the manufacturer's suggested retail price listed on Goodyear's website.
When developing the Assurance, the tire maker reached out to dealers, asking them what they’re looking for in a new tire.
“They are looking for a competitively priced offering to drive traffic — a branded product at a reasonable price to get consumers in the door,” Mr. Barnette said.
Features of the Assurance All-Season include:
- Multiple biting edges offering all-season traction in wet, dry and snowy conditions;
- Wide tread grooves to help evacuate water and slush for enhanced wet traction; and
- Large stable shoulder blocks to provide drivers with confident dry and wet handling.
“A dealer is very easily able to cover a very large piece of a very large market with one line, with the right targeted offering,” Mr. Barnette said.
The Assurance All-Season is available for both passenger vehicles and SUV/CUVs.
“One of the major reasons for this product, of course in addition to the customer feedback, was that we know from this consumer segment that there’s a lot of value placed on the brand of tires,” said Paul Raymondo, senior product marketing manager at Goodyear.
“So we know they are looking to maximize the value in everything they purchase.”
This type of customer is not looking for the cheapest tire, but looking for a value — “and part of that value is what comes with a trusted brand,” Mr. Raymondo continued. “So for those folks in this segment, Goodyear having an offering there and something within the Assurance family really resonates well for them. It’s a really key feature with them.”
This segment of the market is competitive, Mr. Barnette said, because “every tire manufacturer has a line or multiple lines that compete in that commuter/touring mid-tier market space.”
It is a tier that has high volume, but is also complex because of the changing sizes on vehicles.
The Assurance All-Season was unveiled during the company’s dealer meeting in January. The first shipments to dealers and distributors were sent out in June and orders have exceeded expectations, according to Mr. Barnette.
Goodyear said the remaining sizes of the Assurance All-Season will be available Sept. 1, with a possibility of early shipment.
How have tire prices been in the last few months?
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