BRUSSELS, Belgium-Bridgestone/Firestone Europe S.A. has quietly introduced an associate brand tire in Europe. Dubbed ``Europa,'' the tire is being marketed at the ``lower end of the economy segment, but above the budget brands,'' according to David Skepper, marketing manager at Bridgestone/Firestone UK Ltd.
He said Bridgestone has recognized that there is a growing demand for high-quality, well-made tires at a low price, and is hoping to capitalize on that market with the Europa brand.
The tire is mostly available in S- and T- speed ratings, and will be available exclusively through Firestone dealers.
Japanese chain to add General
AKRON-Autobacs Seven Co., one of Japan's largest automotive products retailers, has reached an agreement with Continental General Tire to become the exclusive distributor of CGT-made tires in Japan.
According to CGT, Autobacs will stock and sell passenger and light truck tire lines made by the U.S. company at 361 retail outlets in Japan.
Autobacs President Koichi Sumino said the addition of the new tire lines will better serve customers by offering them a broader selection of products.
Hankook to supply GM's Opel
HACKENSACK, N.J.-Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co. Ltd. said it has become the first South Korean tire maker to secure an original equipment contract with a German automaker.
Hankook is supplying its T-rated 884 tire in size 165/65R14 for the Corsa Grand Slam, produced by General Motors Corp.'s German subsidiary, Adam Opel AG. Hankook also expects to supply tires for Opel's Astral and T-3000 models.