NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is touting its new tire technology to the public through a national ad campaign launched in mid-May. Using its trademark ``UNI-T'' logo, BFS is publicizing three new technologies the tire maker began incorporating into certain tire lines last year to improve ride comfort, handling and tread life.
UNI-T is an acronym for ``Ultimate Network of Intelligent Tire Technology'' and includes three patented technologies:
Computer Optimized Component System, which enables engineers to achieve optimum balance of performance characteristics for each tire line;
O-Bead, an external and internal design that enables the tire to better fit the wheel to reduce vibrations. The technology includes refinements to the internal bead area for better uniformity, improving ride comfort and handling; and
Long-linked Carbon, for more wear-resistant rubber. This technology replaces the conventional carbon black particle clusters with long chains that dissipate the forces created by normal braking, acceleration and cornering, thus extending tire life.
The UNI-T technologies were first used in the Z-speed-rated Bridgestone Potenza S-02, introduced last year, and some also are found in the new generation of Bridgestone Turanza touring tires released in April.
``UNI-T is the technology of the future and will be included in additional upcoming Bridgestone and Firestone lines,'' said Shu Ishibashi, executive director of consumer tire marketing.
While the technologies are complex, the benefits are clear and tangible, Mr. Ishibashi said. ``Our promotional campaign will be designed to effectively communicate these benefits to consumers.''
The national print campaign debuted May 17 with full-page ads in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal that said of UNI-T: ``It's not just changing tires, it's changing the way you drive.''
Television spots will debut this summer on ABC-TV and ESPN and will focus on UNI-T's contributions to the performance of a new Firestone Firehawk performance tire to be introduced in June.