PHOENIX—BFGoodrich tire dealers and their employees in 28 cities across the U.S. will have a chance to "Kick Asphalt" this year, thanks to Michelin Americas Small Tires.
MAST's BFGoodrich Tires unit has put together a mobile proving ground that it will set up for a few days in an appropriately large enough venue in the selected cities.
Selected dealers will be invited to send their salespeople to the mobile proving ground for hands-on driving experience and training in selling the BFGoodrich brand, according to Matthew Aaron, BFGoodrich brand manager.
Dealers will be surveyed ahead of time as to which brand or brands they feel are the primary competition in their respective areas, Mr. Aaron said.
The mobile unit will set up autocross-type circuits at each Kick Asphalt Tour location, and the invitees will have an opportunity to make back-to-back driving comparisons, according to Mr. Aaron.
In addition, BFGoodrich will bring the invited salespeople up to date on the issues and opportunities facing them today, as well as brand positioning, targeting consumers and the latest products.
All told, BFGoodrich said it can handle up to 3,500 in its mobile classroom. The first tour stops are Tampa and Miami, Fla., Feb. 19-20 and Feb. 22-23.
The Kick Asphalt Tour supports several product launches BFGoodrich has in store for 2001, and complements a consumer-oriented g-Force T/A Tour, which will set up shop at more than 30 sport compact shows and race events, Mr. Aaron said.
In the automobile segment, BFGoodrich will launch a new version of its g-Force T/A Drag Radial for sport compact racers.
In light trucks, BFGoodrich is rolling out its P-metric sized Rugged Trail T/A and later this year will introduce the Mud-Terrain T/A KM for the true off-road crowd.
The Rugged Trail line is original equipment on the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma pick-up trucks and will be OE on the 2002 GMC Envoy and Chevrolet Trailblazer sport-utility vehicles.