GREENVILLE, S.C. -It was the first passenger tire in North America to sport red, blue and yellow color bands around the tread. Later, it became the first tire buyers could customize by specifying their own choice of hues and color configurations in the tread.
So why is the company offering a version of the BFGoodrich Scorcher T/A with a black-only tread the same as every other tire?
To focus buyer attention on the H- and V-rated Scorcher's ultra-high-performance capabilities, said Oscar Pereda, Michelin North America Inc.'s technical marketing manager for performance tires.
In developing the Scorcher, Greenville-based Michelin didn't set out merely to produce a colored tire, Mr. Pereda said. ``We created an ultra-high-performance tire at a price point that was more than our G-force family and designed it so color could be put into it.'' Originally targeted at the tuner-car and sport-truck aftermarkets, the Scorcher boasts an asymmetric tread design and carries a UTQG rating of 300AA.
The Scorcher's high-silica compound, according to Mr. Pereda, not only makes the color tread bands possible but also provides ``tremendous'' wet and dry traction. ``An absolute novice can get behind the wheel and feel a distinct difference between the Scorcher and other tires within its competitive class,'' he said.
``If we had sold the Scorcher as a black tire in the beginning and later added color as an option, I think it would be seen in a different light,'' Mr. Pereda said.
``So part of what we're doing is saying: `Hey folks, you don't want to buy this tire merely because of its color. It's also a damned good tire.'''