ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2004)—Hoping to fill in a gap in its product lineup, Goodyear is launching two tires under a new Assurance line designed to fit the mid-level and luxury passenger tire segments.
Goodyear unveiled plans for Assurance to the media in advance of its national dealer meeting this week in Orlando.
Under the Goodyear nameplate, Assurance will take its place for passenger cars similar to Eagle for performance, Fortura for sport-utility vehicles and Wrangler for light trucks. Within Assurance, Goodyear is launching two lines—Assurance Featuring TripleTred Technology and Assurance featuring ComforTred Technology.
With the addition of Assurance, Goodyear will phase out the Aquatred 3 line this year, officials said. To support the Assurance launch, Goodyear will spend more than $50 million in an advertising campaign, officials said. The investment—made possible by cost-cutting in other areas—is rivaled only by the tire maker´s 1991 launch of Aquatred, officials said.
ComforTred will be available March 1 in 20 sizes. TripleTred will be available in April in 13 sizes with more coming later.
Aimed at luxury cars such as the Lincoln Continental and Acura CL, the ComforTred tire features a layer of rubber between the belt and tread designed to provide 20-percent more cushion against road vibrations and impacts, Goodyear claimed.
The TripleTred tire is designed to act like three tires in one to handle dry, wet and icy conditions. Three different tread zones, each with their own compounds, cohabit in the tire, which is aimed at mid-level and luxury vehicles.
Suggested retail prices for the ComforTred tire will range from $83 to $137, Goodyear officials said, with TripleTred about 5-8 percent higher.
Larry Mason, president of consumer tires, said the Assurance line is a major step for Goodyear and its turnaround effort, but it will have to act in concert with the Eagle and other lines to achieve Goodyear´s goal of increasing market share by 2 percent.
"This is an important means to that end," he told Tire Business. "This single handedly won't do that, but it´s an important first step."
Goodyear said it chose the name Assurance because its research found that consumers equate the word with reliability, dependability, confidence and trust.