The success of last year's Fuzion ZRi launch now has Bridgestone/Firestone seeing orange instead of green.
Still riding on tremendous demand in the tuner market for Fuzion, the Nashville, Tenn.-based tire maker is introducing a second Fuzion line-the HRi-to car enthusiasts who want a high-performance ride at an affordable price. H-rated, the Fuzion HRi comes with a 40,000-mile warranty and will be available in March in 24 sizes ranging from 14 to 17 inches with aspect ratios ranging from 40- to 65-series.
At the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas where it debuted, the HRi was billed as a product with ``premium features'' without the premium price. It is engineered with BFS's UNI-T technology and features an asymmetrical tread pattern.
Though Halloween had already passed, BFS introduced the HRi with an orange splash-four orange-faced models in orange shirts were on hand at a press conference to unveil the product on a Scion tC vehicle accentuated with orange sherbet pearl paint. An imprint of the HRi's tread pattern was painted across the door panels.
Just as the Fuzion ZRi has been promoted and displayed on a neon green 2003 Honda Civic Si project vehicle at auto shows, company and tuner events, so in a similar way BFS also plans to promote the HRi on the Scion. The tire maker plans again to attend NOPI (Number One Parts Inc.) motorsports events with its project vehicles and will expand its ``Hot Import Nights'' exhibitions to more cities. Its grassroots marketing will include the use of mascots for the Fuzion brand-twin green and orange characters called Fuz and Noiz.
When the HRi becomes available next spring, it will be marketed toward a mass audience and not just tuners, according to Michael Fluck, BFS advertising and Internet manager.
Mr. Fluck told Tire Business that BFS will continue to advertise the ZRi in tuner publications and feature that tire alongside the HRi at company promotions. He said the HRi will be advertised in mass youth publications, many of which BFS is still in the process of finalizing contracts for 2005.
``The Fuzion HRi tire represents our commitment to deliver exciting new options to a wider demographic market,'' he said. ``Fuzion is not just a tuner tire anymore. You don't have to invest thousands of dollars in your vehicle just to make a statement with it.''