GRAPEVINE, Texas (Feb. 1, 2005) —The Goodyear and Dunlop brands may have gotten the majority of Goodyear's attention during the past year, but the tire maker is beginning to enhance its Kelly-brand lineup as well.
At its 2005 Dealer Conference Jan. 31 in Grapevine, Goodyear unveiled two additions to the Kelly stable: the Kelly Safari Trex, an all-terrain light truck and sport-utility vehicle tire; and the EVO-Z, a value-priced, Z speed-rated ultra-high performance tire.
The introduction of the Safari Trex is in response to dealer requests for a “go-to tire with consumer appeal,” Jack Winterton, vice president of consumer sales, told the more than 1,600 tire dealers in attendance.
As the successor to the Safari AWR, the Safari Trex provides equal to or better performance than the tire it replaces but is far superior in terms of noise and comfort, the company said.
That's due to a technology called VersaTred, which provides off-road traction capabilities with a tread face that delivers a quiet, comfortable ride.
To provide a secure fit to the rim, the Safari Trex features advanced design and manufacturing in the bead area, Goodyear said. It also employs a design element in the tread that delivers extra protection against stones being lodged in tread grooves.
Goodyear is offering a 30-day test ride program on the Safari Trex that provides a free replacement if a purchaser is not satisfied with the tire. The tire also carries a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty. It will be available starting in February, initially in 32 sizes.
Kelly dealers also told Goodyear they needed an ultra-high performance tire, Mr. Winterton said. “Our dealers told us they were filling in with other brands to meet this growing consumer segment.”
To address this request, Goodyear has introduced the EVO-Z, Kelly's first full-fledged entry in the Z speed-rated category.
The tire features a European design optimized for North America. “We have targeted the drivers who are looking for ultra performance in a Z-rated tire but also want longer treadlife, strong wet and dry traction and a reasonable price,” said Brandon Stotsenburg, director of Kelly brands consumer marketing.
The EVO-Z has a low-profile design, wide footprint and a directional tread optimized for even wear. Its construction includes spirally wound nylon cap plies and a high-performance tread compound.
Goodyear is offering the EVO-Z in 21 sizes initially through Kelly retailers, with most sizes available in February and the remainder in March. Dealers handling the Lee and Star brands will be offering the new tire beginning in the second quarter.