Five dealerships — Ram Tire Co. Inc. of North Hills, Calif.; L&M Supply Inc. of Minnesota; Quality Discount Tire of Ledgewood, N.J.; Gerald's Tire of Charlestgon, S.C.; and Butler Tire Co. of Atlanta — qualified for their first Gold Trip.
"Isn't it good to be back together again?" Bill Caldwell, senior vice president of sales and marketing, asked the group during the annual meeting.
Mr. Caldwell used three words to describe the tire maker's performance over those 18 months: Agility, reliability and confidence.
"We had to have agility to make changes and move quickly," Mr. Caldwell said. "We were working in an environment that was new for all of us."
He said Continental's reliability — including 150 years of peaks and valleys — is illustrated in its product performance, as the company, like most other tire makers, worked to overcome product shortages.
The confidence, he said, comes from the products Conti makes and the confidence the dealers put in the company and its tires.
"Without your sales and support, we couldn't do what we do," Director of Marketing Travis Roffler said.
Joe Maher, Conti product manager, passenger and winter tire, reacquainted dealers with products new to the market, including the:
- premium ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus, which was released in Febuary and covers 96% of the market;
- General Tire AltiMax 365AW all-weather tire, released in May that is 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certified; and
- General Tire ultra-high performance G-Max Justice.
The G-Max Justice, an all-performance all-season product, is CATL 1922 pursuit and emergency high-speed approved and offers up to 15% better tread life and up to 18% better wet braking performance versus a leading competitor, according to the company.
The pandemic caused several challenges for the marketing department, according to Mr. Roffler, particularly since fans couldn't attend most athletic events.
Still, he said, Conti sponsorships remain strong. Conti's sponsorship with the Major League Soccer (MLS) has been renewed through 2025, while its sponsorship with the NCAA and General's sponsorship deals with the ARCA Menard Series racing and Major League fishing have been renewed through 2024.
In addition, Conti will sponsor the Continental Tire Challenge, a college basketball game set for Nov. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas that matches perennial powers Duke University against Gonzaga University.
Mr. Roffler also said the company is heavily marketing its 150th anniversary on social media, showing a commercial featuring racer Tony Stewart as a fortune teller.
Mr. Roffler also said General has collaborated with YouTube stars Dude Perfect for an Ultimate Racing Battle video series. Dude Perfect, a group of five men, has 56 million subscribers and their videos have more than 13 billion views.
Conti also will unveil new brand messaging soon.
"It's all about keeping the lines of communication open with you," Chris Charity, vice president of sales, told dealers. "We are here for you."
It won't be long before the group gathers again: Conti is planning to hold its 2022 Gold Trip in late March, in the Dominican Republic.