Goodyear says: Get ready for the millennials!
Richard Kramer, chairman and CEO of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., told attendees at the 2014 Goodyear Dealer Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 that new car sales grew in 2013. That is a very positive sign for the replacement business to come.
“In the next three to five years, you’re going to see more cars rolling into your shops with Goodyear tires on them needing to replace those Assurances, those Eagles and those Wranglers,” he said.
As they do, tire dealers will need to understand how consumers and consumer buying habits are changing. Kramer referred to the next generation of tire buyers as the “millennials.”
“With time, the boomers are going to be replaced with a new demographic, the millennials. Born between 1980 and around 2000, the millennials are going to be the next generation, and this group is going to have the biggest impact on U.S. business moving forward.”
Kramer said millennials do their research through online reviews, service ratings, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube videos.
“These consumers are constantly connected, with access to unlimited information. They trust bloggers and they follow their advice. All that makes a difference in how they think about their purchasing decisions.”
Understanding consumer purchasing habits is part of Goodyear’s overall strategy. Steve McClellan, president, North America, told dealers that Goodyear’s “One Strategy” is working and includes a winning team, market-back innovation, targeted market segments and building capability.
“Our North American business is working off one strategy. We don’t have one plan for consumer, another one for commercial truck and still another for off-highway. All are aligned to one strategy.”
Goodyear’s emphasis is on winning in the most profitable replacement and OE market segments.
“The last piece of our strategy is building capability,” said McClellan. “It’s about getting better at how we work — becoming faster, more efficient, and more integrated , not just for today, but for the future.”
New consumer tires
The company unveiled four retail and commercial tires to the 2,100 attendees, including 1,500 customer guests — a 10-year attendance record.
On the passenger tire side, the Assurance All-Season joins the company’s Assurance ComforTred Touring, Assurance TripleTred All-Season and Assurance Fuel Max in Goodyear’s complete lineup of offerings for automobiles, minivans and crossover vehicles.
The Assurance All-Season will be available at retail outlets throughout North America in July, and is available in 41 tire sizes, ranging from 14- to 18-inch rim diameters.
For the commercial side
In the commercial sector, the company launched the G505D Fuel Max, a long-haul tire that will help fleets reduce their costs per mile even more, according to Goodyear. The tire, which will be available to Goodyear commercial truck tire dealers this June, features Goodyear’s Fuel Max Technology, which contains fuel-saving compounds, tire constructions and specialized tread designs to help reduce rolling resistance.
The G505D Fuel Max truck tire also will be SmartWay-verified. The tire will be available in size 295/75R22/5, Load Range G.
Construction, dump, cement mixer and other mixed-service fleets soon will have access to two new Goodyear commercial truck tires that will help their trucks travel across challenging surfaces.
The Goodyear G731 MSA and G751 MSA mixed-service tires will be available this summer. Fleets will be able to buy several sizes of these tires with Goodyear’s DuraSeal Technology.
Both the G731 MSA and G751 MSA also contain other features to help fleets lower their operating costs. The G731 MSA, which is designed for 20% on-road and 80% off-road service applications, will be offered in the following sizes: 11R22.5 (with DuraSeal), 12R22.5, 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 275/70R22.5 and 255/70R22.5.
The G751 MSA, which is designed for 80% on-road and 20% off-road service applications, will be available in the following sizes: 11R22.5 and 315/80R22.5 (both with DuraSeal), 12R22.5, 12R24.5, 11R22.5, 11R24.5 and 315/80R22.5. ■
Goodyear says: Have we got a website for you
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. launched the 2014 Tire & Service Network (TSN) advertising program at its 2014 Dealer Conference, and there was a lot of buzz around one of its features – new dealer websites.
The company says the sites provide an online presence and feature each individual company’s logo on the website header. Goodyear provides localized content for a store’s geographical area, and dealers can display their own photos, company history, community involvement and staff information.
Featured content includes store amenities, offers and promotions. The sites are also integrated with www.Goodyear.com to help connect dealers to qualified shoppers. Other benefits include automatic search engine optimization, a mobile version of each site, automatic tire and service promotions and customer reviews.
Every active TSN ad program participant is eligible to activate a website at no charge in 2014. In 2015, TSN dealers will be required to participate in the Plus or Premium Ad Program levels to maintain dealer website activation.
Goodyear has partnered with TCS Technologies to administer the website packages.