Bridgestone introduces two Potenza’s, one Dueler and one Blizzak
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC (BATO) officially launched four tires at a ride-and-drive event in Las Vegas, recently. The tires were first announced at BATO’s 2012 Consumer Dealer Meeting.
The tires are the Potenza RE97AS performance and touring tire, the Dueler H/P Sport AS performance tire, the Blizzak LM-32 winter tire and the Potenza RE-11 A ultra-high performance tire.
• The Potenza RE97AS has been available since March 1 and comes in 23 V- and W-rated sizes ranging from 16 to 19 inches. It replaces the Potenza G019 and features BATO’s Eco-Product designation, which means it has improved rolling resistance, reduced weight and is made with eco-conscious materials and processes.
• The Potenza RE-11 A, which has been available since March 1, is a UHP tire that comes in 10 V- and W-rated, 40- to 50-series sizes ranging from 15 to 17 inches.
• The Dueler H/P Sport AS was designed to meet the demand of SUVs evolving into CUVs. It comes in 11 H-, V- and W-rated sizes ranging from 17 to 20 inches. It also has the Eco-Product designation. It has been available since April 1, 2013.
• The Blizzak LM-32 will be available in July in 33 H-, V- and W-rated sizes ranging from 16 to 20 inches.
Robert Saul, product planning manager, also told dealers about how BATO designed the company’s existing Ecopia tire line with a focus on low rolling resistance.
Rod Hutchinson, product manager light truck/SUV, explained that the biggest trend BATO has seen in recent years is more vehicles coming equipped from OEMs with performance tires, touring tires and low rolling resistance tires.
Trent Stoner, manager advertising and sales promotions, went over BATO’s upcoming marketing campaigns for the Firestone brand. Opening May 15 is the “Drive Store” online shop with Firestone-branded T-shirts, hats and other items. In addition, Firestone is the official tire of Major League Baseball, and also the official tire of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
BATO has hired the Leo Burnett ad agency (McDonald’s) and a new Firestone campaign was launched in September 2012. A new Firestone website (www.firestone.com) was launched in February and three new 15-second ads began airing April 1.
Phil Pacsi, vice president of customer marketing and training, told attendees about BATO’s partnering with Dreamworks Animation LLC for the new movie “Turbo,” in theatres July 17. The “Destination Turbo” promo begins May 15. ■