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Ride and drive: Yokohama targets consumers

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Ride and drive: Yokohama targets consumers

Yokohama Tire Corp. has been sponsoring ride-and-drive training programs for tire dealers for 20 years. Now, the Fullerton, Calif.-based tire manufacturer is looking at opening the event to consumers.

The company recently held a special ride-and-drive event for local car club members at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

“Yokohama has always believed in the importance of interacting with enthusiasts face-to-face, and that’s why we wanted to give consumers a chance to try our tires and learn what they can do,” said Theresa Palang, Yokohama manager of public relations and digital marketing.

"We reached out to enthusiast forums online and received a very positive response. Having the consumers experience our ride and drive firsthand is a great way to get feedback from the public.”

The participants drove Yokohama’s Advan Neova AD08 tires on 305-horsepower, 2011 Mustangs through various slalom courses. They were timed on laps and vied for prizes such as Yokohama gear and exclusive, pre-opening night tickets for the 2011 L.A. Auto Show in November.

“This was an opportunity like no other,” said enthusiast Satakal Khalsa from La Mesa, Calif. “Testing tires like this gives you a good feel as to how the tire will react to turns and how it grips the road. The Neova AD08s were really talking to me.”

“It’s so much better to actually drive on the tires in a controlled environment than to just read about them,” added Ferdie Ang of Irvine, Calif.

The inaugural public event, which coincided with a Yokohama dealer training program, “was a successful precursor for bigger enthusiast events in the future,” said Palang. “We definitely want to do more of these.”

For more information on Yokohama’s product line, visit You also can connect with the company on Facebook ( or Twitter (


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