Continental adds more value to its value-focused Grabber HTS line
Continental Tire the Americas LLC has added more value to its value-focused Grabber HTS line with tread patterns specific to metric and LT sizes, longer tread wear and quieter performance.
The latest generation of the Grabber HTS is actually two tires. The new Grabber HTS60 all-season, highway terrain tire for light trucks, SUVs and CUVs has a tread pattern for metric sizes and a tread pattern for LT sizes.
The different tread patterns optimize Grabber HTS60 metric sizes for ride quality and traction and LT sizes for stability and grip under heavy loads, according to Barry Terzaken, product manager for light truck and SUV tires. “You have different requirements for pickup trucks. Pickup trucks carry a large range of loads. So we wanted to make sure the tread pattern was optimized for that. The crossover sizes are optimized for comfort. Both sizes are comfortable, but you need that heavy-duty load carrying capability for pickup trucks.” Sipe density as well as tire construction contributes to load-carrying capacity, according to Terzaken.
Continental introduced the Grabber HTS in 2008. “There is a lot of equity in Grabber, there’s a lot of equity in Grabber HTS. It was key for us to show there’s an evolution, to keep the name and show there’s a differentiator,” says Terzaken. What’s the differentiator? Significantly better tread life. The Grabber HTS60 is value-focused like other General brand products and offers the same balance of performance as its predecessor with 25% improvement in tread wear, according to Terzaken. The Grabber HTS60 has a 65,000 limited mileage warranty.
“We had a very high performing tire for the segment. We asked ourselves what would be the most valuable addition for the next generation product,” says Terzaken. “We had great wet, great dry and great winter performance, but we actually outperformed competitors in tread life. We figured for the General brand, the tread life was what we wanted to extend. So we improved it by 25%. ”
Terzaken says the evolution of the company’s proprietary Duragen technology also increases cut and chip resistance in rugged terrain. “The balance of performance has been very important to us. Technology has allowed us to deliver the improved tread life without sacrificing other performance characteristics,” he says.
The company says its Comfort Balance Technology, in which a cushioned tread containing an absorption layer helps isolate the vehicle from road disturbances, creates a more comfortable, pleasant ride. A wide footprint promotes even wear, excellent braking and responsive handling.
Terzaken says the Grabber HTS60 is also quieter. “What’s not usually associated with a value-branded tire is noise performance. But that is one of the things we have evolved from the Grabber HTS to the Grabber HTS60. It is quieter than its predecessor.”
Terzaken says the HTS60 is designed for use in original equipment applications, and the company anticipates OE fitments. “The original equipment manufacturers are always interested in a very quiet tire so this makes it even more attractive. A quieter tire is a big plus for them.”
Key competitors to the HTS60 are the Firestone Destination LE2, Cooper Discoverer H/T, Hankook Dynapro HT, Kumho Road Venture APT and BFGoodrich Long Trail TA Tour.
The majority of Grabber HTS60 tires will be manufactured at Continental’s plant in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Some also will be made at the company’s new facility in Sumter, S.C.
Dealers can begin ordering the Grabber HTS60 in July 2015 for delivery in August.
Fifty metric sizes will be available with wheel diameters ranging from 15 inches to 22 inches and speed ratings of S, T or H. Twelve LT metric and flotation sizes will be available ranging from 15 inches to 18 inches and with a speed rating of R or S. ■