BFG tour challenges dealers to test the new g-Force tire
The new BFGoodrich brand g-Force Comp-2 A/S comes in more sizes, is more durable and has more all-weather capabilities than its predecessor. Michelin North America Inc. says 50% of the volume of the new ultra-high performance Z-rated tire will come from new sizes.
The tire was released in 33 sizes covering two-thirds of the market on April 1. Fifty-nine sizes will be available by the end of the first quarter of 2016 covering 89% of the market. Rim sizes range from 16 to 22 inches. The g-Force Comp-2 A/S is available in the U.S. and Canada.
Michelin is adding 31 new sizes to the Z category. “The launch of the g-Force Comp-2 A/S brings us back to an approach we once owned, releasing revolutionary product with forward-thinking new sizes,” says Marcus Wilson, ultra-high performance marketing manager for the BFGoodrich brand. “We spend a lot of time shoulder-to-shoulder with enthusiasts at grassroots events and get tremendous insight in what performance seekers demand. Our intent with the g-Force Comp-2 A/S and all our UHP offers is to be in with, and in many cases out in front of, the cutting edge sizes being introduced at OE.”
The company plans to discontinue g-Force Super Sport A/S in Z-rated sizes and replace them with the new Comp-2 tire. The remaining H- and V- rated sizes within the Super Sport A/S will continue until 2016 and be replaced with the next-generation Advantage T/A.
The Comp-2 tire will fit a range of vehicles, including American muscle, European and Asian luxury, as well as tuner car options and plus fitments . It has a 45,000-mile tread wear warranty compared to the 35,000-mile warranty of the g-Force Super Sport A/S.
The brand’s core consumers are “performance seekers,” according to Wilson. “Traction, toughness and handling are the three key areas for performance for this consumer. We knew we had to at least meet their needs in those three categories and if at all possible exceed them. We feel confident we’ve been able to deliver that.”
Wilson says the Comp-2 tire will give drivers the ability to accelerate faster, brake shorter and maintain control in all seasons. “It’s not just an ultra-high performance tire for performance seekers, it’s an ultra-high performance tire for everyone.”
The tire’s key Tier 2 competitors for performance and price are the Yokohama Avid Envigor, General G-Max A/S 03, and Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2. The average manufacturer suggested retail price of the g-Force Comp-2 A/S is $162.
The g-Force Comp-2 is being manufactured in Michelin’s Tuscaloosa, Ala., tire plant. Wilson says the new tire will be less expensive and more profitable than the current Super Sport offering. Improvements in manufacturing processes enable the company to offer the tire to dealers at a lower price. “There’s greater profitability from a lower price perspective versus the current product that’s on the market. But also because of the technological advancements and the new sizes, we think we can demand a slightly higher retail price, therefore creating more profit opportunity for dealers,” says Wilson.
“This will be our best ultra-high performance all-season tire ever. It will give you the best wet and dry traction and braking versus leading competitors. You will also have better snow traction than leading competitors,” he says.
The new tire’s proprietary UltiGrip, g-Force Tread and Performance Racing Core technologies will change consumer perceptions of the all-season tire, according to Paul Gerrard, a lead driving instructor at the tire’s launch event on March 4.
Gerrard says the “jack-of-all-trades” reputation of all-season tires is going away. “When that reputation was earned, the tires were a lot less capable than today. So you have to reset every few years. You still want a winter tire in full winter conditions and a summer tire on the race track, but the gap is narrowing with a state-of-the-art all-season tire like g-Force Comp-2 A/S. That statement is not necessarily true for every all-season tire but it is true for the g-Force Comp-2. You have to change consumer perception of what these tires can do.”
The company will demonstrate the g-Force Comp-2 A/S to dealers in 20 locations across the U.S. between April and August. The first stop on the “Are You Driver Enough?” tour is scheduled for April 22-24 in the Los Angeles, Calif., market. ■