Yokohama Targets First Replacements With New Geolandar All-Terrain Tire
Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has introduced the Geolandar A/T G015 in 60 sizes with a 60,000-mile tread wear warranty for P/E-metric sizes and 50,000-mile warranty for LT-metric and high flotation sizes.
All sizes will be certified for severe snow conditions and stamped with the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. YTC plans to add 17 more sizes to the line by the end of 2016. The new tire covers 96% of tire sizes used in the truck and SUV market. The size list places the tire in the first or second replacement cycle where consumers are “going to be looking for a premium quality level product,” says Bob Abram, product planning manager.
Citing Rubber Manufacturers Association figures, Abram says the A/T market peaked in 2005 in terms of A/T units sold. But the full-size pickup, compact pickup, and large SUV vehicle segments are now growing. “Those are the three sweet spots where all the volume is,” he says. “They have been growing through that 2010 to 2014 year area so these are people who are going to need tires in 2016 and 2017. Even though the market is not as robust as it once was, it is looking up because these vehicle segments are growing. A lot of people are replacing their original equipment tires with all-terrain because they want the utility or the look.”
The initial release includes 26 P/E-metric sizes and 34 LT-metric sizes in load ranges C, D and E.
The price of the new tire is comparable to the tire it replaces, the Geolandar AT-S. The similar pricing is a statement of the new tire’s value, according to Abram.
“We improved it in virtually every way, from lowering noise to improving grip in wet and winter and improving the mileage warranty by 10,000 miles. By keeping the price similar, we are offering a great value to our dealers and to consumers.”
YTC says the new Geolandar vastly improves traction for SUVs and full-size pickups on any surface in any weather condition. YTC tested the Geolandar A/T G015 against the Toyo Open Country AT-II, General Grabber AT2, and Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tires.
Consumer rebate offered
“The G015 marketing will focus on selling our dealers on the fact this superior performing tire meets 96% of the market’s needs so it truly can be the go-to tire for the independent dealer,” says Fred Koplin, senior director, marketing and motorsports.
Consumer marketing includes digital programs and a “Spring Getaway” promotion from April 18 to June 4. The promotion features a $60-80 rebate for Yokohama’s major lines, or a Chelsea Football Club jersey with the purchase of four Yokohama tires. The rebate offer for the new G015 is $70.
“Including this new tire in a consumer rebate offer so soon is unusual, but the size of this market segment and the performance of the tire meant we wanted to come out big and proud,” says Koplin.
“Our product planning team fought long and hard to make sure we had the fitments, the durability and the severe snow rating that is needed for success in the U.S.A. We did not want to rely on simply a good tire for global markets when we knew our dealers and consumers wanted a tire that was perfectly suited for the American market,” he says.
“We intend to make sure the G015 gains traction in the market right away and is well-established by third quarter when all-terrain tires are in peak demand.” ■