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Continental rolls out seven medium truck tires to help boost Continental brand's domestic market share

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Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) has introduced seven Continental brand medium truck tires in an effort to "move (the Continental brand) as far ahead as we can," according to Clif Armstrong, director of OE and brand management for the company's Commercial Division.

The new tires complete CTNA's Continental brand commercial truck line, he says.

"Until now, we did not have a Continental-branded product for every application."

The new tires -- which were officially rolled out at CTNA's Uvalde, Texas, test center yesterday -- include:

* the HSL Eco Plus, a long-haul steer tire with 18/32-inch tread depth;

* the HDL Eco Plus, a long-haul drive tire with 28/32-inch tread depth;

* the HSU, a 10,000-pound capacity on/off highway heavy service tire;

* the HSC, an all-position on/off highway service tire;

* the HTL, a long-haul trailer tire designed for long mileage;

* the HDC, an on/off highway tire with 30/32-inch tread depth and an "aggressive tread design";

* and the HDO, an off highway drive tire.

CTNA is positioning the tires as premium-level products to compete directly with top-tier truck tires made by Bridgestone Americas Holding Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Michelin North America Inc.

The Continental brand enjoys 2.5% of the domestic replacement medium truck tire market, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics.

CTNA wants to boost that share to 4.5% over the next three to four years, says Armstrong.

It also plans to introduce three new General brand medium truck tires in late 2003.

The General brand enjoys 5.5% of the domestic replacement truck tire market.

In the past, "General has been the brand for North America, Continental has been the brand for Europe. We want to change that. Continental will be a global brand."

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