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Conti enhances Gold Program, branding efforts

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Gold Dealer Program enhancements and continued marketing investments in its brands were the key topics of discussion at the Continental Tire the Americas LLC Gold Dealer meeting on Monday, April 15, 2013.

The Continental Gold Dealer program has been upgraded for 2013, Chris Jenkins, Gold Program manager said. A key component of the upgrade is higher payouts for participating dealers.

The message is that Continental has increased its volume bonus payout as much as 400% as well as increasing Gold rewards on popular replacement marketing lines.

Jenkins said Continental does not have its own company-owned stores or company-owned distribution centers, so dealers do not compete with Continental and it depends on independent dealers to sell its products. "We will compare our program against any program out there, bar none," Jenkins said.

Continental has also enhanced its dealer locator system on its website to make it easier for consumers to find its Continental and General products. "Our goal is to direct as much business as possible to all of our dealers," said Jenkins.

The company does want to sign new dealers, but its main focus is increasing business with its existing dealers.

Continental is continuing to increase its branding and marketing of both its Continental and General tire brands. As part of this process, the company has tied in with promotions surrounding the launch in late May of the new movie, Fast and Furious 6.

For the Continental brand, Travis Roffler, director of marketing, said the company is continuing its sponsorship of Major League Soccer. "Our tie-in with soccer goes way back to World Cup Soccer."

The company is working with both sports car racing series, Grand Am and ALMS in North America. He said the two series will combine to a single series in 2014 and the company is looking to be actively participating with the new series when it launches.

Roffler said the company's unaided brand awareness among MLS and Grand Am racing fans is much higher than among the average consumer. Continental has a 4% unaided awareness among average consumers, 27.4% among MLS fans and 72.1% among Grand-Am fans.

The company continues to invest with its General Tire brand through various Lucas Oil racing series and Major League Fishing.

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