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Goodyear relaunches Fierce brand with new tires

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is relaunching its Fierce brand with several new products, including an ultra-high performance tire and a light truck tire, that will be available to dealers next week.

The Fierce Instinct ZR is an ultra-high performance tire that will be available in 10 sizes, ranging from 17 inches to 19 inches in diameter. Thirteen new sizes will be added later this year.

Features include biting edges on tread blocks for enhanced wet and winter weather performance; a solid, circumferential rib for enhanced steering response; twin orbital channels to help evacuate water from the tread's contact patch; a rim protector to guard wheels against curb damage; and others.

The Fierce Attitude M/T light truck tire offers "intense mud performance with looks to match," according to Barry Petrea, Fierce brand general manager. The tire will be available in 11 popular light truck and off-road sizes to fit rim diameters ranging from 16 inches to 18 inches.

The Attitude M/T contains large lugs, stepped shoulder blocks and a high-void tread design for enhanced self-cleaning. The sidewall of the tire sports a "barbed wire" design for "a radical appearance," say Goodyear officials.

Also new from Goodyear is the Fierce Instinct VR, which targets the sport performance segment. The tire will be available in 10 sizes, ranging from 15 inches to 17 inches in diameter. It features an M+S rating for all-season capability, a rim protector, and a "highly stylized" black sidewall for a sporty appearance.

Goodyear unveiled its Fierce brand in early 2006. The company's plans for the brand were derailed by the late 2006 United Steelworkers' strike that significantly reduced the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker's volume, Petrea told earlier today, Aug. 10. "It was almost 2008 before we could bring supply back up again."

Originally available only through Kelly brand dealers, Fierce will now "work in concert with other Goodyear brands." Kelly, Petrea explans, has traditionally been a territorially protected brand, but "not every Kelly dealer was high performance-focused. We widened it so we could take it... in more support of our (entire) portfolio of brands."



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