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Gold standard: CTNA enhances dealer program

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Continental Tire North America Inc.'s (CTNA) multi-level Gold Dealer program has 1,300 members and wants to add at least 200 members by the end of 2008, company officials announced during the firm's 2008 Gold Dealer meeting, held this past weekend.

CTNA recently introduced an entry-level tier (Gold Express) to the program. Gold Express membership requires an annual volume commitment of 300 units, said Jim Sicking, director of indepedendent dealer sales for the tiremaker's PLT (Passenger and Light Truck) division.

The Gold Dealer program has three other levels: Gold Standard (700 annual units to buy in), Gold Select (1,200 units) and Gold Elite (1,800 units).

"About half of the new Gold dealers are entry-level," said Sicking. "We see it as an outlet to move units," as well as a springboard to launch dealers into higher levels of the program.

During the meeting, CTNA officials announced enhancements to its RPM (Real Performance Program), in which 60% of Gold dealers participate. In July, the company will introduce an on-line program called Engage 360, which will cover product, sales and new hire training for retailers.

CTNA also plans to supply Gold Select and Elite level dealers with customized reports about customer demographics and vehicle registrations in their own geographic areas, said Maria Deligiannidou, CTNA marketing intelligence manager.

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