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Continental sees growth in snow tire market in North America

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Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) is following up its December launch of the ContiCrossContact Winter tire line in Finland with a special ride-and-drive event in Quebec, Canada. (See "Continental launches 4x4 SUV winter tire," Dec. 9, 2005, in www.moderntiredealer.com's news archives.)

According to Continental, the H-rated studless passenger snow tire segment grew 19% in 2005, while the V-rated and above segment grew over 30%. The market showed substantial improvement in 2005 in the H-rated and above studless light truck snow tire segment as well, with growth over 83%.

"Continental is in a strong position to grow its winter tire business. We will utilize our brand strength, winter tire technology and OE presence to gain market share in the U.S. and Canadian winter tire markets," says Andreas Gerstenberger, CTNA's vice president of sales and marketing.

The ContiCrossContact Winter is designed specifically for light trucks, SUVs and cross-over vehicles. Key features include:

* a third generation silica compound, which allows flexibility at low temperatures;

* an optimized siped tread design, which provides edges that bite and grip snow and ice; and

* wide circumferential and optimized shoulder groove geometry, which result in increased water dispersion, according to the company.

It will be available for the 2006 winter season in Q-, H- and V-rated, 16- to 21-inch sizes. Offerings will include original equipment applications for Mercedes and BMW.

The ContiCrossContact Winter will join the company's ContiWinterContact TS790 and TS810 lines in North America.

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