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Goodyear ups its winter tire offering

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Goodyear ups its winter tire offering

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has launched the Ultra Grip Winter that joins the Goodyear Ultra Grip family of winter tires.

Features of the Ultra Grip Winter include a directional tread pattern for enhanced snow traction and multiple biting edges that help provide confident grip on ice and snow.

Wide tread grooves help push snow and slush away for enhanced winter traction, and strong shoulder blocks promote even tread wear.

According to Brandy Gadd, Goodyear brand manager, the Ultra Grip Winter is aimed at the cost-conscious consumer who drives lower mid-tier and aged vehicles.

“When they’re on a budget and they realize they need tires, this is definitely a product for them to consider,” says Gadd.

Goodyear says the Ultra Grip Winter stops 6 feet shorter on average than the tire’s main competitor, the General Altimax Arctic.

“This is the first time that figure is actually quantified,” says Gadd. “In the past we’ve said ‘outperforms,’ or we haven’t even made competitive claims.”

Gadd says to keep the Ultra Grip competitive, it is outfitted for optional metal studs.

“We know that this consumer is interested in having that option,” says Gadd.

Winter tires are an expanding market for Goodyear. According to Tony Thomas, category planning manager for winter and off-road LT tires, Goodyear wasn’t very active in the winter tire market 10 years ago.

Thomas says Goodyear expects winter tire shipments to be softer in 2012 following the warm winters of 2010 and 2011, with inventory still being held by dealers.

The Ultra Grip Winter features the mountain snowflake severe snow conditions symbol. It is available in in 36 sizes covering 14- through 19-inch wheel diameters.

The Ultra Grip Winter joins more premium Goodyear brand offerings – Ultra Grip Performance 2, Ultra Grip SUV, Ultra Grip Ice WRT and Ultra Grip GW3 and GW2 for pursuit vehicles, as well as Dunlop branded Winter Sport 3D, Graspic DS-3 and Grandtrek SJ6, SJ5 and SJ4.

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