Bridgestone/Firestone gets ready to roll out new products

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Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC is getting ready to roll out several new tire lines in the United States, including a new Bridgestone Dueler.

The company announced many of the lines at the International Tire Expo in Las Vegas last year. But Bridgestone/Firestone officials expanded on that information at the Target Tire Dealer Meeting in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday.

The tires, all of which feature environmentally friendly compounding, include the following:

* Potenza RE050, an ultra-high performance tire available in 39 original equipment and replacement sizes, including run-flat fitments. It will be available in February. The company will position the line between the Potenza S-03 Pole Position and the Potenza RE750.

* Insignia SE200, a wide-based tire with Uni-T technology. It features silica compounding and has a 65,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. The SE200 also is OE on 2004 model Chevrolet Malibu and Toyota Corolla.

It will be introduced to the marketplace in March in 29 OE and replacement sizes.

* Potenza G009, an H-rated tire that will combine a traction tread design with a 50,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. It will replace the Bridgestone RE910 and Bridgestone Eager starting in April.

The tire will be available in 24 sizes and will compete against the Goodyear Eagle, BFGoodrich Traction T/A and similar tires.

* Destination A/T, the third in the Firestone Destination family (the M/T was introduced in 2002, the LE in 2003). Scheduled for a fall release, the tire will be available in 26 P-metric sizes and three LT sizes.

* Grenadier PLE, an associate brand touring tire. The T-rated Grenadier will be available in 21 sizes with an 80,000-mile warranty.

The Fuzion tuner tire line also will be available in March in 35 60- to 30-series sizes ranging from 16 to 20 inches. It will compete in the “good” category against the Falken Ziex XE-512, Toyo Proxes, Nitto, Kumho Ecsta 712 and Hankook Ventus Sport, according to Mark Johnson, manager of program support.

"Tuner outlets account for 16.8% of all automotive parts and accessory sales," said Johnson.

In addition, a new Bridgestone Dueler line will be introduced in the fall, according to John Gamauf, president of the Consumer Replacement Tire division.

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