Firehawk Indy 500 tire prepares to roll into the replacement market

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Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Inc. will introduce the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tire to its dealer network in May. The tire will feature the Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo on the sidewall.

John Gamauf, vice president of consumer dealer sales for Bridgestone/Firestone North America, outlined the company's product plans at the Target Tire & Automotive Inc. dealer meeting in Greenville, S.C. New products include the following:

* Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 with Uni-T technology and a 50,000-mile tread wear warranty. The tire has a Firehawk SS20 tread pattern and distinct sidewall lettering. Initially it will be available in 17 sizes ranging from P175/70R13 to P295/50R15. Six more sizes -- four 16-inch and two 17-inch (P275/60R17 and P265/70R17) -- will be added to the line later.

* Firestone Affinity LH30, a premium mass market tire. It will replace the FT70C beginning in March. It will be available in 20 H-rated sizes and will compete with the Goodyear Aquatred III.

* Firestone FR380, which replaces the FR360 as a low-cost alternative tire. It has a modern tread and sidewall design and a 55,000-mile tread wear warranty. It is available in 24 sizes.

* Bridgestone Turanza LS-T with Uni-T AQII technology. The tire has an 80,000-mile tread wear warranty and will be available in 28 T-rated sizes beginning in March. It has a UTQG rating of 700 and is designed to compete with the Michelin X One.

* Bridgestone LS Series. The LS-H line has 18 sizes, the LS-V line eight sizes and the LS-Z line four sizes.

* Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo with Uni-T AQII technology. It will be available in 27 sizes in August.

Over the next few years, Bridgestone/Firestone will produce replacement tires identical to their original equipment counterparts to reduce skus. "We're going to make your life easier," said Gamauf.

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