Dealers Help Goodyear With New Product Development

Jan. 29, 2019

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. introduced a number of consumer and commercial tires at its 2019 Customer Conference in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 28. Mike Dwyer, chief customer officer in North America, told attendees that two of the new tires were based on requests from dealers who sell Goodyear tires. So was the addition of key sizes to the Wrangler Fortitude HT line.

“You told us consumers wanted a performance tire that also delivered superior braking on wet roads, (and) that you wanted Goodyear products that revitalized our winter offerings,” he said. “And finally, you told us you wanted a product in the right size that can fit the changing cargo van market, the ones used by small businesses, big businesses and companies delivering packages, the ‘last mile.’

“We took your feedback to heart.” 

Goodyear exhilaration The Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate is the newest top tier, ultra-high performance all-season tire in the U.S and Canada.

“The importance of wet traction is key to winning in this segment,” said Dwyer.

It officially will replace the Eagle F1 Asymmetric All Season in April 2019.

Mike Pulte, general manager of product marketing for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., said the tire features a new mold shape, a new tread pattern and new compounding.

Rob Schott, chief engineer of research, development, engineering and quality, went a step further. Compared to the F1 Asymmetric All Season, the Eagle Exhilarate is far superior in wet traction, and better in winter. It performs comparably “across the board” in dry conditions. Both tires feature a 45,000-mile limited tread wear warranty.

The premium-priced tire will compete against tires like the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS and the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+. For more information, visit “Goodyear Unveils New UHP Tire: the Eagle Exhilarate.”

Winter tires

Dwyer also talked about the new Goodyear WinterCommand, a mid-tier tire that “represents a complete evolution of our winter line up. (It is) so important we renamed our offering to reflect the improvements.” The WinterCommand replaces the Ultra Grip Winter, which had been in the company’s lineup for seven years. Pulte said the new tire is superior to its predecessor in ice braking and ice traction, with “no sacrifices” in other performance categories. It will be available in the third quarter in 54 studdable sizes up to 20 inches that represent “a lot of growth sizes for CUVs and SUVs.”

The WinterCommand features multiple biting edges designed for starting and stopping power on snow covered roads for enhanced traction in winter driving conditions. It also has the three-peak mountain snowflake designation.

The tire will compete against the Firestone Winterforce 2 and General Altimax Arctic 12.

In addition, Goodyear will not only launch a third-tier winter tire, the Kelly WinterAccess, for the economy consumer, but also build on last year’s introduction of the Eagle Enforcer All Weather tire for law enforcement vehicles with an Enforcer winter tire.

Goodyear’s top tier winter tire is the Ultra Grip Ice WRT

Cargo vans

The cargo van market “is rapidly changing around us, as we are seeing tires sizes not common in North America,” said Dwyer. “These unique sizes have grown over 30% at OE since 2015.

“To capture share in this segment, we are expanding the Wrangler Fortitude HT line.”

Goodyear is adding 13 sizes to the line. Three of the new sizes are commercial service radial (C-type) sizes, including the popular 235/65R16C. The other 10 sizes are heavy-duty LT sizes. The expansion increases the total number of sizes to 48.

With an optimized tread design, tough tread compound, full-depth sipes and wide circumferential grooves, the Wrangler Fortitude HT is designed to help reduce road noise and provide uniform wear. It also is engineered for wet traction, and features many biting edges that enhance traction in the snow.

Some vehicle fitments for the Wrangler Fortitude HT include Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Chevrolet Express, Mercedes Sprinter, Nissan NV3500, Ford F150/F250/F350 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500/2500/3500, among others.

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