Continental adds shine to GOLD dealer program

April 16, 2012

Executives from Continental Tire the Americas LLC told 240 assembled GOLD dealers that the company is investing heavily in its operations to increase supply and increase its brand awareness.

Bill Caldwell, vice president of marketing and sales, said Continental has worked hard to re-vamp its Continental brand tire line-up and is continuing to introduce new lines.

He added that the company was working on long-term marketing plans to increase brand awareness in order to have more consumers “come in your doors asking for  our products.”

The importance of being a successful tire manufacturer in the United States cannot be understated. Several times during the meeting, Continental executives mentioned that one out of every three tires sold in the world is sold in the U.S.

Specific to the GOLD dealer program

1. Travis Roffler, director of marketing, emphasized that the company has simplified its on-line marketing website, He said the company has consolidated the way the site functions, and the new design will keep dealers from needing to open multiple screens to get information by making it available at just one site.

2. The website also features a sales tracking function that makes it easy for GOLD dealers to see how they are doing against their goals (click here for more information).

3. Roffler told dealers that social media was most “definitely the 800-pound gorilla in the room, and at the end of the day, we want to use it to drive buyers to our website."

Roffler said that after product-related searches, the “dealer locator” was the most used page on its website. The company wants to expand its Facebook exposure and have more than one million “likes” by the end of 2013, up from 25,000 at the present time.

3. The company is continuing its Grand Am racing sponsorship as well as its Major League Soccer sponsorship -- two of its major Continental marketing programs for 2012.  General tire marketing continues to focus on off-road racing.

4. GOLD dealers were told that they have access to on-line sales training through the company’s dedicated website. Jim Sicking, director of independent dealer sales, announced there are already 16,000 on-line users for the Engage 360 website. GOLD dealers are able to use on-line webinars on a wide variety of product and sales training. There will be five more educational tools added to the site in 2012.

5. Under the GOLD program, dealers can get tailored market analysis showing market potential down to tire segments , vehicle categories and tire unit potential, including tire sizes... all the way through exact brand/pattern applications. This can be developed along with a profitability analysis that includes a sell-out pricing analysis.

This study is based on selecting specific vehicles and tire applications and then looking at an unbiased competition retail price matrix. The analysis also includes estimated competitor "sell-in" pricing.