Direct support from your UHP tire suppliers

Feb. 13, 2013

Knowing the multifaceted nature of the modern UHP tire consumer, how do you sell tires to them? Especially since consumer spending is expected to remain flat in 2013.

While dealers are challenged to keep tire sales up with today’s cautious consumers, manufacturers can help. Here’s a sampling of what some tire makers are offering.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

“Cooper Tire offers a variety of options for our dealers to help promote our products, including the UHP Cooper Zeon RS3-S and RS3-A, and training is always at the beginning,” says Scott Jamieson, director of product management. “It is critical for our dealers to understand and to be able to explain to the consumer the benefits that our products bring to their vehicle.”

Cooper Tire has a dedicated website for dealer e-learning courses, which provides the counterman the opportunity to learn more about Cooper products, in addition to a product-specific website,

“This website not only explains the tire’s features and benefits, but also showcases the products’ high-performance capabilities and provides real-world testimonials about the products’ performance. Cooper Tire will also run trade and consumer advertising, and offer promotions to our dealers and direct to consumers.”

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

“Goodyear offers a full range of tools to help dealers promote and sell UHP tires,” says Tara Foote, high performance marketing manager. “Obviously, excellent UHP products form the foundation of any dealer’s strategy, and Goodyear provides a complete lineup of tires to fulfill nearly any UHP segment and consumer need. Beyond that, salesperson training is vital to the success of UHP tire selling, and Goodyear offers a lot.

“We kicked off a Performance Tire Specialist program in 2012, recognizing opportunity in this area as the performance segment continues to evolve. Additional training comes via a ride-and-drive program that travels around North America, and through extensive online courses.

“Retailers also benefit from Goodyear’s advertising, strong promotional programs and high-level activation such as motorsports involvement — all elements that help to drive traffic to their stores. Online activity also helps drive consumers to dealer outlets, and in-store support serves as extra assistance once there.”


Hankook Tire America Corp.

“Hankook provides dealers with different training,” the company says. “Hankook Empowerment training happens online and can be done at the convenience of the dealer’s employees’ time. Hankook representatives provide ongoing training for dealer personnel, plus Hankook conducts ride-and-drive events in the field for dealers every year where they can actually drive on some of our products.

“Hankook conducts seminars at our Akron Technical Center for our customers explaining in more technical detail how tires are researched and developed (in order to provide) a better ‘technical’ education to enhance their ability to translate highly technical products to everyday ‘sales speak’ for their customers.

“Then, we run national consumer promotions to help get our customers to want to purchase our tires including, but not limited to, UHP tires. Finally, Hankook is involved with many environmentally friendly programs to help improve how tires are used and disposed of after their ‘first’ life.”

Hercules Tire & Rubber Co.

“Hercules educates tire dealers regarding UHP fitments and the performance characteristics of our UHP tires,” says Steven Liu, director of consumer product marketing, Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. “Of course, our value proposition in regards to our UHP offering starts with great quality products and outstanding customer service.”

Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc.

“Kumho Tire U.S.A. offers an assortment of tools to aid our dealers in selling Kumho UHP tires and 2013 will feature even more,” says Rick Brennan, vice president of marketing. “We frequently have rebates offered on some of our most popular UHP tires, including the Ecsta 4X, LE Sport and LX Platinum. Whenever we’ve offered these rebates, and this is true for rebates coming in 2013, we provide POP materials to ensure our dealers get the word out to the consumers, and we can sell together in the most successful and efficient ways possible.

“Our enhanced associate dealer program, Premium Fuel, offers an expanded UHP tire lineup, increased bonuses on units purchased, and updated marketing materials including brochures and counter cards. Our Edge training program also highlights our UHP products and how they fit into the market helping dealers to sell UHP.”

Michelin North America Inc.

“Michelin offers our dealers training in a variety of business and technical applications that include the unique needs of ultra-high performance tires and the consumers that drive these vehicles,” says Doug Brown, sport UHP brand category manager. “The dealer that understands the applications, special needs and unique products of UHP has a point of differentiation among his or her competition.”

Nexen Tire America Inc.

“Nexen’s best selling point is our value,” says Scott Sulsberger, regional sales manager. “We offer our dealers innovative UHP tires that provide performance and reliability at a fair price. We stay flexible, and keep things simplified for our dealers so they can focus on selling Nexen tires to value-conscious consumers based on their recommendation that our performance tires provide the best bang for the buck.

“And Nexen has recently upgraded our marketing materials and point-of-purchase options for our dealers. We have produced low-profile LED signs, tire stands, banners, tire stack covers and our new multi-tire showroom displays. In addition, we offer new product guides, data books and full-page spec sheets as well as pocket brochures for each of our family of products.”


Pirelli Tire North America Inc.

“Pirelli dealers are offered opportunities to participate in ‘Drive & Learn’ and ‘e-learning’ training programs to enhance their knowledge of UHP tires,” says Tom Gravalos, vice president of marketing and original equipment. “Our dealers are also provided the opportunity to participate in consumer promotions that are designed to drive consumers to their places of business. Lastly, they are offered the opportunity to provide their customers with what we believe are the best-in-class UHP tires.”

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.

“Whether it’s UHP, touring or light truck tires, we offer our dealers a number of tools to train their staff and market our products,” says John Hagan, senior director of sales. “Newly released is our Toyo Product iPad app available on iTunes. It brings together important information on our products from features and benefits, to product videos, sizes and training.

“Additional support includes our online training program and on-site training . Our website is also a go-to for our dealers, with the current available sizes and product information at their fingertips.

“The Toyo brand and products include point-of-purchase materials, an ad-builder site and robust co-op program. We have also partnered with dealers on a local level to take advantage of sponsorship and promotional opportunities.

“For our wholesale partners and smaller dealers we also have a very successful associate dealer program, known as the Driven program.”

Yokohama Tire Corp.

“Yokohama’s heritage is on UHP tires, and we offer a variety of support to dealers to promote the segment,” says Andrew Briggs, director of product planning. “We provide dealer education through our EXCEED (Excellence through Certification and Education) Online Training Module; through our award-winning Yokohama Tire Explorer iPad app; through ride-and-drives that provide hands-on product experience and in-store training, as well as various point-of-sale materials.”    ■

See also:

Enthusiasts versus accidental UHP tire buyers

UHP tires at OE: options abound