He says the company decided to leverage the iconic legacy of the DieHard brand, beginning with a study of nearly 600 consumers. Each was given a list of 10 tire brands, which included Michelin and Goodyear. “We asked them, ‘If you were to going to buy a tire, which brand would you buy?' And wouldn’t you know, out of the 10 brands, DieHard finished in the top five.”
Park would not reveal the manufacturer of the tire, citing company policy, “but it’s a well-known, global manufacturer for this type of tire.” Sears not only owns the molds, but also helped design the tire.
“Our engineering team worked directly with the manufacturer with our specifications and the design that we wanted.”
The DieHard Silver Touring A/S is being marketed as a Tier 2 tire, the “better” tire, at Sears, says Park. “That’s why we specifically call it the DieHard Silver.”
However, Philip Philip, general manager of the DieHard brand, says the company is still “working through the overall portfolio strategy in terms of how we get DieHard into the portfolio.” That could mean marketing it as a Tier 1 tire in a specific tire segment.
It also could mean the eventual elimination of the RoadHandler tire, which is currently co-branded with the Hankook brand. The Guardsman private brand is a Tier 3 tire in the Sears inventory. Sears offers Michelin, BFGoodrich, Cooper, Goodyear, Uniroyal, Continental and General tires, “and we can special order any name brand product,” says Park.
The new broad-line DieHard Silver Touring A/S features the following:
* an advanced carbon tread compound that delivers “outstanding wet and dry grip.”
* nylon belt edge layers, normally found in high performance tires.
* full-depth sipes, effective for the life of the tire. They are engineered to “cut through water film for greater wet traction and maximize all-season performance, even during harsh winters,” according to the company.
* jointless, spiral-wound bead bundles that isolate road harshness, provide enhanced comfort, lower vibration and “allow for a more precise tire-to-rim fit.”
* Tension Control technology, which “increases the tension in the bead and shoulder area, providing improved handling and steering response.”
The tire will be available in August in 36 T-rated sizes ranging from 13 to 18 inches.
13-inch (1): P175/70R13.
14-inch (5): From P185/75R14 to P185/60R14.
15-inch (15): From P205/75R15 to P215/60R15.
16-inch (11): From P215/70R16 to P205/55R15.
17-inch (3): P235/65R17, P225/60R17 and P235/60R17.
18-inch (1): P235/65R18.
The sizes fit sedans, mid-sized vehicles, minivans and crossover utility vehicles. Target vehicles include the Acura 3.2 TL and Integra; Dodge Caravan; Ford Windstar; Honda Accord and Civic; Lincoln Town Car; Mazda 6; Nissan Sentra; and Toyota Camry and Corolla.
Sears backs the DieHard Silver Touring A/S tires with a 70,000-mile limited tread wear warranty.
Consumers can buy the tires online at either DieHard.com or Sears.com, although they only can be installed at Sears Auto Centers.
Sears will support the launch with a nationwide marketing and advertising campaign and associate training. “We’re all-in on this,” says Park.