GREER, S.C.—Goodyear said it plans to focus more energy on pushing its Dunlop brand with consumers and reinforcing its original equipment presence.
Company officials said during a recent ride-and-drive event in Greer that one of the firm's goals is to strengthen the Dunlop offerings by maintaining a high frequency of product introductions.
During the event, the company launch¬ed¬¬ its Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT ultra-high-performance tire, which it highlighted along with several other recent additions to Dunlop's tire lineup, including the SP Sport Signature all-season tire, Rover M/T Maxx Traction all-terrain light truck tire and Signature CS all-season crossover vehicle tire.
The Sport Maxx TT has aspect ratios ranging from 30 to 55 and features sidewalls reinforced with DuPont Kevlar aramid fiber to enhance steering precision. It also includes the company's Touch Technology, which uses a flatter tread profile, asymmetric tread design, unique bead fit system and Dunlop's Multi-Radius Tread Technology to provide enhanced communication between the driver and the road, Goodyear said.
The technology along with a racing-inspired tread pattern combine to provide strong grip and steering response, the company added.
The tire also features Dunlop's Jointless Band Technology to help maintain shape at highway speeds and a Max Flange Shield design component to help protect rims from accidental curb damage.
The Sport Maxx TT will be offered initially in 35 sizes in rim diameters from 16 to 22 inches, Goodyear said.
Razvan Bosomoiu, general manager of Dunlop brand marketing, said the company is focused on making “the right tire at the right time in the right place.
“This is not easy, this is extremely difficult actually. To cover 90 percent of the market now we need about 400 different sizes.”
Bosomoiu said part of Good¬year's efforts to increase customer satisfaction in North America is to produce more products in North American-specific sizes.
According to Bosomoiu, about 75 percent of Dunlop products sold in the U.S. are manufactured in North America, with most imports being winter and UHP tires as well as OE fitments. Good-year said it plans to increase U.S. capacity for production of Dunlop tires in the future, but it did not provide details.
The company said it is planning an advertising campaign based on its American Le Mans Series partnership with BMW. This will include a print campaign, race/win support ads, display ads on BMW's Web site, and Dunlop and BMW merchandise. Dunlop dealers also will receive targeted point-of-sale display materials.
“We're planning to refocus our marketing efforts in order to really improve and build the value for broader targets, for more consumers than just performance,” Bosomoiu said, adding that the brand's marketing campaign is still under development.
“We are analyzing the most effective messages and communication channels to illustrate for a broader audience the ability of Dunlop to empower consumers to enjoy their driving experiences,” he said.