CHICAGO (March 25, 2010)—Bridgestone Americas is adding a mid-range tire line, called Precision, to its Firestone-brand portfolio that will fill a “value” void in the product range and be exclusive to the firm's independent dealer channel.
The new line debuts with Touring and Sport models designed to help dealers address customers' needs in the broadline performance and touring segments, according to Phil Pacsi, vice president of U.S. and Canada consumer tire marketing for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
“It's clear that there's an increased demand for Firestone as our value brand,” Pacsi said at the line's debut at the recent Chicago Auto Show. “We've listened to the voice of the customer and we're excited to be bringing four new Firestone brand tires to market to hit every key segment of the market, including cars, trucks, (and sport-utility and crossover vehicles).”
Pacsi said the Precision line is a response to dealer demands for a product line between the entry-level FR series and the more premium Firehawk and Affinity lines.
Bridgestone also is enhancing its existing Firestone lineup with new Firehawk high-performance and Destination light truck/SUV lines.
With a wide footprint, silica-reinforced tread compound and circumferential grooves, the Precision Touring provides improved wear, handling and resistance to hydroplaning, compared with the firm's entry-level FR series, Bridgestone said.
The tire will come in 20 sizes ranging in rim diameters from 15 to 17 inches and will be covered by a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty. Popular fitments include the Chevy Malibu, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Kia Sedona.
Bridgestone is pitching the Precision Sport as a value-oriented all-season high-performance design, with a 40,000-mile limited treadwear warranty. It will launch with 17 H speed-rated sizes covering about half of the potential fitments for the category. It is aimed at owners of cars, including the Nissan Altima, Ford Focus and Mazda 3, Bridgestone said.
The Precision Sport launches in April while dealers will have to wait until the second half for the Precision Touring.
The tires are being built both in the U.S. and overseas, Bridgestone said.
The new Firehawk tire is the Wide Oval Indy 500, a W-rated version of the model Bridgestone calls the Firestone brand's ultra-high-performance “flagship.” The new tire will be available in 40 sizes ranging in rim diameters from 15 to 20 inches.
Tuned for wet and dry handling, the Wide Oval Indy 500 is targeted at owners of performance cars like the Ford Mustang, Pontiac G8 and Honda Civic Si.
The addition to the Destination line is the ST, a sport truck tire with an asymmetric, non-directional tread design built for all seasons and spirited handling. Tuned for performance SUVs, crossover vehicles and light trucks, the Destination is H-, V- and W-speed-rated and comes with a 40,000-mile limited tread wear warranty.
It will be available in 18 sizes, including fitments for the Jeep Liberty, Chevrolet Silverado and Mazda CX-7.