LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Bridgestone Americas, Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. and Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) will feature slates of their truck tires at the 2015 Mid America Truck Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, which runs March 26-28.
For Bridgestone, MATS represents the launch of the “newly refreshed” Dayton truck tire brand, which will encompasss the rollout of eight new Dayton patterns and will be backed by a refreshed “Tires for Truckers” marketing campaign and website, the Nashville, Tenn.-based tire maker said.
For Continental, MATS offers the opportunity to kick off the General brand's centennial year celebrations. Continental did not offer details of which new products might be featured at the show, but the firm's website dedicated to the General commercial product is headlined “100 Years of Reliability” and features nine General-brand tires.
Bridgestone's new Tires for Truckers campaign “captures the spirit of commitment and determination exhibited by today's truckers,” said Matt Loos, director of truck and bus marketing, Bridgestone Commercial. “They have a job to get done and deadlines to meet. They don't have time for down time because if they aren't moving, they aren't earning.
“Our campaign…gets to the heart of what we provide to these hard-working individuals—affordable tires that keep them moving.”
In addition to the new website, the Dayton campaign includes national advertising in trucking trades and corresponding digital properties, satellite and FM radio and an outdoor program. Dayton billboards can be found in select markets across the country along highways heavily traveled by truckers.
Bridgestone did not disclose what it's spending on the campaign.
During MATS, Bridgestone will host a buffalo wing eating contest at the show on March 27, with a set of 10 Dayton commercial truck tires awarded to the winner. Runners-up will be eligible for a consolation bag of prizes valued at more than $700, including a $500 truck stop gift card and $275 Speedco gift card.
This year marks the centennial of the founding of General Tire & Rubber Co., which has been part of Continental since 1987.
Founded in 1915 in Akron by William F. O'Neill and his partner Winfred E. Fouse, General Tire focused from the beginning on the commercial side of the business, starting with an oversized pneumatic tire they called the General Jumbo to compete with the solid rubber tires prevalent then.
General Tire followed that up with the high-mileage, puncture-proof Dual Balloon and by the 1930s had become the largest truck tire manufacturer in the U.S., Conti said, and gained OE positions with all the major truck manufacturers during the 1940s. At the same time, General broadened its range into passenger tires and was operating six plants in North America by the early 1970s.
The tire maker also branched into business areas beyond tires—including aerospace and defense, entertainment and broadcasting, chemicals/plastics and industrial products, tennis ball production and hotel development—and bundled the businesses into a holding company called GenCorp Inc. in 1984.
Continental acquired GenCorp's tire business in 1987 in the midst of a hostile takeover attempt. The name changed to Continental General Tire Inc. in 1995 before being renamed Continental Tire North America Inc. in May 2000.
YTC said it plans to highlight its SmartWay-verified low-rolling-resistance truck tires at its MATS booth. They include ultra-wide-base (UWB), drive, trailer and steer/all-position tires.
“Yokohama's been a big proponent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SmartWay program for many years,” said Rick Phillips, YTC vice president of sales, consumer, commercial and OTR. “Our SmartWay-verified tires have all met the program's stringent, verified low rolling resistance criteria because they run cooler and help reduce fuel consumption, which cuts costs to fleets and benefits the environment.”
YTC tires that will be on display include:
902L UWB: Long-haul/regional drive tire available in size 445/50R22.5.
TY517 UWB: Drive tire available in size 445/50R22.5.
703ZL: Drive tire first produced with Yokohama's Zenvironment technology available in sizes 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5.
709ZL: Drive tire with Zenvironment technology available in sizes 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5.
TY517MC2: Ultra-fuel efficient line-haul drive tire available in sizes 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5.
RY407 UWB: Trailer tire featuring an ultra-low profile; available in size 445/50R22.5.
RY587: All-position trailer tire available in sizes 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5.
101ZL Spec-2: Next-generation long-haul steer tire available in sizes 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5.
RY023: Regional haul and urban all-position tire available in sizes 215/75R17.5, 235/75R17.5, 225/75R19.5, 245/75R19.5, 265/75R19.5, 285/75R19.5, 255/70R22.5, 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5.
RY617: All-position steer tire available in sizes 295/75R22.5, 11R22.5, 285/75R24.5 and 11R24.5