Looking to build its winter tire business, Goodyear has launched the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter, targeting the "mid-lower" portion of the tiremaker’s retail product screen.
The new tire, currently available to dealers in 36 sizes covering 14- through 19-inch wheel diameters, marks Goodyear’s effort to offer a top branded tire without a top branded price point.
The tire is targeting popular mid-range vehicles like the Chevy Impala and Malibu, Honda Odyssey and Accord, Toyota RAV4 and Corolla, Ford Focus and Fusion, and many more.
The Ultra Grip Winter joins more premium Goodyear brand offerings Ultra Grip Performance 2, Ultra Grip SUV, Ultra Grip Ice WRT and Ultra Grip GW3 and GW2 for pursuit vehicles, as well as Dunlop branded Winter Sport 3D, Graspic DS-3 and Grandtrek SJ6, SJ5 and SJ4.
The new tire features a directional tread pattern with three wide circumferential grooves to push snow and slush through the contact patch, thousands of sipes for traction, and it is ready to accept tire studs. The tire also carries the industry mountain/snowflake symbol designating severe winter service capability.
The tiremaker sees Continental’s General Altimax Arctic as one of its primary competitors in the segment it is now targeting, and claims its Ultra Grip Winter stops six feet shorter than that tire.
The tiremaker recognizes that winter tire shipments will be softer this year, primarily because of the inventory still being held by dealers after warmer-than-average winters in 2010 and 2011. Weather-related shipment declines haven’t softened driver recognition of the need for more reliable winter footing, Goodyear said, and retail sales of winter tires continue to trend upward in much of Canada and the portions of the U.S. that face harsh winter seasons.
With a mid-lower range offering, Goodyear feels it can take better advantage of expected winter tire growth by giving dealers a quality-price-value product that appeals to a wider range of drivers.
Courtesy of TIRE REVIEW.