Over the last six months, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) has unveiled four new passenger tire brands, and all received a formal introduction to dealers and the media during a special program at Phoenix’s Firebird International Raceway in April.
The first, the Potenza RE050, was available as of February in W and Y speed ratings and “delivers excellent dry and wet handling, sporty responsiveness and a comfortable, quiet ride,” according to BFNAT. The tiremaker says the new RE050 tire combines the tread design of the Potenza F1 dry tire with the Potenza F1 rain tire to deliver extra wet/dry traction.
The Potenza RE050 is available in 25 sizes, ranging from 17 to 19 inches. BFNAT is also offering a companion Potenza RE050 run-flat version in eight 16- to 18-inch sizes.
In addition, the Potenza RE050A, a companion tire, features an asymmetrical tread pattern, combining large, outside elements for improved handling and smaller, inside elements for water evacuation.
The Potenza RE050 has already been selected for OE fitment on the BMW 5- and 6-Series; the BMW Z4; the Porsche 997; the Mercedes Benz C-, E- and S-Class; the Audi C6 and the Enzo Ferrari.
Another tire recently introduced by BFNAT is the Insignia SE200, featuring the manufacturer’s UNI-T technology. The new mass-market tire, available in the spring, replaces the Insignia SL. According to BFNAT, the new tire offers a wider footprint and a silica-based compound for wet traction. The Insignia SE200 is available in 29 different 13- to 16-inch sizes, in the 80 to 55 series.
The third new line, the H-rated Potenza G009 tire, also features UNI-T technology. It replaces the Eager and Potenza RE910 and is available this spring in 25 14- to 17-inch sizes in 65 to 40 series.
And, finally, BFNAT officially launched its new Fuzion performance tire, available in retail outlets as of Mar. 15. The Fuzion ZRi tire is available in W, V and H speed ratings and more than 30 different 16- to 20-inch sizes covering 30 to 60 series aspect ratios.
To promote its new Fuzion line, BFNAT released an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at 18- to 24-year-old “tuners.”
The company’s marketing strategy includes print ads in automotive, consumer and trade publications; sponsorship of a variety of lifestyle-oriented custom auto shows; participation in feature car competitions; and a new Web site ®“ www.thefuzionzone.com. The site offers product and size information for the new Fuzion ZRi line as well as an online, interactive racing game created by online game publisher WildTangent.