Think of your tire inventory. Do you have a go-to tire in the touring segment? Well, Continental wants you to think of its General Tire brand when you’re at the counter with the customer that needs a tire in this segment. If you’re currently a Conti dealer, you may think, “I already have that tire. The General AltiMax RT43.” Now, its successor is here.
“Dealers said don’t mess it up,” said Joe Maher, Continental product manager, jokingly about the feedback they received when planning to release the tire’s successor, the General AltiMax RT45, which is slated to arrive at dealer locations starting July 1. Maher admits many of the tire’s elements remain, yet improvements in wear and wet grip are what take the RT 43’s successor to the next level.
“We didn’t want to change the performance balance with this product,” says Maher. “We continued things like reliable braking, but the wet performance sells this tire, and its wear and longevity prompt the customer to want to buy it again.”
Maher and the Continental team said the General AltiMax RT45 has a 10% improvement in wear over the RT43, thanks to an update to a flatter contour which makes the tire more suitable for front-wheel-drive applications and can help mitigate edge wear.
The Continental team highlighted a few other aspects of the tire, which help it compete in a crowded touring segment–and make it the dealer’s go-to choice, as Maher said. First, the tire comes in 100 sizes at launch covering 14 to 20 in. rim diameters. With an additional 36 sizes coming in September 2022, the tire’s whopping 136 sizes cover more than 85% of the touring segment and make it a power line, Maher says.
“With this tire, dealers can talk about it in the parking lot with a customer without having to look if they have the right size,” says Maher, who added that the tire’s fitments cover an array of vehicles from small sub-compacts to minivans to full-size vehicles and CUVs.
In addition, the Altimax RT45 features three different speed ratings –T, H and V speed ratings– that are a part of Continental’s “power line” formula.
“You have a speed rating on the vehicle, and [this tire] does not require the dealer to sell through an objection they’re creating. If you have to change a speed rating, they might get an objection with the consumer, but this line allows the dealer to overcome that objection because the tires [in those speed ratings] are designed for the particular application.”
In addition to these benefits, dealers can also expect the General AltiMax RT45 to have:
- Balance in stiffness across the symmetrical tread pattern, which helps with wear and handling;
- Reliable braking on wet roads;
- Responsive handling on dry roads;
- Low road noise;
- A replacement tire monitor, or letters on the tread that, when it wears, read “replace tire,” at 2/32 of tread depth;
- Visual alignment indicators on the side of the tread that wears off to alert the driver of any uneven wear patterns that could indicate an alignment is needed.
Maher added that the tire will be priced competitively, too. “We look forward to this tire leading in the value and quality segment,” he said.
Additionally, the Continental tire team says the tire is already in stock and ready for dealer orders. “We needed to transition to [the General AltiMax RT45] in a fashion that would not lead to backorder supply issues. The fastest way to lose momentum on a product line is with backorders.” Maher said. “We launched the product to dealers seven months ago and have a good amount of inventory to be in good supply of the product.”
Maher said the tire is manufactured in different Continental facilities around the world, which also helps the company to have a better fill rate.
The tire, available for dealers to order now, is also backed by up to a 75,000-mile warranty and a 45-day trial period.