The Goodyear Tire and Rubber company intends to release at least two more consumer-integrated tires during the second half of 2023, Renee Radabaugh, vice president, consumer channels & categories, North America, revealed during the company’s recent “Innovation Day.” Innovation Day was an opportunity for Goodyear to show off its latest products and technology to the media for its 125th anniversary. While detailed information on these tires is being withheld for the moment, the company said the newest tires will include a new all-terrain tire and a new performance all-season tire.
2023 Consumer Tires
Following the acquisition of Cooper Tire, Radabuagh said the company considers Goodyear tires to be its premium tier, Cooper tires to be its upper-mid tier, Kelly and Mastercraft tires to be its lower-mid tier, and Starfire tires – which also came along with the Cooper Tire acquisition – to be its economy tier. Radabaugh said Goodyear’s Dunlop and Mickey Thompson brands are considered “niche” with more specific purposes, and therefore don’t fit neatly into the company’s tiered system.
Radabaugh said Goodyear is now finding and implementing “synergies and efficiencies” across the Goodyear and Cooper brands, such as manufacturing certain lines of Cooper tires in Goodyear plants and vice versa.
“Those things are going to continue to evolve and really help us maximize the footprint of the Cooper Goodyear plants that are out there,” she said.
So far in 2023, Goodyear has launched three new consumer-facing tires: the Goodyear Wrangler Steadfast HT; the Cooper Pro Control; and the Kelly Edge line, which includes the Kelly Edge Touring All-Season and Kelly Edge Sport.
The Goodyear Wrangler Steadfast HT tire, which features Kevlar built into the belt, was designed to maximize wet traction in the H/T segment and all-terrain market, and is intended to be fitted to pickup truck and SUV applications.
“We’re also focusing on the growing sizes, and when we launch new tires we want to get as much coverage of the market for that application as possible. For the Steadfast, we launched 23 sizes and it covers 70% of that application,” Radabaugh said.
The Cooper Pro Control consolidates three former Cooper tire lines into one commuter touring power line. It was released with 60 new sizes, with 95% of these sizes 17-in. and above.
“We simplified the portfolio,” Radabaugh said. “Our customers like that because it’s easier to train their associates. If you don’t have multiple lines, you can simplify it for them.”
The Kelly Edge Touring A/S was launched in 63 new sizes, with 64% of those being 17 inches and above, intended for “drivers who want sensible, quality, long-lasting and secure everyday driving,” according to Goodyear. The Kelly Edge Sport was launched in 33 new sizes with 100% of those being 17 inches and above, marketed as “a value-driven, dependable performance tire ready for all-season use.”
2023 Commercial Tires
Tom Lippello, senior director, commercial marketing, said the company considers its Goodyear branded tires to be its premium-tiered commercial tires; and its Marathon and Workhorse tires to be in its upper-mid tier. With the acquisition of Cooper Tires and Roadmaster Tires, those tires land in Goodyear’s lower-mid tier and economy tier, respectively. Kelly also lands in the company’s economy tier. The company is now fully divested from Dunlop products within the commercial business.
So far in 2023, Goodyear has launched a variety of products. For the Goodyear brand, the Fuel Max 1AD is a low-rolling resistance tire designed for single-axle drive applications.
“Also, a key feature that we spent years developing is a deep siping tread pattern,” Lippello said. “The sipes remain all the way down to the 432nd pull point when the customer will pull that tire off.”
The Goodyear brand has also released two “electric drive ready” tires into its commercial tire portfolio so far this year – the Urban Max BSAEV and the Rangemax RSDEV. The former is an all-position tire and is the company’s entrance into designing tires for the electric bus market. The latter is a regional service drive tire designed with low rolling resistance properties.
“This product is the first one that we’re launching under the Range Max sub-brand name. In our prior portfolio, we used Fuel Max as the sub-brand that denotes low rolling resistance to help vehicles get better fuel mileage,” Lippello said. “As we’re thinking about the market shifting from internal combustion engines to electric, we wanted to rebrand our products and use a name that suggests additional range whether it is an internal combustion vehicle or an electric vehicle. We’re now going to be launching our ultra-low rolling resistance products under the Range Max name going forward.”
While designing EV tires to minimize noise tends to be a priority for passenger vehicles, Lippello said this isn’t typically the case for commercial EV applications.
“We have the foam and tire technology within the consumer business to address noise for consumer tires, but it really hasn’t been a big need from our commercial partners in terms of controlling vehicle noise when you talk about urban bus or last mile delivery vehicles. They’re starting and stopping so often. They’re not on a highway where you hear that road noise as a constant factor, so it’s been less of a need in those areas,” he said. “It’s not to say though as electric starts to expand to other categories and other vocations in commercial where they’re spending more time doing longer highway hauls that it won’t be a factor in the future, but at least for the applications that are out there today, we haven’t addressed it.”
Other commercial tires released in the first half of the year include the Cooper-branded Work Series RHT2; the Roadmaster RM 272; and an entire new generation of Kelly Armorsteel tires. Each of these tires are designed for vocational applications.