New brand slogans, partnerships, sponsorships and continued successful Continental Gold dealer programs are the main themes at this week’s Continental Tire Gold dealer meeting in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.
Chris Charity, vice president of sales, U.S. PLT replacement business, Continental Tire the Americas LLC, said the 316 qualified dealers at the event represent the largest number of Gold meeting attendees in the industry. program history.
He noted that Continental’s recently signed agreement to become the official tire of the Universal Technical Institute is an example of how the company is addressing the needs and concerns of its dealers.
In what has been described as a move to hone Continental’s personality as “a smart, confident tire brand whose knowledge and passion inspire confidence in others”, Travis Roffler, Continental’s chief marketing officer, said t was time to launch a new slogan – “The Smart Choice in Tires” – for the brand. The slogan is also reflected in a new website.
Continental has also added a new element to its Total Trust plan for gold dealers. In January, it began offering travel insurance as part of the program, which dealers can offer to their customers.
Roffler said the plan provides up to $500 for hotel and other expenses if a customer’s vehicle breaks down. The program has also expanded its use of a 60-day customer satisfaction trial.
Roffler told dealers that current studies show that 86% of consumers research tires online before buying them. When asked how many dealers actively use social media and online platforms to promote their dealerships, about half said they are.
He also told dealers that geofencing is quickly becoming an important way to reach consumers.
Continental has signed on to be the sole tire supplier and sponsor of the new Toyota Gazoo Racing (GR) Cup series, starting in 2023. The road racing series is held at seven venues and 14 races and will use Toyota Supras GR 86 identical. Continental will supply its ExtremeContact DR tire for the series, according to Roffler.
When Continental began its sponsorship of Major League Soccer in 2010, Roffler said there were maybe 10 teams using “no-name TV stations”.
The league has since grown to 28 teams, with many events receiving national broadcasts and from 2023 streaming live via Apple.
Roffler told dealers that Continental was signed up through 2025 as a major league sponsor.
Continental also continued its sponsorship of NCAA college basketball, with 32 separate schools, as well as pre-conference tournaments in November and December of this year. The season will culminate in conference championship sponsorships with the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12.
As for the General Tire brand, Roffler said the brand also has a new slogan. Refining General’s brand personality as “a charismatic tire brand that moves with contagious swagger, born of abiding confidence, not arrogance or rebellion”, the slogan simply reads “Pound”, in emphasizing the “live” in the middle of the word.
Roffler said the General brand will continue its sponsorship of Major League Fishing which began in 2013 and airs on CBS, as well as Discovery and the Outdoor Channel.
General also has a contract as a sponsor of the ARCA racing series until 2024. These races are broadcast on the FS1, USA and MAVTV networks.
Gold dealers also received updates on recent product launches for the General brand from Joe Maher, product manager, Continental.
He said General AltiMax RT45which replaced the General AltiMax RT43, executed its first launch phase in June 2022 with the introduction of 100 sizes, representing 73% of volume and achieving 100% fill rate for dealers. The launch of phase two will take place in September, with 36 additional sizes representing 27% of the volume.
Maher also informed dealers about the General Grabber HD Van tire which was launched last February. He said one of the tire’s main selling points was its longer life than comparable competitors.
Debbie Richards, Gold Program Manager, congratulated 10 dealers for reaching a 15-year milestone in the program, as well as 21 dealers for reaching 10 years and seven dealers for achieving five-year status.
Richards also explained that the company continues to upgrade its reseller portal, as well as its Gold app for resellers.
Next year’s Gold Meeting will take place March 20-24 at Atelier Playa Mujeres in Mexico.