- Relaunch strategy builds on proud legacy and consumer support in SA
- All-new passenger car tyres and expanded 4×4 line-up complement existing range
- Builds on General Tyre core values of performance, reliability and heritage, linked to strong value proposition
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, 16 July 2014 – General Tyre is embarking on a bold relaunch campaign as it sets out to dramatically expand its product portfolio and increase its profile in the South African market.
Some 65 years since opening its manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth, General Tyre – which has been owned by Continental AG since 1987 – is undergoing a resurgence in SA with a focused campaign that aims to capture a larger share of the market.
The relaunch programme is built on an expanded and thoroughly modern product line-up that combines innovative new technologies with General Tyre’s proven core values of reliability, performance, heritage and overall value.
“General Tyre enjoys an extremely loyal following and a strong historical association with the South African market,” says Niel Langner, marketing manager for Continental Tyre SA (CTSA).
“We are building on this legacy with an up-to-date product range that employs the latest design and technology derived from the Continental Tyre group to provide customers with excellent levels of safety, performance, quality and reliability.
“This is matched to a strong value-for-money proposition that is crucial in our extremely competitive market, and gives buyers a wider range of choice.”
While Continental is a global leader in the development and manufacture of original equipment (OE) tyres to vehicle manufacturers, and retains its status as CTSA’s premium tyre brand, General is now positioned as a fully-fledged offering in the value segment as part of the company’s new multi-brand strategy.
With the high level of brand recognition that General Tyre enjoys in SA, the new plan sees it replacing the Barum-branded tyre range locally.
“Although our Barum tyres offered good quality and pricing, the marque was never able to match the levels of brand awareness carried over more than six decades by General Tyre. Accordingly, the General Tyre range now fulfils the role as our value segment contender, followed by our exclusive Matador range, that competes in the budget tyre sector.”
Modern range, latest technology
The relaunch of General Tyre in SA is spearheaded by an exciting line-up of new products that deliver innovative technologies and contemporary design.
General Tyre heralds its return to the passenger car segment with two all-new tyre ranges: the Altimax Sport and the Altimax Comfort. Developed based on stringent European demands, the Altimax range delivers superlative braking and handling performance, combined with low rolling resistance in the interests of improved fuel efficiency.
The General Grabber GT is the company’s latest offering in the rapidly growing high-performance SUV segment. It is introduced alongside the award-winning Grabber AT and the rugged Grabber MT – both of which are already highly rated contenders in the all-terrain and mud-terrain 4×4 segments, respectively.
Two significant new features make their debut on the Altimax and Grabber GT ranges as part of General Tyre’s innovative Monitor Technology.
The Visual Alignment Indicator (VAI) allows vehicle owners to identify uneven wear within the first 1 000 km of driving, highlighting potential wheel alignment issues and assisting in preventing premature wear.
The Replacement Tire Monitor (RTM) represents an important innovation in driving safety. The tyre boasts the ‘Replacement Tire Monitor’ inscription in the centre rib that changes to ‘Replace Tire’ as the 3 mm tread depth is reached, thereby indicating that the tyre should be changed.
Building on a proven legacy
The expansion of the General Tyre range and introduction of several important new models in the passenger and off-road categories builds on the long-standing legacy of the brand’s existing top performers.
Over the decades, General Tyre has established a solid foundation in the light and heavy truck segments with a mix of bias and radial-type tyres, and these continue to be offered in the SA market in a variety of popular sizes.
The brand also enjoys a strong presence in the off-the-road (OTR) sector, particularly in the agricultural market. This is complemented by a vast array of specialist tyres for mining and earthmover applications, as well as logging and road grading.
Investing in success
A vast range of General Tyre products have been produced at the Port Elizabeth plant since the start of local production in 1949, however the facility has benefited from massive investment and expansion, particularly in recent years.
A multi-million rand investment in the Continental Tyre SA factory has ensured that locally produced tyres offer the latest technology and meet the highest international standards for quality, performance and efficiency. The production volume caters for OE customers and the domestic market, as well as for export.
Within the new General Tyre range, local production encompasses selected sizes of the Grabber AT, Altimax Comfort and Altimax Sport, as well as an extensive range of agricultural, mining and truck tyres.
The line-up also incorporates selected imported sizes, while the Grabber MT is fully imported from the US.