‘Es ist wieder geil, auto zu fahren’ (it’s cool to drive a car again)

'Es ist wieder geil, auto zu fahren' (it's cool to drive a car again)

Goodyear's new brand positioning will start in the second quarter of 2019. From now on, the brand will present itself in a sporty way and focus entirely on emotion. "Safety and comfort are taken for granted by the end consumer anyway," explains Wolfgang Stummer, GF of Goodyear Dunlop Austria. The general mindset has changed, and it is "cool to drive again," says Stummer.

KFZ Wirtschaft: Mr. Stummer, why this image change?? Wolfgang Stummer: Until now, we had four different Goodyear presences: one in Asia, one in North America, one in South America and one in Europe and Africa. With different slogans. Different colors in the brand identity. Now everything has been brought under one roof. The starting signal will be given in this year's second quarter; specifically, the core markets in Europe will be launched: Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. There will also be TV campaigns and Austria will be part of it from the very beginning in the wake of Germany.

How are the brands positioned in concrete terms?
In the medium term, we will maintain two premium brands in Europe, with Dunlop becoming more of a European regional brand. Goodyear's positioning has so far been focused on "safety. From now on, the brand presence will be sportier and more emotional. It is already being launched with the new super sports series for the road and for the racetrack.

What are the specific products in this series??
With the Eagle F1 SuperSport, SuperSport R and SuperSport RS, Goodyear will launch a new series of Ultra Ultra High Performance (UUHP) tires between February and November.

Do you personally welcome Goodyear's image change to the sporty one?
Basically yes. The image was tested in Austria and Germany. The result: Goodyear is perceived as the sporty tire. For consumers, the brand is still associated with the Formula 1 commitment of the 1980s and 1990s. Personally, I think it's very good that the focus is now on sportiness and adventure, especially since "safety" and "comfort" don't have enough emotional appeal. Sportiness and adventure are ideally suited to emotion.

Have the demands of the end consumer changed?
Car manufacturers have also long focused on safety parameters. I think that the general attitude of the population has changed. Comfort and safety are now taken for granted anyway. Driving is again something casual, sporty with emotion. Visually, too, there is a trend toward a sportier touch. The same is true for the tire. We want to have the most modern products with the most innovative technology. I am convinced that there is a very good market for them. In particular, considering how many new segments are being opened up by automakers in the direction of higher-quality and sportier vehicles, there is a clear target group that wants the highest quality. We want to serve them with our sporty product range.

"Sportiness and adventure are ideally suited to emotion." WOLFGANG STUMMER, GF GOODYEAR DUNLOP AUSTRIA

How do you assess the current market situation??
The Austrian market is a saturated one. You can't expect a big growth spurt there. It's just a matter of how the cake is divided, who gets the bigger piece. Win will in the long run those, which have good co-operation with the tire specialized trade and with the car dealer and/or. Those who are well entrenched with their own organizations.

Keyword all-season tires. What is your position on this compromise solution?
The all-season tire is sometimes a good alternative, but in fact a compromise. It will never play a central role in Austria due to the topography. If you move primarily in urban areas, it makes perfect sense. I see the following target groups: The second car owner, the 5.000 to 10.000 km per year, especially in urban areas. Second, those who don't have to drive when weather conditions aren't right. I also see great potential in the commercial sector, especially for light commercial vehicles. But it's also a fact that an all-season tire is not the best product in winter or summer.

One has always had the impression that industry and retail would prefer not to offer the all-season tire to the end consumer at all.
The mileage generally remains the same, regardless of whether the end user drives with all-season, summer or winter tires. Therefore there is no reason for the industry to block anything. With the specialized trade it looks differently. The all-season tire eliminates the seasonal changeover. In addition, deposits are eliminated. An interesting fact in this context is that the share of all-season tires is extremely high among those customers who order their tires online.

Why is that?
Because tire dealers do not actively offer the all-season tire. Online shoppers are extremely price-sensitive and think: I can save myself the trouble of moving and storing these products.

How high do you estimate the market share?
In Germany, all-season tires now have a market share of about 20 percent. In Austria, it only reaches about three percent.

Does the tire trade, the classic family business, have a future?
The classic family business or. Companies in general with five to ten employees, who calculate their costs well, continuously optimize their service and completely focus on perfect customer service, always have a future. These businesses live from the customer relationships they have built up themselves with a lot of work and commitment, and which are above all not primarily price-dependent. There's a lot more to it than that: Trust, advice and a certain level of supply security.

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