Tire Business has details on the launch of a new line of self-supporting run-flat tires from Bridgestone Americas. The company launched the new line, called DriveGuard, on April 3 at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin during a ride-and-drive event for dealers and journalists. The launch is interesting for several reasons. First, the new tires are intended as mass-market replacement tires for use on coupes, sedans and wagons with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) but that were not originally equipped with run-flat tires. Previously, the vast majority of replacement sales for run-flats were for cars in which run-flats were factory-installed. Secondly, Bridgestone is marketing the run-flats very heavily to women, whom Bridgestone believes will take a natural interest in the tire’s safety and convenience advantages. Bridgestone has enlisted actress Julie Bowen from Modern Family as its official spokesperson for Driveguard and is spending heavily on advertising on female-skewing shows such as The Bachelor and Nashville. DriveGuard tires are available in the U.S. and Canada and come with a 50,000- to 60,000-mile treadwear warranty. They are available in 32 sizes in 15- to 19-inch rim diameters and 35 to 65 series. Here is a video of the launch presentation by Robert Saul, product planning manager of Bridgestone Americas.
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