Next year it will be four decades since Goodyear introduced the first all-season tyre, the Tiempo, and to celebrate the anniversary – and raise awareness of its investments in innovation for this product segment – the tyre maker has partnered with artist and inventor Dominic Wilcox to reinvent typically one season items and make them fit-for-purpose all year round.
The outcome of this partnership, including solutions for skateboards, barbecues and convertible cars, can be viewed at the www.hugtheroads.com/allseasons website.
“As a company driven by innovation, we love pushing boundaries and exploring new opportunities,” shares Martijn De Jonge, brand director of the Consumer PBU EMEA at Goodyear. “Over thirty years ago, we adapted the standard tyre to make it ready for any weather condition, and our work with Dominic means we’re able to bring our innovation thinking through to other objects.”
An unknown concept upon its launch, the North American market Goodyear Tiempo was hailed as a tyre that ‘does it all’. Sales for the range were strong, and the Tiempo launched a whole new product segment. The first generation Vector tyre was introduced in 1985, and in recent years growing consumer demand and constant innovation has pushed all-season variants to record levels across the market.
According to Goodyear, the all-season market now accounts for five per cent of all tyre sales across Europe, with high double digit growth since 2012 and double digit growth year-on-year in 2014-15. Goodyear’s own research also suggests the market will account for ten per cent of all sales by 2020, boosted by regions that have a soft winter without regular sub-zero temperatures, but still experience conditions such as light snow and ice.
The tyre maker opines that changing weather conditions, an increased demand for fewer tyre changes throughout the year and overall cost savings have made all-season tyres an appealing product, particularly for lower mileage ‘second cars’ within a household.
“In Europe, there is widespread knowledge about what all-season tyres can offer,” continues De Jonge. “Consumer demand for all-season tyres has increased across Europe, and we expect this to grow in Europe in the next five years. There is a growing awareness and understanding of the importance of having tyres which can handle unpredictable changes between wet and dry conditions, sudden temperature changes and can even cope with snow.”
Whilst many tyre makers now sell all-season products, Goodyear’s current All Seasons Vector range continues to win plaudits in independent tests and from OEM manufacturers, as shown in the latest all-season test carried out by Auto Express magazine, where Goodyear took top honours with the Vector 4Seasons Gen-2. The British publication described the Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 as an “all-rounder offering peace of mind” and “a balanced tyre with excellent performance in all circumstances.”
“Goodyear’s ground breaking innovation changed the perception of tyres making, them ready for any weather condition, with great success,” De Jonge concludes. “We envisage the market for all-seasons will only continue to grow, and we will continue to invest into this market segment with a full portfolio of all-season products.”