Conti Promotes ContiCostCalculator at Crewe Roadshow Leg
Continental is spending the next few days in the grounds of the resplendent Crewe Hall in Cheshire with its European roadshow, promoting the new iteration of its long-haul and regional commercial vehicle tyres (see June’s edition of Tyres & Accessories – soon to arrive at subscribers’ addresses – and Tyrepress.com for more on last month’s launch). The pan-European tour will see Continental’s truck pitch its inflatable display tent in locations including Helsinki, Madrid, Bucharest and most countries in-between. As much as T&A would have liked to take the opportunity to see the display in one of Europe’s cultural capitals, Crewe presented a rather more convenient opportunity to see the interactive displays with which Conti is introducing its series two tyres alongside the innovative ContiCostCalculator, which promises to aid fleet managers in seeing detailed cost comparisons, certified by independent testing organisation Dekra.
The CostCalculator is clearly a new sales tool that the manufacturer will use to help illustrate the benefits of the new commercial tyres, which have undergone wholesale design change from their respective predecessors (as discussed in the previous month on Tyrepress.com). Seeing the new interactive tool in action was impressive to T&A – according to Stephan Giesler, eBusiness manager, and Roger Sanders, general manager of Technical Services in UK and Ireland, test results from 1,500 tyres have been used in compiling the database behind the system. This allows Continental to address both current customers and those on competitive tyres from Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear (the full list of models and sizes tested is displayed by clicking “More Information” at the foot of the calculator), producing a direct comparison with the performance of Conti’s second generation. What struck T&A about the CostCalculator was the sheer level of detail enabled for input – fleet managers can input all sorts of extra details, from the initial cost to casing values – in addition to the yearly mileage.
The key message that Continental hopes to get across to buyers is that, in order to generate an accurate forecast of the true cost of their tyre choice, everything should be taken into account, including the three main areas of the tyres themselves, fuel consumption and the payload the tyres allow truck to carry. Company representatives illustrated the bearing fuel consumption in particular has on the cost of tyres, and it seems that this will be the primary focus of its salespeople when using the ContiCostCalculator. Sanders says that the company is “realistic” about its hopes for the effectiveness of the new tool; it will require open-mindedness on the part of the buyer to have this conversation regarding the fuel-saving capabilities (in addition to other performance aspects, such as the tyres’ decreased weight). However, with the proper sales pitch involving the CostCalculator and an attitude that, in line with the pre-existing ContiBusinessSolutions, Conti wants to talk business rather than merely tyres, the company is confident that it can show that the new tyres are worth the additional money.
The European roadshow provides Continental with the opportunity to emphasise the full package of benefits given to customers by choosing its commercial tyres. The comprehensiveness of its presentation is reflected by its new tool, which allows customers to see the full impact of all factors relating to the cost of their tyre choice. The increasing importance of fuel costs and the impact tyres can have on this factor in particular is shown by the ContiCostCalculator. And with the announcement that fuel will continue to rise in the coming months, the timing of the roadshow could not have been planned better.