The fancy rubber is being targeted at female drivers of vehicles like the Camry, Accord, and other staid family carriers. Presumably, these women would rather shell out up to $138 a tire to get something a $1.29 Little Tree will provide. In fact, we see a new marketing opportunity for Kumho here. Never mind girly-scented tires for midsize boringmobiles. Instead, how about a cross-branded Kumho/Little Tree performance tire? Then, all drivers would need to do is shut off their nannyware traction control systems, get those wheels spinning and fill the air with the delicious, unmistakable scent of Vanillaroma! That, we could get behind.
Snark-free details in Kumho's official press release after the jump.
[Source: Kumho via Engadget]
KUMHO Introduces World's First "Aroma Tire" For Select Passenger Vehicles
U.S. market will carry limited lavender tires, and later, orange and jasmine scents
KUMHO Tire USA...December 21, 2006...announces the introduction of the world's first fragrance automotive tire, the ECSTA DX. The project is the "fruition" of more than a year's worth of research and development to deliver an alluring aroma tire that replaces the normal "black rubber" smell with heat-resistant oils in the scent of lavender, and in later versions, neroli (orange) or jasmine. Visitors to www.kumhotireusa.com can find the nearest Discount Tire store or TireRack.com will ship them for installation.
According to Rick Brennan, Brand Director for KUMHO, the company is selling the DX aroma tire to help build brand awareness and highlight KUMHO's tire technology. The tire is targeted at female consumers who drive such sedans as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback, Chrysler Sebring and Ford Taurus.
In addition to a unique aroma, the ECSTA DX is engineered to deliver low noise levels and ride characteristics on par with the leading tire brands. Ride comfort is maintained throughout the life of the tire through the use of tread elements designed to provide uniform linear stiffness. Optimized pitch sequence and variable pitch lengths help minimize noise, while a straight center rib provides high-speed stability.
The DX features four wide grooves that help evacuate water, while a silica compound improves all-weather performance and wet traction. High tensile steel belts and a jointless nylon cap ply also help improve noise, ride comfort and durability, while an undertread reduces unwanted heat buildup for consistent performance.
The ECSTA DX Aroma tire will be sold through Discount Tire stores and TireRack.com starting in the first quarter of 2007 in three sizes: 205/60R16 (MSRP $119), 215/60R16 (MSRP $125) and 235/60R16 (MSRP $138). The tires can be delivered and affixed to passenger vehicles at a KUMHO tire dealer.