Yokohama Tire Corporation annually offers experiential ride and drive training programs across the country for dealers. Now, the Fullerton, California-based tire manufacturer is looking at opening the event to consumers.
On September 21, Yokohama invited a group of enthusiasts from local car clubs at a special ride and drive function held at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.
“Yokohama has always believed in the importance of interacting with enthusiasts face-to-face,” said Theresa Palang, Yokohama manager of public relations and digital marketing,“and that’s why we wanted to give consumers a chance to try our tires and learn what they can do. We reached out to enthusiast forums online and received a very positive response. Having the consumers experience our ride and drive firsthand is a great way to get feedback from the public.”
The participants drove Yokohama’s ADVAN Neova® AD08 (dubbed the “fastest street tire”) on 305-horsepower 2011 Mustangs through various slalom courses. Besides “burning rubber,” they were timed on laps and vied for prizes such as Yokohama gear and exclusive pre-opening night tickets for the 2011 LA Auto Show in November.
“This was an opportunity like no other,”said enthusiast Satakal Khalsa from La Mesa, California. “Testing tires like this gives you a good feel as to how the tire will react to turns and how it grips the road. The Neova AD08s were really talking to me.”
Ferdie Ang of Irvine, California added: “This was a brilliant move by Yokohama. It’s so much better to actually drive on the tires in a controlled environment than to just read about them.”
The inaugural public event, which coincided with a Yokohama dealer training program,“was a successful precursor for bigger enthusiast events in the future,” said Palang. “We definitely want to do more of these.”