Tyre and emotional response
After 15 years there is a new All Rounder, writes PAULGOVER
AFTER 15 years, one of the longestrunning models in Australia’s motoring history has had a complete renewal. But it’s not a car. It’s a tyre. The Bob Jane All Rounder is a local creation of the former race ace and is now a genuine all-Aussie product made by Bridgestone at its factory in Adelaide.
The arrival of the latest All Rounder, according to Bob Jane T-Marts chief Rod Jane, is proof Australia can still design, develop and make a successful tyre despite the closure of all but one of the country’s tyre-making factories.
‘‘It’s a great story for Australia. We’ve sold more than seven million,’’ Jane says.
The All Rounder was the first privatebrand tyre for the T-Marts chain and was originally made by Goodyear. It was sold more on price and durability than grip or good looks.
But that has changed, despite the emphasis on value.
‘‘We wanted a tyre that promoted what we are all about — a good, all-round product,’’ Jane says. ‘‘It is fundamentally designed by Bridgestone, who does the casing and tread, and we discuss what we want. The All Rounder has always had good wear, but we also wanted a tyre that would stop better in wet and dry conditions. It handles a lot better. The control is awesome. The old tyre was old technology — more than 15 years old.’’
The new All Rounder comes in 23 sizes from 13 to 17-inch diameter and is claimed to be a huge improvement on the outgoing All Rounder, yet still priced below its rivals.
‘‘Tell me how many people look at their tyres. It’s a grudge purchase,’’ Jane says. ‘‘Nearly 98 per cent of people have no idea and don’t really care. It’s the biggest thing we have to struggle with.’’
Roll up: Rod Jane with the new All Rounder tyre.