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In message <32BECABF.1DE0@steinberg.net> Mark Badger writes:
> my feeling is that car manufacturers do deals with tyre companies and
> the tyres fitted as shipped have more to do with $$$s than to do with
> "perfect handling matches".
In previous lives (or rather, _one_ previous life) the major German auto
manufacturers _and_ Continentale Gummiwerke were customers of mine. I was
based in the Conti head office (Koenigswoerther Platz) for a couple of years.
I certainly don't think any of the big German names would risk their multi-
million investments getting a bad name because they can save a few $ on a set
of tyres. What I think is more important to them is the local market image of
the tyre manufacturer - Audi will cheerfully fit different tyres in different
markets if the brand's local image is associated with "performance", in some
sense. Let's be fair - roads aren't the same the world over, so why should one
tyre perform the same? German and UK tarmac surfaces are _very_ different.
Conti are a large specialist rubber products manufacturer (lifting bags for
Jumbo jets, condoms, etc.) as well as a tyre manufacturer. They, during my
time in Germany, had an _excellent_ reputation for wet weather tyres.
And, as Conti used to say:
Committee Member, UK Audi [ur-]quattro Owners Club