Continental hits the road to show its role in car safety

Thompsonville, MI: A major auto supplier plans to spend more than $1 million on a PR campaign to convince consumers they should ask for electronic stability controls in the new cars and SUVs they buy.

Thompsonville, MI: A major auto supplier plans to spend more than $1 million on a PR campaign to convince consumers they should ask for electronic stability controls in the new cars and SUVs they buy.

Continental Teves, which makes such controls, has created a tractor-trailer exhibit to tour 15 US cities to tout the benefits of electronic stability controls. The traveling display includes a simulator ride to show consumers how stability controls can help prevent rollovers.

"The tour is designed to help educate consumers and make them aware of this lifesaving technology," said Jim Gill, director of PR for Continental.

The company is using Stratacomm in Washington, DC for public affairs and a kickoff event that brought its traveling show to the Capitol on July 23.

The company is also using Detroit-based John Bailey & Associates for media relations during the tour.

While stability technology is available, US automakers have not installed it in many of their vehicles due to concerns over consumer reaction to the cost. Volvo, owned by Ford, offers the equipment in its XC90 SUV. Continental will include XC90s in its tour to give auto writers the chance to drive cars equipped with its stability controls.

The company also hopes to partner with safety and health groups such as major trauma hospitals in the cities it visits to reinforce its message of increased safety, Gill said.

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