This year’s Automechanika show in Frankfurt, Germany is the scene of several debuts for Mahle Aftermarket. The Mahle business unit specialising in spare parts is introducing its new Mahle Service Solutions division; this new division expands Mahle Aftermarket’s product portfolio to include repair shop equipment. Other first-time highlights on display this year (hall 3.0, stands A11 and A20) include complete solutions from Mahle for air management, oil management, piston systems and cylinder components, and engine cooling.
Automotive technicians entering this year’s WorldSkillsUK competition will be put through their paces using the very latest Hunter HawkEye Elite TD alignment system. The news comes after Pro-Align confirmed the firm’s support for the competition, which will run in November. It is the third year running Pro-Align has supported WorldSkillsUK.
Palexpo has unveiled the latest Geneva International Motor Show poster ahead of the 2015 exhibition. According to the organisers the poster for the 85th edition of the show (which runs from 5-15 March 2015) was designed in a competition by visual communication students from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), under the direction of Jonas Voegeli. The winners, Monika Regina Nef and Nico Bucci, drew inspiration from various car components. Their striking illustration of a headlight symbolises a future-oriented attitude.
Both the hard ‘H4’ and softer ‘S4’ versions of the Michelin LTX Force gravel tyre have now enjoyed a taste of WRC action. The tyre maker reports that all WRC teams ran the Michelin LTX Force during the 2014 Rally Australia on the weekend, fielding at various times the S4 – which also hit the gravel during 2014 Rally Finland – and, for the first time, the H4. The Australian round was won by Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia in their Volkswagen Polo R WRC; the pair shared the podium with team mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila along with Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene in a 1-2-3 Volkswagen clean sweep.
The good news is that with demand up and with the company selling as big a proportion of retreads as ever, Bridgestone’s UK truck tyre business remains a key player in the UK truck tyre market. In the Republic of Ireland things are even better. However, premium manufacturers like Bridgestone have also seen the rise in the prominence of lower cost alternatives in recent years. While companies like Bridgestone continue to occupy leading positions when it comes to blue-chip and other national fleets, the wider context brings new challenges with it, especially when it comes to countering volume versus value strategies. Tyres & Accessories spoke with Bridgestone UK commercial director Greg Ward in order to find out more.
Specialist oil developer and producer Millers Oils is launching its Flowcontrol bottle to worldwide markets at Automechanika Frankfurt this week. The company says the container features an easy-pour mechanism that enables users to control oil flow without the use of a funnel, thus preventing contamination and, of course, spills. In June 2014, the month that the new bottle design was introduced into the UK market, Millers Oils says its two local distributors experienced a 95 per cent year-on-year sales increase – a phenomenon it says was driven by the Flowcontrol bottle.
The NTDA has appointed Natasha Pullinger as its new membership administrator. According to the association, Pullinger’s key responsibility will be to support the development of the NTDA by providing day-to-day administrative functions and providing a point of contact and liaison between the NTDA, its members, other tyre industry bodies and key industry stakeholders. She will also provide support to NTDA committees and other industry meetings and engage in the association’s marketing and PR activities.
The Government has announced plans to raise the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads to 50 mph and the move has generated diametrically opposed views. On the pro side, Transport minister Claire Perry says that the move is part of a package of measures to cut congestion, reduce dangerous overtaking and help get the country moving. Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed serious concerns about the proposed limit increase and the announcement comes as a survey by Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveals the extent of risky driving on country roads.