The Authority for Consumers and Markets (Autoriteit Consument & Markt) in the Netherlands has consented to the Inter-Sprint Group’s proposed acquisition of the Van den Ban Group. B.L.K. Vroomen, team manager for the authority’s Directorate of Competition, reports the ACM ruled on 17 September that “sufficient competition” will exist in the market following this transaction.
A dealership describing itself as “London’s most beautiful Volkswagen garage”, Monaco VW has announced the offer of a comprehensive Winter Vehicle Check. From 15 September, the Kensington garage will offer the service at £29.99. The check offers a technical inspection of tyres, battery, brakes, lights and fluid levels, giving a detailed report to customers on the status of their vehicle ahead of the winter period. Winter checks, both complementary and charged, are an increasingly popular product offered by garages seeking ways to increase the quality of their service, the engagement of motorists, and a way to generate increased revenue streams. Winter checks in particular could help to support growth in seasonal tyre products, which has been palpable, if also rather timid.
US trade organisation SEMA has been awarded part of a $2.2m federal grant to expand exports of automotive aftermarket products. The organisation, which represents the $33B automotive specialty equipment market, will seek growth in Russia, the United Arab Emirates and China, among others, giving its 6,800-plus members increased opportunity in foreign markets. The grant was awarded under the Market Development Cooperator programme within the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). The body will assist SEMA with a new yearly fact-finding and sales mission to Russia; seeking regulations to allow US products equal market access by working with government officials; and organizing overseas vehicle measuring sessions in key emerging markets.
Having signed David Coulthard as its brand ambassador for ultra-high performance tyres a year ago, Cooper Tire has extended its relationship with the Scottish motorsport dynasty. Coulthard’s nephew, Murray Coulthard will complete the rest of his Scottish Tarmac Rally Championship (STRC) season on Avon Tyres. Murray drives a 1984 Vauxhall Nova and fit Avon ZZR rubber for the first time at the Solway Coast Rally, winning his class first time out. He will now switch to Avon Tyres for the remainder of the season.
Continental AG has announced that its first third generation truck tyres will be available as retreaded tyres from October. Specifically it will be the first hot retreaded ContiRe EcoPlus HT3 from the ContiLifeCycle plant in Hanover.
Two Nokian winter tyres have achieved top results in German magazine winter tests. The Finnish manufacturer’s WR SUV 3 won both the test and a top “highly recommended” rating in the winter tyre test of German magazine Off Road, while the WR D3 passenger car tyre won a test conducted by Deutscher Sprachraum automobile clubs.
Giti Tire is currently looking for a new general manager for the DACH market – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – following the departure of Rainer Harter. The company’s managing director for Europe, Richard Lyons, told Tyres & Accessories that Harter recently “left of his own accord in order to pursue new opportunities.” Harter joined Giti Tire in summer 2013 and held the position of managing director at Giti Tire Deutschland GmbH. Lyons commented that the former Michelin manager “had done a very good job.”
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.