In a unanimous verdict handed down on 19 November, a jury in the US state of Arizona found in favour of Michelin North America on all claims relating to a product liability lawsuit filed by plaintiff Kimberly Allen. The verdict followed a three-week trial in the Arizona State Court.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has issued a statement in response to the 2015 spending review: “Government engagement with industry has been fundamental to the recent success and global competitiveness of UK automotive, so today’s commitment by the Chancellor to a long-term industrial strategy for the sector is encouraging.
Further to Tyres & Accessories’ detailed report on Qingdao Doublestar Tire Corp’s expansion plans last week, the company has released further information about the truck and OTR tyre joint venture it is setting up in Kazakhstan.
2015’s Formula One calendar concludes at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi; a venue with which Pirelli is very familiar. The F1 tyre supplier has used the venue for testing, including the world’s first wet-weather test run at night, and a pre-season launch. The smooth asphalt means the softest tyres in the range will be supplied, a combination previously employed at the slowest grand prix, Monaco, and at four other race weekends. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held from late afternoon into the evening, so track temperatures tend to drop over the course of the race, meaning that the pattern of tyre behaviour is different to normal: another complex variable for teams to factor into their strategy calculations. Pirelli expects a performance gap between the two compounds of 1.0-1.2 seconds per lap.
Several representatives of the Retread Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the tyre industry have met with Department for Business ministers to discuss the impact of low-cost new tyres on the UK and European retreading industry, and its direct implications for employment in the retread tyre industry, the tyre recovery programme and the environment. The association said it would “press for urgent measures” to address what it argues is evidence of ‘dumping’.
Michelin solutions was launched in May 2013 and its portfolio was enlarged earlier this year with Effitires, a programme offering a contractual fuel saving commitment within a price per kilometre tyre management contract. Now a third Michelin Solutions programme has been launched – Effitrailer. As the name suggests, this solution aims to optimise the management of trailers, and does so by providing real-time information via telematics.
Michelin Tyre has appointed Stewart Pooley, 58, as UK original equipment country manager for the company’s truck and bus division. The 26-year Michelin veteran assumes the role after two years as sales manager for Michelin solutions. The role will see Pooley working closely with domestic bus, coach, trailer and truck manufacturers, as well as advising manufacturers importing finished vehicles into the UK from production plants worldwide.
On 3 November Michelin announced a series of pan-European tyre manufacturing restructuring plans designed to address the dual pressures from the on-going negative effects of the 2008 global financial crisis and the sharp increase of low-cost imports – especially in the truck and bus tyre segment. In short this means the closure of its Ballymena truck tyre plant, alongside investment in its Dundee and Stoke facilities; as well as the closure of its Pneu Laurent retreading operation in Germany; not to mention further significant investments and some closures in Michelin’s Italian tyre production plants.