The Pon Group has invested heavily in expanding its tyre business in recent years. After acquiring Euro-Tyre in 2010, the Dutch firm also took over German tyre wholesaler Reifen Gundlach. Jannes Bouman, Pon Group senior vice-president responsible for the Pon Tyre Group, now reports a further recent acquisition; the company has acquired a majority share in German B2C online tyre retailer Goodwheel GmbH.
Desser Tire & Rubber Co., LLC. has acquired Europe’s leading aircraft tyre distributor, Watts Aviation. Located in Gloucestershire, Watts distributes a broad range of aircraft tyres and tubes as an authorized distributor for a number of major tyre brands. No details relating the price of the acquisition have been released.
Shandong Linglong Tire has appointed John Hagan as chief operating officer of its Americas division. Previously, Hagan was national vice president for Kumho Tires USA, which he joined in 2013. Hagan brings with him 20 years of tyre industry experience. In addition to working for Kumho, he has held positions with Toyo Tires USA and Pirelli North America.
Prior to the start of yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery expected teams to make three tyre change stops during the race. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel opted to stop only twice, and this may well have been the decisive factor in his 8.57 second victory over Lewis Hamilton. The Malaysian GP victory was the first win for Vettel and Ferrari since 2013, and this fourth victory in Malaysia – the 40th of his career – means that Vettel is now the most successful driver in the history of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Innovative practices aren’t only found amongst the big players in the retreading industry. One small Dutch firm has invested in a better way of keeping tabs on the tyres it retreads, and aims to extend this to the fleets it works with. In February, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Hans Jörg from Lopik-based retreader Roline, and learnt how a technology of interest to top level motorsport is being used in retreaded bus and truck tyres.
Milltek Sport has released details of its new complete exhaust solution for the E39 BMW M5. The super-saloon, widely regarded as one of the finest cars ever made, has been out of production for over a decade now, a fact Milltek says will mean attentive owners will be considering a replacement for the aging OEM exhaust. The new exhaust is “similarly over-engineered”, according to Milltek, providing extra performance and value to the car.
Following confirmation that ChemChina is set to buy Pirelli, the Italian manufacturer’s CEO, Marco Tronchetti Provera, has sought to re-assure employees that “the agreement with the Chinese will have no impact on employment”. Specifically this means R&D will remain in Italy, for example. For his part, Tronchetti was characteristically upbeat about the deal: “The opportunity with a partner like ChemChina is for the company to become bigger and to have a more effective penetration of the Asian market.”
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents Britain’s 5,400 independent petrol filling stations, has joined the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) in calling for ATMs to be exempt from Business Rates.