During the first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year, Michelin experienced a 3.4 per cent rise in volumes, with fast original equipment segment momentum and growth in the truck tyre business, while weak mining tyre sales were offset by growth in aviation and two-wheel tyre business within the specialty tyre segment. This increase in volumes did not translate to higher net sales, however. Overall Michelin Group sales declined 2.4 per cent year-on-year to €4.76 billion.
According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the manufacture of cars in the UK picked up pace in March due to improving domestic and export sales. UK car production rose 12 per cent during the month to 142,158 units, bringing 2014 to-date growth to 2.9 per cent. Production of cars intended for sale in the UK increased 18.2 per cent year-on-year to 33,221 units, although the year to date production count of 86,505 units is still 4.1 per cent down on last year. Production of cars for export markets rose 10.3 per cent year-on-year to 108,947 units, while year to date figures are 5.0 per cent higher than during the corresponding period of 2013, at 318,298 units.
Alliance Tire Americas, Inc. is now an official sponsor of the National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA), according to the association the world’s oldest and most respected truck and tractor pulling sanctioning organization. NPTA reports that the three-year deal will “raise awareness for the Alliance brand by exposing it to fans attending tractor pulls across the Midwest and South, as well as to the thousands who follow the action on RFD-TV and online.”
Michael and William Dunlop have chosen to join Metzeler for the road racing season, in a line-up that includes Guy Martin and Josh Brookes. The brand’s tyres will be present on machinery from five different manufacturers: Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki and BMW.
Kraiburg Austria reports that it will be both celebrating five decades of history as well as present its latest products when it appears at the 2014 Reifen exhibition in Essen, Germany. Situated in the company’s now familiar location in the Galeria, Kraiburg will be showing a new and slightly larger stand.
Taiwanese manufacturer Nankang (Hall 3, 3B27) has announced its plans to introduce three new tyres designed for European conditions from its stand at Reifen 2014. Targeting different functions and applications, the UHP AS-2, eco-tyre NA-1 and all-season N-607+ will “provide comprehensive capabilities without compromising in comfort,” according to the manufacturer. In addition to the new products, Nankang will shine a spotlight on the ECO-2+, “the first tyre produced in Taiwan to be awarded a TÜV performance mark” the company states, at the exhibition.
Continental has created a global marketing department for its commercial vehicle tyre business and appointed Michael Neuheisel to head it up. In his new role as director global marketing, Neuheisel reports directly to Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit head Dr. Andreas Esser. Neuheisel will coordinate marketing activities for the different regions and segments within the business unit. Continental says this new marketing structure will further strengthen its strategic focus on the truck and bus fleet business.
Motor Wheel Service Distribution’s (MWSD) commercial vehicle wheel safety campaign has been successfully incorporated in the new European Union (EU) Roadworthiness Package, which will become law in May 2014. The new law, adopted by both the European Parliament and European Council, states: “compatibility between parts and components, such as between wheels and wheel hubs, should be treated as a critical safety item and should be checked during roadworthiness testing.”