Bridgestone Europe has announced an average price increase of 8 per cent in its car, van, SUV and motorcycle ranges. This will affect all of Bridgestone’s brands and will come into effect on 1 April, 2017 for summer tyres and 1 May, 2017 for winter tyres.
Kumho Tire Europe has issued a statement regarding Peter Becker’s intention to leave the company. Becker will reportedly part ways with Kumho at his own request this summer; the tyre maker says specific details regarding his future career plans are “not known at the moment.”
DriveRightData CEO Richard Bailey will be attending Tyre Expo Asia in Singapore between 21st and 23rd March and is inviting existing and prospective clients to meet with him in person at what he called the “must attend event” in Asia.
GfK reports that 2016 was a successful year for tyre manufacturers in the UK. This is said to have been driven by “the increasing number of SUVs on the road”, which naturally does its part to improve product mix. To be specific, according to GfK, 4x4 tyre sales leapt up 18 per cent in terms of units sold year-on-year. However, taking the year as a whole (including other passenger vehicle fitments), last year GfK’s Panel Market GB was flat.
Sigmavision is to promote its TreadReader technology to the commercial sector when it exhibits at The Commercial Vehicle Show (Stand 4F65, Birmingham NEC, 25-27 April). The company states that TreadReader “addresses the shortcomings of traditional dip gauges and other spot-measurement or laser-line devices currently available.” Each product in the range, which includes mobile and fixed workshop options, creates a 3D scanned image showing a 50mm band across the full width of the tyre. Sigmavision adds that its scans are reliable and accurate even on wet and dirty tyres.
Andy Fern has joined Kwik-Fit as fleet sales director following an 18-year career with Michelin, most recently as national fleet sales manager. He replaces Peter Lambert who has retired after seven years as Kwik-Fit GB fleet director. Meanwhile, Simon Lucas has been promoted to the new role of customer support director of Kwik Fit GB. This role includes responsibility for Kwik-Fit Mobile, numbering some 200 vehicles, and the management of the company’s Customer Support Centre in Tannochside, Scotland, serving both fleet and retail customers. Both Fern and Lucas will report directly to Kwik-Fit GB managing director Kenji Murai.
Bridgestone has become the first tyre manufacturer to offer the Society of Operations Engineers’ (SOE) Commercial Tyre Technician Licence to employees of fleets across the UK. The company said the licence would raise standards and improve uniformity in the commercial tyre industry. Attaining the licence requires the completion of three practical assessments and an online test. It aims to regulate the industry and provide best practice with an approved standard that everyone can aspire to achieve. The licence is currently being rolled out, and Bridgestone UK development trainers Phil Thirsk and Paul Turner passed rigorous tests in October to become qualified assessors.
Since its debut in 2014, the Bridgestone range of agricultural tyres has included fitments for high horsepower tractors. Now, with the introduction of the VT-Combine, the company has extended the line-up to cover combine harvesters. Designed specifically for Cyclic Field Operations (CFO) and featuring Improved Flexion (IF) technology, the VT-Combine offers 20 per cent more load compared with standard tyres (as set out by ETRTO standards). The tyre also allows a maximum speed during CFO of 15km/h, as opposed to the 10km/h maximum with conventional tyres.
Ten years have gone by since STARCO introduced the first approved tubeless static caravan and park home tyre. Today it sells more than 100,000 of these tyres a year, primarily in the UK and Western Europe, and STARCO remains the sole supplier of this wheel and tyre combination.
Fulda has launched the Ecotonn 2 HL high load trailer tyre to meet the demands of truck operators to increase payloads. Nearly 80 per cent of European countries now permit maximum permitted vehicle weights in excess of 40 tonnes, and operators naturally want to optimise the capacity of their vehicles. The Goodyear Dunlop brand has therefore introduced the new 385/65R22.5, allowing 10-tonne axle weights so that trailers can carry greater payloads.
The European market distributor of Wheels India’s forged aluminium wheels, Motor Wheel Service Distribution (MWSD) has launched the next generation Xbrite+. The new product has benefitted from Wheels India’s upgraded multi-million pound production facility; in the advanced production process a polished Xlite forged aluminium wheel goes through several automated treatment stages to permeate the metal deeper.
Falken will show its most energy-efficient tyre to date for electric and hybrid vehicles and launch its 2017 race car when the Sumitomo brand exhibits for the first time at the Geneva International Motor Show on 7-19 March 2017 (Hall 6, Booth 6238, Palexpo).
The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has fit Michelin’s CrossClimate+ to its 160-strong rapid response paramedic fleet of Škoda Octavias and Volkswagen Passats. The tyre is designed to match high performance summer competitors, but with winter capabilities, enhancing safety, longevity and durability.
The IAAF’s chief executive Wendy Williamson told the Radio 4 You and Yours consumer programme that proposals to extend the MOT test from three years to four for newer vehicles are fraught with danger. With the proposals to extend the frequency of MOTs currently at the consultation stage, the IAAF is highlighting the dangers involved and the risks that threaten driver safety.