While the vast majority of the UK’s tyre production and retreading capacity refers to trucks and a relatively small amount of car tyre retreading still takes place as well as some specialist earthmover retreading, one of the nation’s largest retreaders makes aircraft tyres. Dunlop Aircraft Tyre Ltd or DATL as it is known has demonstrated strong growth in recent years and is majority-owned by private equity. Put the two together and it begs the question – is Dunlop Aircraft Tyre Ltd (DATL) up for sale?
A number of changes and new developments have taken place since Reifen Ihle’s retreading operation began afresh as Rigdon GmbH at the end of 2014. The company, which is based in Günzburg, near the River Danube, remains the largest independent manufacturer of retreaded tyres in Germany, however Rigdon’s restructuring is by no means complete. While the new owner has made good progress implementing its “Rigdon 2020” growth strategy and corporate transformation programme so far, Rigdon GmbH managing director Ralf Schnelle shares with Tyres & Accessories that further significant changes are coming within the framework of the five-year programme, changes that – in spite of the many problems within the market – will help the company and its employees look forward to the future with confidence.
Competitive fare pricing has led to a surge in intercity bus passenger numbers across Europe, and operators within this segment can choose from a growing range of products specifically designed for bus and coach use. Hankook Tire has now launched its new range for this market, the SmartTouring.
A TPMS-based monitoring service has been offered as part of Bridgestone’s fleet service programme since 2013, and Bridgestone’s fleet data server currently monitors more than 100,000 tyres, with more than 25,000 tyres measured each day. At the IAA show, Bridgestone shared details of an expansion to its Tirematics connected tyre solution that provides relevant vehicle data to the server on a continuous basis.
Oliver Rubber Company, LLC has launched the ORCO HS Trailer, a trailer-position retread for regional and long-haul applications. "The ORCO HS Trailer delivers a cost-efficient solution for single- and tandem-axle trailers in this new, modern Oliver product," said Adam Murphy, vice president of marketing for
In the USA, the Transportation Department has issued a set of guidelines covering driverless and autonomous cars, one of which is that such vehicles are required to be fitted with a ‘black box’, similar to those used in aircraft, to record details should the car be involved in a crash. President Barack Obama commented on the guidelines in an article in Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette newspaper. Pittsburgh, incidentally, is the city where Uber is trialling driverless technology.
Finance deals are key to the new car market with dealers reporting a high level of satisfaction with their manufacturers’ finance schemes”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, commenting on the recent results of the NFDA Summer 2016 Dealer Attitude Survey.
Hella Guttmann Solutions (HGS), a joint venture company with renowned original equipment component and systems supplier Hella, is the leading provider for camera and radar calibration tools, products that are needed to service today’s vehicles. HGS is not only committed to providing the diagnostic equipment to the aftermarket, but also educating and assisting other companies on the challenges that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) present.
On 1 October, Luis Ceneviz will succeed Jeff Schumaker as managing director – Europe tyre operations at Cooper Tire & Rubber. Ceneviz will hold this position in addition to his current role as managing director – Latin America tyre operations and will increase his area of responsibility to cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa in addition to Latin America, including Mexico and Central and South America. Jeff Schumaker, who has been based in the UK since his appointment as managing director – Europe tyre operations in January 2013, will assume the position of vice-president, global manufacturing.
Experience with truck fleets in Germany has shown Continental that while both fleet owners and drivers appreciate the value of tyre pressure monitoring systems, more than two-thirds of all fleets don’t yet realise the full potential that digitalisation offers. The tyre maker and automotive systems provider aims to change this, and has introduced a digital product that extends the benefits delivered by ContiPressureCheck, the TPMS first introduced by Continental in 2013 and now offered in 27 markets around the world.
Upon its launch in European markets three years ago, Continental’s new tyre pressure monitoring system was only available as a retrofit option. The availability of ContiPressureCheck has now been extended to tyres shipped straight from the factory with sensors already installed. Continental is using the name ‘iTire’ to distinguish these products from standard tyres.
The RFT (Run-Flat Technology) versions of two Bridgestone tyre models have been selected as original equipment fitments on the new Alfa Romeo Giulia. Bridgestone Europe reports that the Guilia will be available with the Potenza S001 in an all-round size 225/50 R17 94W fitment or in size 225/40 R19 89Y for the front wheels and 255/35 R19 92Y for the rear. The run-flat Turanza EL450 all-season tyre will be available in two dimensions, 225/50R17 94V and 225/45R18 91W. All tyres will be marked with the letters ‘AR’ on the sidewall to denote they are original equipment products.
A new Michelin subsidiary has been set up to facilitate the expansion of the company’s activities within China’s aviation segment. Frank Moreau, president of Michelin Aircraft Tyre, describes the establishment of Michelin (Shanghai) Aircraft Tire Trading Co. Ltd (MSAT) as “an important step” for the Michelin’s aviation tyre business in China.