Although Park Sam-koo is said to have arranged sufficient funds to buy back a share in Kumho Tire from its creditors, some still doubt the transaction will go ahead. The Investor, the online business news service run by The Korea Herald, comments that many observers question whether Park will be able to pay the KRW 100 billion (£70.5 million) down payment for the deal.
The 2017 Geneva International Motor Show begins next week, and Yokohama Rubber says it will unveil the latest additions to its passenger car range at a press conference on 7 March. A number of other new products will also be on display at the Yokohama booth (Hall 4, no. 4231).
Continental Tyres has been awarded Consumer Superbrands status for 2017. This follows the release of the latest results of the long-running annual survey, which has been identifying the UK’s leading brands since 1995. The process, managed by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA), questioned 2,500 British adults who assessed just over 1,500 brands. Consumers judged the brands on three key criteria: quality, reliability and distinction.
Federal-Mogul Motorparts has expanded its European Graduate Program, providing top graduates with the chance to develop careers in multiple sectors. Ten positions are available, spanning six countries and covering specialties in business areas from engineering and research and development, to logistics and finance.
Prices for Apollo and Vredestein brand tyres are going up, but not yet. Apollo Vredestein has announced its intention to increase prices by up to eight per cent on 1 May 2017. Exact increases for each product will depend upon structural and exchange rate variations, and the changes will affect the passenger car, light truck, agricultural and industrial tyre segments. The company considers the price increase to be “in line” with the rising cost of raw materials it has experienced in all markets.
The promise is of not only a better-performing synthetic rubber, but also a sustainable one. Bridgestone Corporation has announced its successful creation of a new synthetic isoprene rubber (IR), something it achieved through precise molecular structure control utilising a new polymerisation catalyst. The company believes the new IR can deliver durability and fuel-efficiency performance surpassing that of natural rubber, and as it can be created using isoprene derived from renewable biomass, it offers the potential to be a sustainable material. Bridgestone aims to achieve the practical application of IR during the 2020s.
With a decisive snip, more than a year’s work was officially complete. Four representatives from Hankook Tire’s global and European operations, suitably rugged up for the occasion, were on hand to open a facility that extends the tyre maker’s aim of self-contained development and manufacture of tyres for European markets. The inauguration of the ‘Technotrac’ facility gives Hankook Tire a permanent home alongside one of the world’s best-known winter test grounds, something that Ho-Youl Pae is very proud of.
The new Tyre Intelligence Europe data platform is developing quickly, with 132 UK tyre sales locations incorporated by mid-February. Data is structured to distinguish clearly between consumer, van and 4x4 – delineating between retail and wholesale sources – an approach that also applies to truck and bus tyre sales.
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.
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.
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.
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.