While some manufacturers lobby for tyres to be replaced at 3 or even 4 mm, Michelin maintains that the current legal limit of 1.6 mm is “perfectly suited” to modern motoring and has reaffirmed its opposition to a change in the legislation. Indeed, during the course of the Paris Motor Show, Michelin’s top executives will be making this argument with journalists, OEMs and of course the public.
While it was difficult to predict the outcome of June’s EU referendum, it is even harder to predict what the resulting Brexit vote means for the tyre business. Much of the discussion relating to the post-Brexit tyre market has focused on the legislative changes that may be coming. However, just over three months after the Brexit vote, the latest pricing data from market insight specialists Encircle Marketing appears to suggest that while UK sterling tyre prices are going up, exchange rate effects mean theses same UK prices are moving in the opposite direction when converted into euro equivalents.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Trusted Dealers has carried out a survey of 1,000 drivers which found that almost two thirds (57 per cent) of motorists surveyed do not know how to check if their vehicle has been clocked, and the majority (57 per cent) said they are worried about buying a car that has had its mileage altered.
Court cases and investigations of part worn dealers by Trading Standards, supported by the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) and expertise from TyreSafe, have revealed that while convictions are being made, convictions and guidance are going unheeded as part worn dealers continue to sell dangerous tyres.
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.
Associations including IAM Roadsmart and the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) have been marking EDWARD “European Day Without A Road Death”. For its part ETRMA has been doing this by informing drivers on the importance of tyre choice and service conditions to improve road safety across Europe.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has begun to investigate future uses of driverless vehicles in the UK. The inquiry will collect evidence on the potential uses and benefits of autonomous vehicles in contexts such as road transport, farming and space exploration.
The Department for Transport needs a clear strategy to increase the use of ultra-low emission vehicles, reduce air pollution and deal with the VW cheat device scandal so that it can meet decarbonisation and air quality targets, the Environmental Audit Committee says in its report.
Just 18 months before the introduction of eCall (mandatory in-car emergency call system for all new type approval vehicles sold within the European Union), MG Motor UK has confirmed its involvement as part of the CEN TC278/WG15 intelligent transport systems working group. Through Guillaume Honore – Telematics Engineer at the SAIC Motor Technical Centre (SMTC), which is based at MG’s Longbridge site in Birmingham – MG will play a key role in the ongoing development of eCall.
Chris Bosworth, director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, comments on the SMMT UK Registration figures for July: “These figures indicate that the automotive sector remains resilient in the months after the UK’s decision to leave the EU, with the small growth in registrations helping the sector recover from a flat performance in July. […]
It’s tariff time again. The US government has imposed trade sanctions on US-produced OTR and industrial tyres before. They have done so with car tyres twice before. This time it’s truck tyres. But are they effective? Will they halt the rise of Chinese tyre manufacturers in general? And what does it mean for those doing business with truck tyres in the UK and Europe?
China’s Ministry of Finance and Commerce (MOFCOM) has hit back at the US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) decision to preliminarily introduce anti-dumping tariffs of around 20 per cent on Chinese truck tyres exported to the US. Indeed MOFCOM called the ruling, which is in addition to roughly 20 per cent countervailing duties, "an abuse of trade measures" on Friday 2 September. "Chinese tyre companies strongly oppose the US’s abuse of trade measures," ministry of commerce spokesperson told reports during a briefing in Beijing.
A Florida jury has ruled unanimously in favour of Michelin North America, Inc., in a high-profile product liability case that included claims filed by three plaintiffs who were involved in a 2009 rollover accident. The crash resulted in catastrophic brain injuries to two minor passengers, ages 14 and 16, and injuries to an adult. In their closing arguments, the plaintiffs' lawyers asked the jury to award the victims more than $80 million in damages.
Mesnac, the Chinese tyre factory and systems specialist, reports that it is continuing to support the development of international standards for RFID tyre tags – a technology the company has been investing in for more than a decade already. To this end, Mesnac representatives recently spoke at an ETRO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization) summit on the subject. ETRO held its meeting in July 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.
The UK may have voted to leave Europe, but for the time being we are still subject to European regulations. The EU says that tougher CO2 standards for cars and vans will be introduced to help cut transport emissions and improve air quality in Europe. They form part of a package of measures announced by the European Commission, which for the first time will also include fuel efficiency targets for trucks.