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.
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.
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.
Almost 10 years on from the trauma of the global ‘credit crunch’ and we’re still not entirely free of the economic aftershock. The resulting times of austerity have made for tough competition for every pound in the motorist’s pocket – and the forecasts suggest even more tough times ahead. In a trade as utterly international as the tyre industry the outcome of the 23 June referendum on the EU was always going to have profound effects – and the marginal victory for the Brexit side predictably has caused dramatic weakening of the pound against both the Euro and the dollar.
Kumho’s 4x4 tyre range was recently enhanced further enhanced by the addition of the Crugen HP91 and Crugen KL33 SUV offerings. Add in the cross-functional Road Venture patterned MT51 and established KL71 and between them they cover everything from such top end SUVs as the Range Rover and BMW X5 to the ever-popular Land Rover Defender.
Indian manufacturer Ceat Tyres is establishing a tyre factory in Bangladesh, according to local news source BDNews24. The Mumbai-based parent company of Ceat, RPG Group, has reportedly signed a joint venture agreement with AK Khan to set up the plant with an initial investment of $67 million.
Kraiburg Austria has subjected seven more winter patterns to a 3PMSF test in order to enhance the competitiveness of truck retreads. Now the "3PMSF" (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) tyre symbol is linked under ECE-109 R Annex 10 to retreads, this measurement is said to say “far more than the classic "M+S" based on classifications devised by the manufacturers” about a retread’s winter performance.
Versalis, a European producer in the polymers and elastomers industry, and bioengineering firm Genomatica’s joint venture project to create renewable butadiene has been presented with Tire Technology International’s Environmental Achievement of the Year award. The companies embarked on the long-term project to address concerns around potential butadiene shortages and price increases. In a demonstration run in 2016, several kilograms of renewable butadiene were prepared starting from commercial sugars, with polymerisation tests showing no differences between the polybutadiene prepared from fossil or renewable feedstock.
What differentiates those who work in marketing within the tyre industry from those employed in a technical capacity? The latter tend not to mince words, and are more likely to say what they think rather than slip into jargon and PR-speak. We can learn a lot from this direct approach.