Back in the middle of November, Sentury Tire launched its first run-flat tyre under the Landsail brand name. Now the Landsail 255/55 R18 109V all-season run flat tyre ha been developed and tested, Sentury has taken it to the market and says: “This new product is the evidence of Sentury’s strength of innovation” and is a justification of the firm’s ‘“Top Ranked Product is Made in China” advocacy’.
Sentury and Huagao launched their first electrostatic conducting graphene tyre at the 2016 China International Graphene Innovation Conference (GrapChina) on 22 September. The launch comes less than a month after Sentury and Huagao officially announced their cooperation on the product.
Shangdong Hengyu Technology has become the latest tyre manufacturer to announce that it is making tyres based on the Nobel Prize-winning material graphene. Other firms using graphene in tyres include bicycle tyremaker Vitorria and fast-growing Chinese manufacturer Sentury Tire. According to the company supplying Hengyu with Graphene (The Sixth Element Materials Technology), Shangdong Hengyu has developed “tyre formulations” that the companies say demonstrates the positive impact of graphene on the performance of tyres.
Sentury Tire has selected a plot of land just outside LaGrange, Georgia as the location for its US$500 million US tyre factory, according to various local news sources. Reports in local US newspapers suggest that the decision was made on Thursday 1 September – at which point the choice was between the shortlist of the reportedly successful Georgia location and the Memphis Regional Megasite in Tennessee.
CEOs and experts from China’s leading companies gathered in Shanghai and Beijing to explore how smart manufacturing will deliver value to the manufacturing industry and support government initiatives including China Manufacturing 2025. Hosted by Rockwell Automation “The Connected Enterprise CEO Forum” was led by Rockwell Automation’s new president and CEO, Blake Moret. However the interesting point from a tyre industry perspective is that the firm revealed that it is helping any unnamed Chinese tyremaker construct a factory in the US.
Step off the plane and into a car at Qingdao airport and it won’t be long before you see a Sentury Tire billboard. While this particular Chinese tyre manufacturer isn’t a global player, it is rapidly internationalising and is selling millions of tyres in Europe (many of which end up in the UK). The firm is expanding very quickly and recent high-profile appointments and off-shore factory investment announcements suggest the firm is well and truly on a growth path. Towards the end of 2015, Tyres & Accessories met with export sales manager Hellen Yang and Davanti vice-general manager Wilson Zhang for a tour of the firm’s large and very modern factory near Qingdao airport.
Oak Tyres has undergone some dynamic changes this year as it adapts its business to a shifting wholesale landscape. The most radical of the company’s developments in 2015 has been the launch of its fully owned private brand Davanti, which Oak’s management most recently supported at CITExpo 2015 in Shanghai. To accommodate operations associated with the new brand, Oak Group Holdings was formed, with the Oak Tyres 100 per cent wholesale business now under this umbrella alongside Davanti Tyres, and promotional merchandise producer Davanti World. With the Davanti product designed as “an opportunity for margin”, in the words of general manager Larry Cross, Oak Tyres’ brand portfolio has increased its scope. Stating that “we have a very clear, defined brand strategy at Oak, which we have refined continuously over the past five years,” Peter Cross, commercial manager at Oak Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories a bit more about the company’s current outlook, and how the second tier “exclusive brand programmes” are offering customers the opportunity “to maximise their profits”.
Growing global demand for Landsail car, high performance and van tyres has prompted Sentury to open a new factory in Thailand and the first Landsail tyres rolled off the production line earlier this week. The new plant will mean a significant increase in the capacity and output of Landsail tyres. A completely automated production line has been introduced, with Sentury investing in the VMI Exxium building machines, which are capable of producing a tyre every 38 seconds.
Cimcorp, which specialises in intralogistics automation reports that Qingdao Sentury Tire Co Ltd. has made the firm’s biggest ever order. According to Cimcorp Sentury has ordered a turnkey material handling solution for its new factory in Thailand.
With Landsail and Grouptyre celebrating their third anniversary this June, the two firms have announced that the partnership is now selling over 1.5 million units a year. Grouptyre became the sole distributor of Landsail in the UK and Ireland when the deal was struck three years ago and, according to both the partners and the unit sales figures, the relationship has gone from strength to strength since then.
Target Tyres in Sowerby Bridge is reporting increased business in its first year as a Landsail key dealer. An independent tyre company, Target Tyres specialise in a full range of car, SUV and van tyres. As winter tyre specialists Target Tyres were also attracted by the Landsail winter tyre range. Target’s exclusive Winter Tyres Club offers customers who buy winter tyres from them free storage for their seasonal tyres, discounted re-fitting and fitting reminders.
Sentury Tire brand Landsail has appointed Leigh Melling as its new UK brand manager. Peter Cross, representing Landsail, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Leigh to keep driving the Landsail brand forward. We’re continually looking to develop our dealer offer and sales strategies and the vision and skills Leigh brings will be integral to this.”
Qingdao Sentury Tire has already stated its intention to become a player in the aviation tyre business, and in June 2014 the tyre maker received its first airworthiness certificate from a civil aviation authority (a Chinese Technical Standard Order Authorisation issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China) ahead of the start of aviation tyre production later in the year. Now the company reports that on 29 December 2014, the AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) Fund of China invested RMB 400 million (£42.2 million) in Sentury Tire and become its strategic partner.
To loosely paraphrase the 2012 Taylor Swift song, Sentury Tires America is never, ever getting back together with the CLV6 tyre. In a statement released 19 February, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. shared that Sentury has “agreed to never produce the original CLV6 tyre that was displayed at the 2012 SEMA Show or any tyre with a similar tread design” as part of the settlement it has reached with Toyo. The CLV6 was viewed by Toyo as an infringement of its United States design patent for the tread design used on its Nitto Motivo tyre.