Top 10 news articles of the past week
The 2017 summer tyre test season is over and the winners and losers have been determined. While the winter tyre tests last autumn were dominated by a handful of premium manufacturers, most notably Continental, during the current test season the products from many more tyre makers gave convincing results. Falken, Fulda, Toyo and Vredestein are four examples – from nothing better than a ‘satisfactory’ rating last autumn, all gained top ratings in their respective summer tyre tests. It is also interesting to note that from the 132 currently tested tyres (the 32 eliminated in the preliminary round of the Auto Bild test don’t appear in the table as the testers didn’t give them an overall rating), only half a dozen were not recommended. The fact that two of the six non-recommendations were for the Firestone Firehawk SZ90μ, a product from the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer, may raise eyebrows, however it shouldn’t be forgotten that the tyre has been on the market since 2008 and no longer can be cons...
Apollo Tyres has thrown its hat into the European truck and bus radial ring and introduced a complete range for our regions. Furthermore, the company is only distributing these products online, through its own ApolloTyresDirect.com portal. The company is the first, and so far, only tyre manufacturer to use the direct online approach to market here, and it says pricing on the site is completely transparent and free from hidden costs or complicated deals.
Even through raw material costs are on the rise and these are driving up tyre prices, eight of the ten tyre brands deemed most valuable by Brand Finance have seen their brand values rise during the past year.
The unworthy have already been weeded out, and now Auto Bild has given the remaining 20 tyres from the original 52 candidates in its 2017 summer test a thorough going over. The size 225/50 R17 tyres were fitted to a BMW 320d for evaluation in a range of disciplines not covered in the preliminary round, including aquaplaning, rolling resistance, mileage and noise. Victory went to the top-ranked rubber from the initial test, the Continental PremiumContact 6.
No less than 15 tyres took part in the 2015 summer tyre test carried out by Finnish trade publication Tekniikan Maailma (World of Technology). Size 205/55 R 16 tyres from premium, mid-range and budget manufacturers were fitted to a VW Golf and evaluated by specialists from Test World in Ivalo, Finland and ranked according to performance in a series of wet and dry tests. Continental’s ContiPremiumContact 5 topped the table with a score of 9.5 out of 10 and a rating of five out five stars, however an entry from another premium manufacturer didn’t fare so well.
Guy Frobisher is taking on a central role at Continental AG’s headquarters in Germany as head of marketing communication for the PLT Replacement EMEA business unit, and the UK-based position he leaves is being filled by Tracey Mortimer. Mortimer, who has been with Continental for 14 years, begins in her new job as passenger marketing director on 1 May.
The 2017 edition of Tyres & Accessories’ annual retail report shows that the overall number of branches controlled by the top 20 retail chains continues to grow. However, that is just part of the story and the data shows that there have actually been significant movements in every tier of the top 20. Perhaps the clearest observation is that Micheldever’s Protyre retail chain is once again the fastest growing in the UK – a title it claims in 2017 for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, Goodyear’s HiQ franchise network is the top 20’s fastest faller – something that suggests the first changes in the make-up of the top five since we started tracking the UK retail landscape could take place before the year is out.
As in previous years, Auto Bild has separated the wheat from the chaff in its 2017 summer tyre test with a qualifying round. This year, the original 52 candidates were whittled down to 20 finalists through wet and dry braking tests.
The 2017 tyre retail ranking continues the trend of recent years when it comes to the second group of five leading retail chains. For the last few years we have seen this “second tier” group grow steadily towards the top tier.
Aeolus will take the opportunity of Autopromotec 2017 in Bologna (24-28 May) to stage the official launch of its third generation truck and bus tyre range.