(Las Vegas/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America is using the SEMA Show to launch the ContiSportContact 3 performance tyre line. Released in Europe earlier this year, the tyre makes its North American debut this week in Las Vegas. Already OE on the Audi TT and A6, the ContiSportContact 3 was developed for high performance vehicles and provides shorter braking distances, enhanced handling characteristics and superior grip on wet roads, according to CTNA.
A long-awaited £6.20 increase in the MoT test fee has been put back more than six weeks by the Department for Transport. Testers expected the increase to be brought in on 1 October, but have now learned it has been put back until 24 November. Some now fear this deadline will slip even further back into December, the NTDA website reported. The traditional date for an MoT fee increase is 1 August.
Dunlop India Limited’s plant in Sahagange, reportedly the oldest tyre plant in Asia, restarts production today (Tuesday 30 October) after years of inactivity. Dunlop’s Ambattur plant re-opened a little over a month ago. “We are dealing with old machines at Sahagange. The problem has been compounded by damage and thefts when the plant had be closed,” S K Paul, managing director of Dunlop India, told reporters at the opening of the Ambattur plant.
Following its recent 170-million euros investment in a tyre production factory in Romania, it seems that the Italian company may be on the verge of investing a further 70 million euros in a plant to produce filters for diesel engines, according to local media reports. The country manager of Pirelli Romania, Guglielmo Fiocchi, is quoted as saying: “Next year we could start the construction of a new plant for production of filters for diesel engines in Gorj, with the actual production most likely to begin early in 2008, if the project is approved.”
(Akron/Tire Review) The Associated Press has reported that Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire has begun cutting employment at its Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, tyre plant, which is scheduled to close by the end of this year. Some 400 employees, said the report, will be laid off by the end of this month. In April, BFNAT announced that it would close the plant, eliminating 1,400 jobs there.
(Akron/Tire Review) Hunter Engineering won the Best New Product Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) for its DSP600 Digital Imaging Alignment Sensors. The NSPE award recognizes engineering ingenuity, functionality, safety, construction, marketing success and economic contribution. Hunter said the DSP600 Sensors were nominated for the national award after winning the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) New Product Award in 2005. Representatives from MSPE presented the 2006 NSPE New Product Award to Hunter Engineering executives during a recent visit to the company’s Bridgeton, Missouri, headquarters.
(Las Vegas/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America said it will continue its unique joint marketing partnership with Wholesale Tire and Wheel Corp. (WTW), marketer of the Giovanna wheel brand. The joint marketing deal was announced at last year’s SEMA Show, and saw the launch of two Continental-produced Giovanna edition tyres. This year’s SEMA Show will see the addition of nine performance and two light truck/SUV tyres to the collection.
Titan achieved a 52 per cent increase in net sales in third quarter 2006. Net sales were $156.1 million, compared to $102.7 million the year before. Titan recorded gross profit of $17.1 million, a 56 per cent increase when compared to the $11 million of gross profit in third quarter 2005. However, a 40 per cent tax rate in 2006 meant Titan recorded third quarter net income of $0.5 million, compared to last year’s third quarter net income of $1.2 million. Using a 40 per cent tax rate on last year’s pre-tax income, Titan’s third quarter 2005 net income would have been $0.2 million.
Goodyear Dunlop plans to “blow the lid off the fast-fit industry” by expanding its Hi-Q operation, mainly through franchised outlets. At present, the manufacturer owns all but 22 of its 150 retail sites. Peter Tye, Goodyear Dunlop franchise development manager, says: “Our aim is to revolutionize the industry and to become a challenging force within UK fast fit.
“We intend to grow our network to 250, and the planned split is 100 owned by us and the rest by franchise holders. We expect all our current franchisees to continue with us, and we’re going through a consultation exercise with them looking at the benefits,” Tye added.
Kwik-Fit will now perform tyre safety checks on around 10,000 British Gas light commercial vehicles as a part of the new three-year solus fast-fit contract won by Kwik-Fit Fleet. The contract, one of the largest won by Kwik-Fit Fleet, will see mobile technicians at the UK’s largest independent fast-fit company undertake quarterly tyre wear and tear checks on all vehicles, to assist British Gas comply with its at-work driving duty of care responsibilities.
Dunlop Race Academy 2006 winner, Rob Parkman put in an inspiring performance during the Ginetta Championship final at Donington in an October weekend meeting. Despite the driving rain, Rob put his academy training to the test and finished 19th in the second race after qualifying 31st out of 38 entrants on the grid in a race-prepared Ginetta G20.
Kerala (India) Congress leader and former minister K M Mani said a State Government probe into the affairs of Palazhi Tyres Ltd politically motivated. Mani said that no financial irregularity has been committed and the company documents will speak themselves.
“The only fault with the company is that the mission for setting up a tyre factory has not become a reality till date, for various reasons. It owns 37 acres of well-kept rubber estate having big valuation at Valavoor in Meenachil taluk. The company has been registered as per company and co-operative laws and it has an audited annual balance sheet,” KM Mani told local newspapers.
The Good Garage Scheme has launched the second phase of its marketing campaign to attract older car owners and female drivers to the scheme. Throughout November and December a programme of leaflet drops, editorial coverage and radio and vehicle advertising is aiming to further raise the awareness of the Good Garage Scheme and its portal – www.goodgaragescheme.com – to millions of motorists throughout the North East Region, the first region on the scheme. There are now 810 Good Garage Scheme members in the UK. The latest marketing campaign is seen as a prelude to taking the scheme to a National level in March 2007.
Pirelli’s new touring line, the P4 Four Seasons, will be on the company’s stand at this year’s SEMA show and the first sizes will be available to dealers from January, 2007. The new line is a “tyre for all seasons” with a silica-rich tread compound and specialised tread design for maximum grip in both wet and snow conditions. Major advances in tread profile, generated from CAD designs, and the very latest tread compounding provide a substantial improvement in wear rate, giving the tyre an extremely long life, says Pirelli.
Bike Tyrestore has announced that Sava’s range of ATV tyres will be available in the new year and that it is now sole UK trade distributor. Bike Tyrestore joint managing director, Peter Smith, told Tyres & Accessories the company would like to make contact with ATV tyre specialists, with a view to setting up area distributorships for this product range. “This may be of particular interest to farm tyre specialists and anyone else for whom ATV tyres are a major part of their business,” he explained adding: “We’ll be showing this new range at Expo in January (14 to 16 January, Stoneleigh-Park Exhibition Centre).” Quad magazine is expected to publish the first UK test soon. Further information is available from David Nolan on 0800 281 413