A report by the HM Treasury, recommending major changes in the frequency of MOTs, has been labelled a “naive view of the contribution MOT’s make to safety on our roads” by the NTDA. “We have been aware for some time that the Treasury have been reviewing the current MOT regime in the UK,” commented NTDA director Richard Edy, adding: “These initial findings, that motorists would save £465million if the tests were done after the first four years and then every two years, takes no account of the importance of regular vehicle testing plays in reducing accidents on our roads.”
Soopa Toobs, a leading niche product supplier, reports that has widened it speciality offering. The tyre portfolio has been widened to include agricultural, industrial, lawncare, ATV and utility vehicle tyres, from such household names as Carlisle, Trelleborg, Goodyear, Dunlop, Eurogrip and others. The company also opened a new warehouse this year, which increases warehousing capacity by 300 per cent.
Toyo reached for the victory champagne recently after a convincing victory in the Baja 1000 off-road Race. NASCAR ace Robby Gordon drove the Chevy CK1500 whilst Toyo Open Country M/T tyres provided the traction. Victory was made all the sweeter by the fact that it was only Toyo’s second ever entry into the gruelling race. The victory ends a 21-year victory run by BFGoodrich in the series.
An investment of about 500 million euros (£340 million) into a new tyre factory is a clear statement of the future direction of a company. Hankook’s decision to invest in Central Europe rather than the US, Korea or China shows what an important role the European market plays in Hankook’s future growth and development strategy. The new factory, which will be built in the Hungarian city of Dunaujvaros, not only provides the company with missing production capacity close to important sales markets and cheap but highly-skilled workforce, but also goes far beyond the obvious, Seung Hwa Suh, president of Hankook’s European headquarters in Germany, says in an interview with Tyres & Accessories. There are three keywords that Mr Suh frequently uses to describe Hankook’s strategy for Europe and the rest of the world: quality/innovation, service and brand awareness.
Proper casing handling has a strong role to play in protecting the profits of retreaders. Shearography and ultrasonics are important, but who would do without that first hand visual inspection for buffed casings, before they enter the retreading process proper?
However, manhandling a truck tyre is increasingly frowned upon by the Health and Safety Executive. There are pieces of equipment that will lift and position a casing, others that will spread and spin the casing. But, earlier this year, AEP exhibited a new tyre inspection bay in Essen that highlights the company’s ability to provide bespoke handling solutions to the tyre industry.
(Akron/Tire Review) Cooper’s Oliver Rubber Co. subsidiary has introduced a new premium retread tread compound and pattern – the Vantage Drive. The new product features what Oliver called a “technologically advanced” tread compound called “Black Armor,” which it said “offers the benefits found in premium truck tires.” Oliver said the Vantage Drive delivers “remarkable treadwear with exceptionally low rolling resistance that optimizes fuel efficiency, while delivering long-lasting casing durability.” Furthermore, the new tread stock reportedly delivers up to 4 per cent better fuel economy than “best-in-class retreads on the market.” The Vantage Drive is available in 205mm (8), 210mm (8.5N), 220mm (9) and 230mm (9.5) sizes with a deep 26/32-inch tread depth.
The Mini was one of the success stories of the UK motor industry over the last five years, and the new Oxford built Mini 2 promises to continue this success. For Goodyear Dunlop, the Mini played a major role in bringing RunOnFlat tyre technology to a wider market, and the new Mini, launched in the UK this week, has Goodyear and Dunlop RunOnFlat tyres as original equipment fitment in all of its 16 and 17-inch wheel options.
Derbyshire-based Pneu-Logic has introduced a new wireless and paperless fleet data recording system. The company has gone into partnership with Goodyear Dunlop to market and promote the system. Pneu-Inspector is a hand held, easy-to-use, tyre tread depth combined pressure gauge which collects accurate tyre data and uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with a hand-held mobile computer. The result is real-time information, allowing fleet managers to view data about their tyres within seconds of them being inspected.
Five international synthetic rubber producers received fines totalling 519 million euros (£350 million, $682 million) from the European Commission after the group said they had fixed prices. The penalty is said to be the second largest fine of its kind in history. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Eni SpA, Dow Chemical Co., Unipetrol AS and Trade-Stomil were fined by the EC. Bayer AG was found guilty but was not fined because it blew the whistle on the others, according to the EC. The EC said the group fixed pricing and shared customer information on buyers of butadiene rubber and emulsion styrene butadiene rubber – used widely in tyre production – between 1996 and 2002. Italy’s Eni got the largest fine at £185 million ($357.6 million), and Shell was hit for £108 million ($211 million).
Financial analysts questioned whether the news would lead to a significant drop in synthetic rubber prices following the recent collapse of natural rubber. If so this could add to a “significant raw materials bonanza coming up in 2007 for tyre manufacturers,” according to Deustche Bank analysts.
Fresh from the success of pre-selling over 1 million winter tyres by August this year, Deldo has announced plans to further its interaction with the UK market, arranging to meet clients at next May’s Brityrex trade show. Tyres & Accessories contacted Deldo marketing manager, Rutger Veerman, and also learnt that the company and its key Chinese manufacturing partner, South China Tire & Rubber Company Ltd (Guangzhou) is investing in improving product production.
To get an idea of the scale of Deldo’s operation you need only look at the company’s annual turnover. In recent years Deldo have achieved an annual growth rate of approximately 10 per cent. Wanli remains Deldo’s best selling budget product, with a range of 160 (in 2007) passenger, light truck, SUV, 4×4 and truck tyres. Deldo is likely to sell 2 million Wanli products this year.
Autodata has entered into a partnership with the Trading Standards Institute to supply information to its members. Autodata is providing Trading Standards officers with access to its CD1 service information to assist them in identifying and prosecuting the minority of rogue operators that remain in the industry.
This partnership forms part of Autodata’s ongoing commitment to improve standards in the garage industry and prevent the few rogue operators tarnishing the image of the industry as a whole. This initiative is part of a concerted effort to drive up industry standards and goes alongside its relationship with the Retail Motor Industry Federation and support of the Institute of the Motor Industry’s ATA scheme.
(Akron/Tire Review) John McAndrew, who joined Falken Tire Corp. earlier this year, was promoted to director of dealer channel sales. He had previously served as director of business development. McAndrew held a number of executive positions with Yokohama, Sumitomo and Treadways.
KUMHO’s ECSTA KH11 tyre has been chosen by the Chrysler Group to be original equipment on the 2007 Chrysler Sebring. The ultra-high performance tyre, in size 215/55R18, will be a top-of-the-line plus-size option on the Chrysler Sebring in international markets, the company reports. The vehicle will be available in the UK from June 2007.
If the share price of its parent company is anything to go by, speciality tyre specialist, Carlisle Tire & Wheel, is having a successful time of it in the growing niche segment. Between year-end 2005 and the close of trading on 31 October Carlisle Companies’ share price has increased 21 per cent from $69.15 to $83.69.
Carlisle used November’s SEMA show to highlight a number of new products within the ATV/Utility vehicle, ST Trailer and Industrial segments. And, further to this aim, the company’s new 2007 product catalogue is available now. The company also dedicated a section of its booth to its growing Carlisle Certified Dealer (CCD) network.
Since its formation in 2003, Indequip has become a leader in the industrial equipment catalogue market, supplying through a network of distributors and resellers nationwide. Following on from the huge success of the Indequip catalogue, the company has made the natural progression on-line version. www.indequip.co.uk covers the full range of over 15,000 products, now with the ability to buy-on-line, no matter where you are. All items are generally ex-stock, for next day delivery throughout the UK, and users can pay by visa or on account. Paying by visa is secured through the Realex Payment Gateway, a secure method of on-line payment control. Log on to www.indequip.co.uk today to view the site for yourself. Alternatively Indequip can be contacted by phone on 01744 755177.