Polyurethane elastomer tyre technology company Amerityre Corporation has reported that its Chinese licensee, Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Company, LTD. estimates it is approximately two months ahead of schedule in the construction of its OTR polyurethane elastomer retread facility in Shandong Province. The construction project, commenced in September 2006, was originally anticipated to be completed in September 2007.
IBM has submitted a patent application for a sensor that can warn drivers when tyre tread becomes worn down to 3mm or less, the level at which tests conducted for the British Rubber Manufacturers Association indicate that a tyre’s road holding ability begins to be significantly affected.
(Akron/Tire Review) India’s Apollo Tyres Ltd. unveiled the first of its new Indian made Regal brand radial truck and bus tyres. The line was launched with the Regal Transport RS (steer axle) and the Regal Transport RD (drive axle) at the Bus World exposition taking place in Mumbai, India.
On January 26 Michelin renewed a long-term global contract with the Volvo Group. The initial contract was signed in December 2003, and under the terms of the new contract Michelin will offer truck tyres as OE for vehicles assembled by Volvo in Europe, North America and South America under the brand names Volvo Trucks, Volvo Buses, Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks.
Sapphire Energy Recovery has launched a Service Charter for Sapphire regional collectors. Sapphire and its network of six regional collectors have all signed up to a Service Charter that outlines to new and existing customers, a level of service and commitment that tyre retailers can expect to receive.
Pirelli have made a second foray into the world of filmmaking with their new short film ‘Mission Zero.’ The ten-minute film, whose debut screening recently took place in New York, stars Uma Thurman as the target of relentless assassins who are determined to kill her for apparently no reason.
The FIA is reportedly planning to impose an alternative to the controversial ‘red tyre rule’ during the 2007 Formula One season. Autosport magazine has reported that, in addition to the new regulation requiring drivers to race both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ compound tyres Bridgestone supplies for each Grand Prix event, teams could also be asked to publish their initial tyre choice.
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company will add Michelin as an official supplier of replacement tyres for its motorcycles. From the middle of the year Michelin motorcycle tyres will be available at Harley-Davidson dealerships across North America.
The CEO of Hankook Tire, Choong Hwan Cho, has announced the company’s global sales target for 2007 is $US3.6 billion, a significant increase on last year’s realised US$2,5 billion. Hankook are also targeting an operating profit of US$340 million and a recurring profit of US$282 million.
Michelin-owned tyremaker BFGoodrich will soon equip the US military’s Humvee vehicle with its Baja T/A tyre after being awarded a US$10.7 million contract. The Baja T/A to be fitted to the Humvee has been developed especially for military use and carries an E Load Rating with a load capacity of 4,540 pounds per tyre at 65 psi (4.4 bar). According to Michelin, the new tyre has a 22.5 per cent increase in projected tread life compared to the previous Humvee tyre, as well as superior manoeuverability and mud traction.
SmarTire Systems Inc. has given details of restructuring plans that involve the closure of its UK operations. Company president and CEO Dave Warkentin announced, “We have taken significant actions to reduce costs. Since September, our overall staff level has been reduced by approximately 50%. As part of this initiative, we plan to close our UK facility at the end of February, 2007. We do not anticipate that this closure will affect our European sales efforts.”
JK Industries Ltd. plans to invest up to 1.2 billion rupees (£13.9 million) doubling production of OTR tyres over the next 18 months, according a senior official from the company. This decision is a logical one for the tyremaker, owing to the fact that the net profit margin for the OTR segment is 6 per cent, nearly three times that of truck and passenger car tyres.
Automechanika, a leading international brand of automotive parts and service trade shows, will join forces with CarFixWORLD to make its debut in the Canadian marketplace. This event will be presented jointly by Messe Frankfurt, producer of what will now be a dozen Automechanika shows across the globe, and Business Information Group, publisher of over 90 media products in Canada.
Ceat Limited has outlined a £76 million capital expenditure plan spread over the next three years. The plan includes setting up of two greenfield plants, one for radials and the other for speciality tyres. This is a more ambitious plan than previously reported, as the company was expected to establish a single plant where all the above-mentioned activities would take place.
The Russian-Dutch tyremaker Amtel-Vredestein has refuted claims that talks with Continental AG on a possible collaboration have broken down. Rumours have been circulating that the German company had decided to end negotiations, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper quoted a Continental supervisory board member as saying “The deal has died for now.”