When people think of green – or interesting – products, they rarely think of laptop bags, but one company has chosen to fly in the face of this general perception.
Environmentally aware bag manufacturer Tread has produced a range of laptop bags that are tailored from recycled Columbian truck tyres. The bags are lightweight and very rugged, a reflection upon their ancestry, and provide a unique alternative to adding to the world’s growing stockpile of waste tyres.
The new tyre industry’s continued push into international and national fleet business and thus into the retreading business will very likely lead to an increased market polarisation between these companies and independent players participating in this market. The major material supplier, Gummiwerk Kraiburg Austria, has identified the prospects and risks attached to this development, according to Frank Gregory, new sales director within the company’s “Retreading materials” business unit. Talking to Tyres & Accessories, Mr Gregory announced an adjustment to Kraiburg Austria’s business model, but did not disclose specific details.
Taiwan’s Federal Tyres have been named sponsor and official tyre supplier to the Australia 2007 X Challenge one make series for Lotus cars. Federal Corporation’s CEO, Jamie Ma, announced that the competition’s debut series would be also backed by Federal Tyres, and all competing vehicles will run on Federal’s new 595RS X Challenge Special Edition Tyres.
Amtel-Vredestein has announced the appointment of new directors in the company’s Russian division. J. Anisimova has taken on the role of personnel department director and V. Ignatyev has been selected as the company’s new director for sales and marketing in Russia.
Indian tyre major MRF has signed up popular Indian driver Gaurav Gill to compete in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for a full season this year. Addressing a press conference to announce MRF drivers for the championship, K M Mammen, MRF’s chairman and managing director, said “this is the first time that an Indian will be vying for honours in the event by competing in six of the seven legs. Gaurav (Gill) is also the first Indian to register with the FIA for the APRC Series.”
In the US the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has called on the nation’s governmental motoring safety body, the NHTSA, to open an investigation into tyre failures and front suspension problems that have occurred on the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO. The agency has received 65 complaints involving tyres on the 2004-2005 GTO, involving 8 blowouts and one crash. Many of these complaints cite tyre wear caused by contact with struts as the source of the failures. The problem seems to occur early in the lifespan of the vehicle, as a number of complaints cite mileages of less than 10,000 at the time of the failure.
Michelin has announced that will increase the price of its truck tyre products by an average of 4.4 per cent. Michelin representatives in Europe told Tyres & Accessories that the price rise would come into effect tomorrow (1 March 2007). According to the French tyre manufacturer, the price increase was triggered by the continuing high cost of raw materials, and specifically rubber prices.
(Akron/Tire Review) Julie Sediq, the former communications manager for Anaheim’s Honda Center arena, has been named director of marketing communications for Toyo Tire (USA) Corp. Sediq spent the last eight years as director of media and communications for the arena, formerly known as Arrowhead Pond.
The world’s leading tyremakers are exhibiting at the 77th International Motor Show, held in Geneva between March 8 – 18. Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, Continental, Marangoni and a number of other tyre related companies will be amongst the 250 plus companies present at the city’s Palexpo exhibition centre for what has been called the accessories, spare parts and equipment sector’s largest annual event.
The bankrupt US automotive parts manufacturer Delphi Corp. announced on February 22 that it plans to close its Puerto Real factory in Cadiz, southern Spain. A union representing employees at the plant has stated that as many as 1,650 workers will be affected by this closure.
Last autumn Continental AG introduced a new program that enables fleet operators to better control and calculate the cost of commercial tyres within their fleet. This new software is available on CD-ROM and can thus be used on any computer. As it is a freestanding program, nobody needs to share information about competitor’s prices, not even with the Continental sales staff that provide the CD-ROM. The calculation model, known as ContiLifeCycle, offers several options through which tyre costs can be easily and quickly calculated and answers to a number of very important questions found, commented Eckhard Wilanek in an interview with Tyres & Accessories. Such questions include: Is retreading an option for me? What about regrooving? Or should I just have new tyres mounted?
As one of the largest wholesale distributor of passenger car tyres in the UK, Stapleton’s aims to ensure it has a tyre suitable for every retailer and in every price bracket by stocking all major brands of 4×4 and SUV tyres.
Taiwan-based tyre manufacturer Maxxis believe they offer one of the UK’s most extensive ranges of off-road, all-purpose and road going 4×4 tyres, and the company chose this year’s British Indoor 4×4 Show, held at the Donington Exhibition Centre, Derby, on February 18, to showcase their range.
Gloucestershire based Watts Industrial Polymers is a leading producer of tyre and retread compounds and related materials both at home in the UK and in numerous export markets. From their manufacturing facilities in Lydney, where the company’s headquarters is also located, Watts supplies polymer compounds in strip, slab and camelback form as well as sidewall veneers and ancillary materials.
(Akron/Tire Review) Jim Morton, the former Michelin North America public relations and government affairs chief who later became vice chairman of Nissan North America, has decided to retire at the end of March. Morton will continue as a government affairs advisor to Nissan management after his Apr. 1 departure.