Racing fans that spend more time in front of the computer screen than behind a windscreen can now participate in their own global race series. Yokohama has announced its partnership in the new Virtual World Touring Car Championship (V-WTCC), an online championship for motorsport enthusiasts.
V-WTCC, explains Yokohama, is an online version of ‘RACE 07 – The Official WTCC Game’. Participants from around the globe can demonstrate their skills, competing for the title of V-WTCC Champion. After successfully competing in the earlier knockout rounds, six lucky qualifiers will receive invitations to the Grande Finale, held at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy. The V-WTCC winner will make his or her way into the simulated racing history books and receive a yet-to-be revealed grand prize.
AME International has joined the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB). “We are pleased to have AME International in the TRIB family. Their management team has a long and distinguished background in all types of tyre supplies for the smallest to the largest tyres,” TRIB managing director, Harvey Brodsky commented), TRIB’s membership now totals nearly 500 members in 48 countries
The Hectorra MP 45 and MP 46 Hectorra 2 continue to keep Matador well represented in the high performance tyre segment.
Available in W and Y speed ratings, aspect ratios from 55 series down to 30 series and for wheels from 16 to 18-inch, the MP 45’s asymmetric tread pattern gives the tyre a sporty look, as well as contributing to good handling in the wet and on dry roads. ‘W’ speed rated tyres are also available with an extra load capacity.
The MP 46 Hectorra 2 is the second generation summer high speed asymmetric tread tyres produced by the Slovakian manufacturer, and the final sizes to complete the Hectorra 2 range are expected to come to market during summer 2008. Like the MP 45, the Hectorra 2 features an asymmetric tread and Matador reports it delivers excellent braking properties and reliable manoeuvrability on wet as well as dry surfaces, along with high resistance to aquaplaning. The MP 46 Hectorra 2 is available in V and Y speed rated sizes for rim diameters between 16 and 20-inch.
Sri Lanka-based manufacturer Kelani Tyres PLC has recently witnessed its share price jump up 30 per cent. Speaking to local newspapers Managing Director Rohan Fernando said apart from the company’s strong performance in the last quarter, he is “unaware of any reason” for this. for share prices to increase except for the high performance of the company in the last quarter. However, he did concede that the stock jump was “an unusual increase in the price of shares traded.”
Hofmann Megaplan has recently launched HM TV, a new website-based feature showing valuable tyre equipment-related information. HM TV is initially showcasing demonstrations on various Hofmann Megaplan tyre changers, balancers and accessories, but will eventually be used more widely to provide tips and advice on matters such as fitting and balancing of specific tyres and rims, general industry news and interviews.
“We see HM TV as a major part of our customer awareness plans for the future,” commented Hofmann Megaplan MD James Boon. “When a customer is making an investment in equipment that should last him for a good few years, it is important that he makes the right decisions based on more than just a price and a brochure, and HM TV will enable us to provide much more in the way of information and advice than would normally be possible.”
Goodyear is on the look-out for the UK’s top performing agricultural innovator. And what’s more the company is offering £3500 worth of Goodyear Farm tyres and the title of Goodyear Proud to be a Farmer Award 2008 to the most innovative farmer the company comes across. Anyone interested in entering the competition is encouraged to enter the competition via the Goodyear website www.mygoodyear.co.uk.
This year Goodyear celebrates 70 years of specialised farm tyre supply within the UK. To celebrate these innovations over the last 70 years Goodyear has teamed together with Harper Adams University College based near Shropshire, to create the Proud to be a Farmer Award. This award is searching for the UK’s most innovative, pioneering and ground breaking farmer. “Harper Adams is one of the UK’s top agricultural universities and offers a wealth of knowledge on farming practice and innovation. They will be using their expertise to help us select a winner of the Proud to be a Farmer award 2008” said Andy Morris, Director of Goodyear Farm Tyres.
A comment made by the CFO of Continental AG during a conference call indicates the German manufacturer still considers the sale of its truck tyre division an option for the future. According to a report published by Forbes, Dr. Alan Hippe said, “should the division be unable to reach the targeted margin, we will have to consider a divestment.” However Dr. Hippe added he doesn’t foresee such a transaction occurring in the short-term.
According to results Conti released on April 29, the company’s Commercial Tire division attained sales of 328.4 million euros during the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 4.7 per cent on the previous year. Upon releasing the quarter’s figures Executive Board chairman Manfred Wennemer commented, “In the Commercial Tires division, we implemented measures to again significantly improve the margin.” However the unit’s adjusted EBIT margin was 3.8 per cent for the quarter, well below Continental’s adjusted EBIT margin target of 10 per cent for all divisions by 2010.
Britain’s largest independent fast-fit operator, Kwik-Fit Fleet, is participating in a major occupational road risk management survey in conjunction with RoadSafe, the organisation responsible for managing the Government’s ‘Driving for Better Business’ programme. The survey was officially launched at the Fleet Business Show at the Business Design Centre, London on April 29. The survey’s aim is to gain information on what actions senior managers with responsibility for fleet operations and the use of privately-owned cars on business have taken to reduce their organisations’ risk exposure in the light of the implementation of the month’s Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act in early April.
Mike Wise, head of Kwik-Fit Fleet, said: “The importance of companies managing occupational road risk has continued to increase in recent years. As a business we undertake hundreds of thousands of safety checks on vehicles and often find that cars and vans are not in tip-top condition. A failure by companies and their employees to ensure a vehicle’s safety-related equipment is in a first-class condition could be the difference between life and death.
Titan International reported “all-time record” first quarter sales of US$253.5 million, up 12 per cent period-to-period compared to 2007’s sales of $226.3 million. Gross profit for first quarter 2008 was $32.3 million, up 19 per cent versus the same period last year, while net income hit $8.1 million, up $10.6 million compared to 2007’s first quarter loss of $2.5 million.
“Titan’s first quarter reached record levels. The growth was spurred by the huge demand in the agricultural market,” said Chairman and CEO Morry Taylor “Increases in grain-based ethanol and soybean-based biofuel has increased commodity prices throughout the ag market.” Taylor said Titan is on schedule to start production of 57- and 63-inch OTR radials in July 2008. “Looking forward, production of these giant OTR tyres will build as equipment is brought online,” he said. “With the new capacity to produce giant OTR tyres and the continued demand in ag, Titan’s sales should remain strong.” (Tire Review/Akron)
Goodyear Dunlop UK has raised over £40,000 for the Red Balloon Appeal at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and has just pledged to raise a further £50,000. Chosen by the staff as the official charity partnership back in March 2007, the Red Balloon Appeal was given a significant boost when Goodyear Dunlop contributed over £40,000 to the new children’s Burn Centre – a brand new state-of-the-art development, serving over half the population in the UK.
In March this year, Goodyear Dunlop staff decided to make a further commitment to the Red Balloon Appeal, by undertaking to raise £50,000 over 18 months for a new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Play area.
Titan Tire Corporation has scheduled an increase in prices for aftermarket Titan, Goodyear and General branded OTR, farm and construction tyres, taking effect June 1, 2008. These increases will vary between 4 and 34 per cent, and the decision to implement the new prices is said to have resulted from rising costs for natural and synthetic rubber, carbon black, fabric, energy and transportation.
Last year, Kwik-Fit Fleet carried out more than 220,000 vehicle inspections – up from 188,000 in 2006 – and this year the company expects its mobile technicians to undertake more than 250,000 tyre safety checks in company car parks or at a driver’s location of choice.
Initial tyre checks result in about 25 per cent of vehicles inspected requiring attention, usually tyres being replaced because they are illegal. Extrapolated across the UK’s three million-strong company car and approximately one million van parc it means that up to 800,000 vehicles could be running on at least one unsafe tyre.
Of course the biggest news to-date this year for the Avon brand in the area of performance tyres is the release of the all-new ZV5 in March (featured in T&A April 2008), but the excitement surrounding the planned replacement for the ZV3 should not overshadow the other performance products in the Avon line-up – manufacturer Cooper Tire & Rubber produces Avon performance products for all conditions.
Designed to offer premium performance in a variety of conditions, the new Avon ZV5 was developed using advanced tyre technology at the company’s new UK technical centre. The tyre is available in a broad range of sizes to fit a wide range of vehicles, from small hatchbacks to large saloons, as well as MPVs and sports cars. Cooper reports that the ZV5 boasts significant improvements in handling, fuel efficiency and road noise, thanks to the use of the latest silica compounds and computer-aided design techniques.
Revolution Motorstore is unveiling a brand new website, www.revolution247.com, on 10 May 2008. The new site promises visitors a quicker, easier and more secure platform to buy the latest tuning and styling lines. “This is the start of an exciting new era for us,” explained Revolution M.D, Glenn Campbell, adding: “The old site was introduced back in 1999 and was always well received, but we still felt as if we could improve the experience for the customer. Making life easier and more secure for them, as well as being able to bring them exclusive special offers and product launches via the new mailing facility.”
The quality of Bridgestone Firestone OTR tyres produced in the US, and the company’s delivery of such products, has been acknowledged by construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. The company has awarded the Bridgestone Firestone Off Road Tire Company (BFOR), a division of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, (BFNT), one of its annual supplier quality excellence awards – a distinction given to those suppliers deemed to meet the highest standards of quality for Caterpillar components.
The particular award given to BFOR was the 2007 “Supplier Quality Excellence” award. Shawn Rasey, vice president, BFOR, and Greg Halford, manager of the company’s Bloomington facility, accepted the award on behalf of BFOR during a recognition ceremony held on April 15, in Bloomington, Illinois.