Klarius Group, a market-leading supplier of aftermarket exhausts and catalytic converters, filters and shock absorbers, reports that it has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Paul Hannah as Business Development Director. A qualified mechanical engineer, Paul Hannah’s appointment is being seen as a strategic appointment for the business, which acquired ArvinMeritor LVA in 2007, as it continues to build its presence as the market leader.
Paul Hannah has a wealth of experience in the engineering, aerospace and automotive sectors gained over 20 years of international sales and marketing success in Renold plc and Edbro plc. As an advocate of lean manufacturing, he has helped to build sales teams across export markets such as Far East Asia, Russia, the USA and Europe in his previous roles.
Michelin will be title sponsor of the LRM (Land Rover Monthly) Billing Show, which takes place at Billing Aquadrome, Northampton from 18 to 20 July. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the launch of the iconic Land Rover brand; and follows the company’s recent purchase by India’s Tata Group from Ford.
An annual show for Land Rover enthusiasts, Billing provides the platform for Michelin to showcase its comprehensive 4×4 tyre range. This covers all market sectors from heavy duty off-road and multi purpose tyres, to high performance on-road tyres for vehicles such as the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport.
Federal Tire’s cartoon ambassador Feddi will be getting greater exposure by the Taiwan tyremaker. Beginning this year, Feddi has gained his own website – www.feddi.com.tw – and will grace a host of promotional materials from Federal. Now available are such Feddi-oriented promotional items such as sport bottles, pens, note pads, memo sheet cubes, and plush Feddi dolls. (Tire Review/Akron)
The new Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair was launched by Motor Codes Limited to the trade at the Office of Fair Trading in London on 29 May. Over 5,500 garages have reportedly signalled their intent to subscribe via a pre-launch commitment programme. Any UK garage can sign up to the voluntary code, which is currently progressing through the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS). To comply with the code, a business will need to commit to meet the requirements for completing service and repair work whilst engaging with their customers.
The announcement follows threats of a so-called “super complaint” from consumer agencies, due to variable and sometimes poor service in the garage trade. The code aims to promote and safeguard the interests of consumers by helping them identify subscribing garages, and by “providing an easily accessible and robust dispute resolution mechanism when required.”
The Infinity brand is one that steadily continues to gain momentum in Europe as a popular choice for competitively priced quality in the passenger car and truck sectors. The number of distributors that have been appointed in 25 countries throughout the region is growing and, towards the end of April parent company – The Al Dobowi Group in conjunction with their European associate – Goldspark Trading Limited, organised a special three-day dealership event for both new and existing distributors.
At the ‘Infinity Partners Day’ Infinity distributors from Europe, the UK and Ireland were invited to be the guests of Al Dobowi’s Chairman, Mr Surender Singh Kandhari and his family for a combination of business and recreation in the United Arab Emirates. Attendees came from all corners of Europe and included Bond International (UK), Kings Road Tyres (UK), Daly Tyres (Ireland) Kings Road Tyres (Ireland), Reifen Ruhdorfer (Austria), Fort Pneus (France), Intergomma (Italy), Distyre (Spain), Guitires (Spain), Heuver Banden (Netherlands), Euro-Tyre (Netherlands), AKH (Hungary) and Latex (Poland.)
After a week of practice racing in the Isle of Man TT gets underway on May 31, and Yokohama is proud that its tyres will see plenty of three-wheel action in the coming days. It reports that, once again, it is by far the dominant tyre brand in the sidecar class, with no less than 41 of the 58 entrants running on Yokohama products, serviced by Yokohama HPT dealer Express Tyres.
The favourite for the two race wins has to be Dave Molyneux, the third most successful rider ever in the history of the Isle of Man TT in terms of race wins, behind John Surtees and Joey Dunlop. He holds the position as the most successful sidecar racer, with 13 wins to his credit and giving Yokohama an outstanding record of 14 consecutive years with a win on the island. Other top runners in the class have also chosen to ride on Yokohama, with last year’s early leader Nick Crowe looking to heap the pressure on Molyneux once again. Crowe also has the island lap record under his belt, an accolade he took from Molyneux at last year’s event, with a stunning lap averaging 116.667mph over the 37-mile course. On top of this, Yokohama regular John Holden is tipped to put up a strong showing, as he, Crowe and Molyneux were the main protagonists in last year’s event.
A new manufacturing facility in Asia and increased capacity in North America have been announced by Toyo Tire & Rubber in order to reinforce its tyre business’s global supply system. This measure is being undertaken as part of its Medium-Term Business Plan 2008, a three-year business plan that will be in operation through to the year ending March 31, 2011.
Toyo believes that simply boosting production at existing plants is not sufficient to meet anticipated growth in global demand. Therefore the company has drawn up a shortlist of potential locations for a new tyre production plant in Asia, which will serve as an export centre for the global market. This facility is scheduled to be ready during the 2010 fiscal year and will be built at a total investment of around 24 billion yen (£115.6 million). Planned production will mainly concentrate on passenger car tyres and by March 2012 annual output at the site is expected to reach 4 million units.
Carl Williams has been appointed as car dealer executive within Bridgestone’s Consumer Sales department. Williams celebrated 10 years with the organisation at the start of the year having joined the firm in 1998 as area sales manager, before transferring to the role of business development manager with Bridgestone’s First Stop network in 2007. In his new role Carl will continue to be responsible for the south and Wales, working alongside Phil Livingston, car dealer executive for the northern region.
Commenting on his new role, Carl Williams said: “I have worked within the tyre industry for 28 years and although I have worked in various roles, it has always been in a retail environment. This new role provides the opportunity to use my experience in consumer sales to tackle new challenges.”
Founded in 1914, Vogue Tyre has always been a little different, a bit more upscale. Best known as “that Cadillac tyre,” Vogue catered to top-end cars and sold what was touted as the industry’s first whitewall, a stark contrast to the day’s solid black tyres. Later, it added its now trademark white/gold sidewall stripes.
A family-owned company then as it is now, Vogue has never aspired to be a major tyre player, but rather wants to be known as a quality company with quality people (180 of them) offering quality products. The Mt. Prospect, Illinois-based Vogue is also a quality customer, celebrating its 70th anniversary as a Goodyear customer – and as Goodyear’s oldest private brand account.
Following two record years of growth in the UK two-wheel market, Michelin has released a new Anakee range of tyres in the “radial adventure category.” The French manufacturer hopes the latest incarnation of adventure-orientated motorbike offering will help it take back some of the sales it lost in this sector in previous years.
According to Michelin, the new Anakee 2 offers includes new technology that reconciles the old soft compound (high give/short life) versus hard compound (long life/less grip) dilemma. Michelin reports that the new compound was developed through race tyre testing. The MotoGP bikes Michelin supplies are required to meet seemingly insurmountable challenges. Powered by 240 hp engines, these bikes can reach speeds of more than 340 km/h and yet weigh less than 145 kilograms.
The president and CEO of Continental Teves North America, William L. Kozyra, has elected to leave the company as of June 1, 2008. Mr. Kozyra’s request to terminate his contract and appointment to the company’s Executive Board early was accepted during a meeting of the Continental AG Supervisory Board on May 29. In a statement Continental says Mr. Kozyra will, following his resignation, “take up a new challenge in another company.”
William Kozyra had been deputy member of the company’s Executive Board for the NAFTA region since February 2006. Amongst other roles, Kozyra was responsible for the integration of the Motorola Automotive activities into Continental. The Supervisory Board of Continental has expressed its thanks to Mr. Kozyra for all the work he has done during his ten years as president and CEO of Continental Teves North America and has wished him every success in his new assignment.
Sports fans in the US are soon to be treated to the thrills of rugby, thanks to Michelin North America. The tyremaker is hosting a match between top French rugby team Clermont-Auvergne and the US national rugby team, the USA Eagles. The game, to be held in South Carolina on August 9, is the first ever international rugby exhibition match to be played in this state.
Michelin North America will be the presenting sponsor for this first “Michelin Challenge Rugby” event, held in its home state. Since 1911, the Clermont-Auvergne rugby team has been sponsored by the Michelin Group in its home city of Clermont-Ferrand, France. The French team currently sits atop the standings in the country’s Top 14 division and leads its main rival, Toulouse, by nine points in the standings.
Michelin in North America has announced price increases for some of its own tyre lines and for products manufactured by the Michelin owned Oliver Rubber Company. Continuing increases in raw material, energy and transportation costs are said to be behind these latest price rises.
Michelin North America will, effective July 1, 2008, increase prices between 6 and 36 per cent on Michelin, BFGoodrich and Kléber brand agricultural and compact line tyres and tubes sold in the US and Canadian markets. The company adds that back orders of record as of June 30 will benefit from price protection until July 31, 2008. The Oliver Rubber Company will increase prices for its retread rubber products by 5 per cent, effective June 1, 2008.
BIPAVER, the European federation of tyre retreaders’ associations, has named Brenno Benaglia as its new President. The decision was made on 23 May during the Reifen 2008 exhibition in Essen, Germany. During the meeting, a number of changes were made to the Board of the Federation, in line with the organisation’s constitution.
Brenno Benaglia, represents both AIRP (Italy) and the Marangoni Group and replaces Peter Hülzer of BRV (Germany), who becomes one of the Federation’s two Vice-Presidents. Also appointed Vice-President was Jan Driessen, Chairman of the Retreading Sector in VACO (Netherlands).
Retiring from the board was Richard O’Connell, representing the RMA (UK). BIPAVER Secretary Ruud Spuijbroek thanked O’Connell for his services as President between 2006 and 2007 and as a Vice-President during the past year as well as for his valuable contribution to the Federation’s Technical Committee.
During the General Assembly BIPAVER members approved a change in the Federation’s Constitution, which will allow Federation officers to serve two years in office as opposed to one year, as was previously specified in the constitution. This means that Brenno Benaglia will now serve as BIPAVER President from 2008-2010.
In his acceptance speech Brenno Benaglia commented: “Retreading is going through a complex period and BIPAVER now needs to carry on what it’s doing through strong co-operation with those new tyre producers, who are committed to producing retreadable casings. BIPAVER is an open and independent association and the ideas we have developed over the past year will be framework for our future work together.”
Tim Parker, the former Kwik-Fit and AA boss has been as a deputy mayor of London. His track record led to the trade unions dubbing him “the Prince of Darkness” after he departed from Kwik-Fit £25 million richer and the AA over £40 million better despite thousands of job cuts. Tim Parker’s deputy mayor role will see him become chief executive of the GLA Group, which comprises the authority itself, the London Development Agency and Transport for London, which he will chair.
It is widely reported that Parker became a multimillionaire after implementing often painful cost cutting programmes such as at the AA where he cut 3,500 jobs in the first 100 days following its take over by CVC Capital. However, on this occasion the Porsche driving multimillionaire has agreed to work for Boris Johnson for just £1.