At the time of going to press, the US government failed to back President Bush’s $700 billion bailout plan and banks seemed to be dropping like flies. With the UK economy inevitably affected by the knock-on effect of the credit crunch starting your own virtual business may seem like scary thing to do. However, if you did want to start up an online mobile tyre franchise, etyres reports that it has the consumer hook of charging up to 40 per cent less than the leading tyre depots.
However, some areas of the country are not yet covered so etyres is looking to expand its franchise. “Everyone wants to save money on essential purchases like car tyres,” says Tony Bowman, managing director of etyres, adding: ” Even though we have over 70 franchisees across the country we still have some key areas available and are looking to fill these. Priority locations include Manchester, South East London, Southampton and Liverpool.”
Pirelli’s sees its new industrial centre in Romania’s automotive sector as strategic for the company’s future growth in the emerging East European markets. The company’s position in Romania is now set to grow further in coming years following the announcement of new investments to the value of 250 million euros. The chairman of Pirelli & C. SpA, Marco Tronchetti Provera, made the announcement to Romanian Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, during a meeting held in Bucharest on September 29, at which the Group’s activities in the country were discussed.
In recent years the online tyre market has swollen in size (as observed in other retailer sectors). Whilst the proportion of the total market controlled by this sector remains limited, the fact that the number of different e-tail platforms is continually proliferating means online sales could already account for as much as 3 per cent of the European replacement market. With this in mind, knowing more about how these businesses operate is of interest to everyone in the tyre trade.
The latest insight is that the average tyre offered for sale online costs consumers around £69.14, meaning the myth that ‘virtual’ margins are too thin to make business sense could be evaporating. However, the most commonly offered tyre online is characterised as a mid-range brand costing around £60. It seems making money online is all a question of business model.
Nokian’s product range has grown with the addition of the Nokian HT SUV, a summer tyre intended for urban use 4×4 vehicles. The HT SUV is, says the manufacturer, most at home on asphalt roads, however it is said to also function excellently off on “twisty small roads” and “tracks that are covered in sand and gravel and difficult to drive on.” The T and H speed rated range will be available in a wide range of sizes covering all popular 4x4s sold in Europe, with sales starting in the spring of 2009.
Majorlift installed three machining centres during the summer break. According to the company, the machining centres (one Cincinnati, one Colchester and an EMI-MEC Batchmatic) demonstrate the latest progress in its “continuing quest for ever improving quality and delivery times.” Managing Director Bob Sims said: “We are delighted with our new machining centres. Inevitably we went through an operating learning curve during the summer, but their improved output and precision is already benefiting our customers with MOT Scissor Beams being quoted for delivery within 5 working days and our pit jacks from between 5 and 10 working days. Our market leading 5 year warranty continues to apply.”
Dr. William L. Hergenrother has been promoted to the newly created position of Research Fellow by Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology (BACRT), effective October 1, 2008. This achievement recognises Hergenrother’s 45 years of contributions to Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire (BFNT).
Hergenrother joined Firestone Central Research in 1963, at what was then The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, after obtaining his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from The University of Notre Dame. In this new role, Hergenrother will continue advising BACRT management on strategic technical issues. He will also continue serving as both an internal technical resource for all BACRT projects and a technical resource for all parts of Bridgestone Corporation.
In light of accusations that its programme to nurture up and coming tennis talent is little more than another means by which to promote brand awareness, Apollo Tyres has reiterated that its ‘Apollo Tyres Mission 2018’ scheme is a “programme to identify, nurture and create world-class tennis players in India who will challenge, perform and win on the world stage, with at least one becoming a Singles
Grand Slam champion by the year 2018.”
The All India Tennis Association (AITA), however, views the Apollo programme differently. According to AITA secretary Anil Khanna, the company is doing little in the name of tennis development and is instead using the programme as an opportunity to promote its own brand. In a letter to Apollo Tyres the AITA asked the company to be “transparent” and reveal how much it has to date spent on Apollo Tyres Mission 2018, a scheme the tyre maker claims to have earmarked Rs 1 billion (£11.6 million) for. Apollo says it is unable to provide details of any money so far spent.
When the new Jaguar XKR-S hit the streets of Europe, it will be a very rare beast indeed. Only 200 of this exclusive model are being built, 50 of which will be sold in the UK. The XKR-S is powered by Jaguar’s acclaimed 4.2 litre V8 supercharged engine – tuned to develop 416 Bhp and a peak torque of 560Nm – XKR-S has been developed for the true Jaguar enthusiast. An exhaust system for this formidable motor can be supplied by Quicksilver: The new catalyst-back ‘Sports’ exhaust system, designed to give this cat a roar – when desired.
Rema Tip Top offers a range of workshop equipment for run-flat tyres that covers every need, from entry-level products to high-end solutions.
The Butler Topline tyre changer is a superb introductory machine, says Rema Tip Top, and represents an intelligent evolution of the award winning Airdraulic and Aircombi tyre changers. One of the new standard features on the Butler Topline is the Safety Belt, which was developed to reduce mounting stress particularly whilst fitting low profile, UHP and self supporting tyres, thus preventing damage to any part of the tyre or rim.
The message is still not getting through, says TyreSafe. Motorists are continuing to place their own lives, as well as those of passengers and other road users at risk by ignoring the dangers of incorrect tyre inflation. As Tyre Safety Month gets underway, the safety organisation has reported on Department for Transport statistics showing that illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor in the death of 43 motorists in 2007, and played a part in a further 984 accidents.
Speaking at the Fork Lift Truck Association’s (FLTA) Safety Conference on 25 September, Continental Industrial tyres warned against incorrect fitments and poor maintenance of tyres on industrial vehicles. Industrial vehicles have evolved over the past 20 years, becoming faster, more powerful and being worked harder than ever before. These advancements mean that higher demands are being put on the vehicles only contact with the road, making good tyre selection all the more important.
Gary Banks from Continental Industrial tyres explained why: “Tyres are an essential part of the forklift truck and if the wrong tyres are fitted or the tyres are not maintained properly then this can have serious consequences both on running costs and fleet safety…It is important that the right choice is made when fitting Industrial tyres to your forklifts, especially when lifting heavy loads and when loads have to be raised to a great height.
Internet based tyre management company TyreCheck has announced the launch of its Work Order Management Module, which will effectively reduce the overall cost of tyres on a fleet whilst also improving the fleets’ availability. By implementing this innovative module a tyre fitter will be able to carry out an inspection on a truck’s tyres, correct pressures and replace any damaged tyres. At the same time any tyre that will need re-grooving in the near future can also be recorded. All these tasks can be carried out both swiftly and efficiently without the use of paper and the results can be immediately available online for reference.
Attendees to TyrexpoAsia 09 will have the opportunity to join colleagues from the raw materials side of the industry to debate key elements of the International Rubber Study Group’s World Rubber Summit in Singapore next March. The theme for the Summit has now been announced as ‘Global Demand and Supply: Facing the challenges in a rapidly changing world.’
Access to the Summit is a direct result of the collaboration between TyrexpoAsia and the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), which will see delegates networking and participating in both events next year. IRSG draws its membership from 16 major rubber producing and consuming countries and the European Union, plus over 100 associate members from all kinds of rubber related companies around the world.
The proposed merger of Russian tyre manufacturing giants Amtel-Vredestein and Sibur Russian Tyres looks to be faltering after reports from news agencies Interfax and Reuters suggested Sibur had walked away from the deal. The plan had been to merge the two companies in order to make a $2 billion a year tyre firm with 30 per cent domestic market share and access to the European markets through Vredestein.
Reuters quoted an unnamed source as saying: “As far as I understand Sibur decided not to move forward with the initial agreement.” Sibur Russian Tyres representatives could not be reached for commented. However, Amtel-Vredestein’s press department in Russia told Tyres & Accessories that Amtel had not walked away from the deal. “It is an ongoing work in progress,” they explained.
Euro Car Parts has acquired the businesses of Pinco 1555 Ltd, otherwise known as LSUK. Euro Car Parts will take over all 53 LSUK Branches, together with subsidiaries M I Diesel Products, Protech Automotive (UK) and Yeovil Rewind. Chairman, Sukhpal Singh commented on the acquisition: “Euro Car Parts has proved its ability to grow organically in difficult times. The purchase of LSUK will further accelerate our expansion and support our quest to provide the ultimate in quality and service to the automotive aftermarket.”
He added: “Previous acquisitions by Euro Car Parts have shown our willingness to invest in the staff and fabric of companies, so as to bring them up to the same market-leading standards that have gained Euro Car Parts many awards for customer service throughout the industry.”