Horsham-based tyre business E.G. Wholesale (part of Elite Garages) has opened a new state of the art tyre warehouse and logistics operation in the West Sussex town. It will supply all its tyre customers across the south east. The operation was formally opened in December 2008 by Mark Brickhill, managing director of Goodyear Dunlop (UK). Brickhill stated, “Goodyear Dunlop are pleased to be associated with E.G. Wholesale who are certainly showing the future direction of tyre wholesaling.”
The new facility carries approximately 40,000 tyres on the shelf and – together with its two existing bulk tyre warehouses – offers one of the largest stocks and range of tyres in the South East. The company operates a fleet of 25 vans to cover its delivery area, which spreads from Bournemouth in Dorset to Ashford in Kent. All vans have satellite tracking systems to ensure timing and accuracy of delivery.
Tyre recycling firm PYReco plans to build a pioneering £80 million tyre recycling plant in North East England, the first of its kind in Europe. The scheme is underway thanks, in part, to the support of Renew, an organisation tasked with driving a low carbon and sustainability agenda with industry in the region.
The plant will be built at the South Tees Eco Park (STEP) in Tees Valley by 2010. It will use the relatively novel process of pyrolysis, a method of degrading material through heat, to recycle 60,000 tonnes of used tyres a year, the equivalent of 7.5 million tyres, without waste or harmful emissions. It is estimated that plant will create 90 jobs for the region.
Traditionally the uncompromising properties of the material have meant that tyres have been difficult to re-cycle, most often burnt in cement kilns. PYReco’s plant will provide a closed loop recycling route, breaking down used tyres into their component parts capable of being used in the production of brand new units.
Goodyear Dunlop UK and Ireland has released the claim that, despite challenging economic conditions, the company has managed to increase its car tyre market share by a margin of over 4 per cent in the last four months. Over the company’s four major brands, including European-developed Fulda and Sava in addition to the best-known Goodyear and Dunlop names, the manufacturer states that it reached a two year peak of 27.1 per cent of the market during the last third of a year.
Group managing director, Mark Brickhill said that the Birmingham-based company’s strong and diverse portfolio of brands has been the key to gaining market share in challenging conditions. While the rest of the market was declining by 0.6 per cent, Goodyear Dunlop’s December consumer sales were 6 per cent higher than in the same month in 2007. The company says that its share of Market has been growing steadily over the last four months, reaching its aforementioned peak in December.
China Sunsine Chemical Holdings is one of China’s largest rubber accelerator producers. At present the company possesses a total annual production capacity of 50,000 tons of rubber accelerators per annum, plus a further 10,000 tons of insoluble sulphur and 10,000 tons of anti-oxidant. These chemicals are sold to the leading global tyre manufacturers, including Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Pirelli, Sumitomo Rubber, Yokohama, Hankook, Cooper and Kumho. In China, the company supplies – amongst others – Giti Tire, Aeolus Tyre, Shanghai Tyre, Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber and Chengshan Corporation. Worldwide, China Sunsine boasts more than 400 customers in over 30 countries.
Falken has enjoyed considerable success in the comparatively new motorsport of drifting, with teams performing in vehicles shod with Falken Azenis RT-615. In fact, Falken was the first tyre manufacturer to back drifting when it was introduced to the USA in 2003.
In 2008, the company broadened its motorsports horizons when it took part in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) competition. This is unusual in the fact that open tyre competition is encouraged and there are six manufacturers currently in competition, developing tyres specifically suited to the 11 different tracks in the series.
The predecessor of Nankang Rubber Tire Co. Ltd, Nankang Rubber Plant, was founded in Taipei city, Taiwan in 1945, mainly producing rickshaw tyres, rubber shoes and industrial products. In 1959, the company underwent privatisation and was reorganized as Nankang Rubber Tire Co. Ltd., as it has been for the past 50 years. To meet the growth of business scale, a second plant was established in Shin-Fung, Hsinchu County in 1973. In 1997, the latest plant, Nankang International Co., was finally set up in Zhangjiagang free trade zone, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China, with the highest production capacity of 37,000 pieces a day. This month, as the company reaches the half century mark, Tyres & Accessories looks over the company’s five decades of history.
Back to 50 years ago, when the economic and industrial infrastructure was insufficient, and when the technology and raw material of the rubber industry was not easily accessible, Nankang Rubber Tire Co. had to rely on its own to overcome the challenges in terms of technical procedure, design and facilities.
Autocar’s latest tyre test reports on the extent of the performance gap between premium and budget products when it comes to wet weather handling. Autocar tested five leading budget brands (GT Radial, Linglong, Nankang, Triangle and Wanli) against an established Continental tyre. The magazine conducted its own tests for wet handling and braking, dry handling and braking and aquaplaning, plus a stringent high-speed test at the Contidrom test centre in Hannover. Summing up Autocar senior tester Jamie Corstorphine said: “We expected the bargain tyres in this test to fall short of the Continental, but we were not prepared for just how poorly some performed.”
Schaeffler Group and Continental AG walked away empty handed from financial support talks with federal ministers. They also received this advice: a “viable and forward-looking” plan, agreed on with creditors, is “a prerequisite for further negotiations.” According to an earlier Reuters report, Schaeffler Group had “sounded out” the German government about the possibility of 4 billion euros ($5.23 billion) in capital. The Federal talks came after talks with German states, including Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Baden-Wuerttemberg were unsuccessful. For its part Bavaria’s government said only loan guarantees would be considered.
The delegation will have to rethink its approach after German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said taxpayers wouldn’t be funding Schaeffler: “It’s not the job of the state to intervene in cases in which business decisions were possibly not thought through enough,” Steinbrueck Berliner Zeitung.
Just a couple of months after its debut at November’s Essen Motor Show, Tyres & Accessories has heard that Marangoni’s souped-up 233 bhp Alfa Romeo MiTo project car recently encountered an altogether more normal problem. Yes, you guessed it, the MiTo’s specialist Mythos tyres decided to suck up a nail. However, all was not lost as company representatives decided to practice what they preach and make use of their own lifetime warranty.
The rogue nail attacked the MiTo’s special “fire red” 18-inch Marangoni Mythos tyres during a recent test drive by a leading consumer press title at Bruntingthorpe Test Ground. Unbeknown to the test drivers, the puncture occurred just one week and only 1,000 miles after this set of tyres had been fitted. The puncture only became apparent when preparing the car for a special press photo shoot.
General Tire was introducing a new logo and marketing campaign for its Grabber light truck and SUV tyre, using the slogan “unbridled fury”, so said Kenny Sergeant, of Speedfreaks, on General Tire’s stand at the Sema show.
Sergeant reminded visitors of the success that Grabber has enjoyed in off-road motorsports and General is bringing the same proven off-road competition technology to the light truck market with the introduction of the new DOT legal General Grabber.
A tough, three-ply reinforced body construction and a race-proven Duragen tread compound stand up to the rigours of off-road, as well as, highway conditions. General Grabber’s optimised tread design and multiple tread edges work to deliver great side bite and lateral traction – especially in off-road conditions. Puncture resistant sidewalls and a specially-designed rim protection rib assure the tyre can stand up to any terrain.
“Kontrol Technology” is Hankook’s technology philosophy, which reflects how the tyre should perfectly control the interaction between the driver, the car and the road while in motion (the ‘K’ stands for kinetic). It is implemented to ensure that Hankook provides the greatest benefits and driving experiences to customers in terms of safety, driving comfort, handling, performance and environmental friendliness.
As well as a Kontrol Technology information booth at Sema, Hankook showcased its new, environmental tyre – enfren – which has completed the Kontrol Technology cycle and was launched in Korea. Hankook is exploring the possibility of a North American version within three years.
The new Michelin XHA2 loader tyre, introduced in early January at the Intermat trade show’s press days, has been designed to accomplish three goals: reduce hourly operating costs, ensure that work continues smoothly and safely, and improve operator working conditions. The tyre is intended for loaders in quarries and cement plants and on construction and infrastructure worksites. The XHA2 will be officially unveiled at the Intermat 2009 building and construction trade show in April 2009. The tyre will be available in replacement markets around the world beginning in May 2009.
Norwegian manufacturer Fundo Wheels, original equipment tyre rim supplier to European vehicle producers, has been declared bankrupt. It is thought that the company’s 350 employees will lose their jobs.
The company’s poor performance is said to be strongly linked to the global automotive industry slump. The company’s owners are still seeking fresh capital, and a bank has secured operations for a further month to enable the company to complete orders for Volvo and Audi.
The dates for the shutdown of Pirelli’s factory in Carlisle have been confirmed – between February 24 and March 4, production at the plant will be cut to compensate for a dropping demand for passenger car tyres. The News & Star reports a company spokesman as saying “there will be a staged close down and restart commencing from February 24 until March 4. During this period it is anticipated there will be around six days shutdown per production department.”
According to the spokesman, Pirelli attempted to coincide the shutdown with the half-term school holiday break, but was unable to due to previous scheduled maintenance work.
Headline brand and tyre suppliers to the 2009 Great and British Racing Festival, Dunlop has announced that the latest addition to the UK racing scene, the new ‘CSL Cup’ for BMW M3 E46 and CSL racing models will be part of the Festival’s calendar this year. The Great and British is one of the UK’s premier race series, comprising racing from Radical, Mini and the Dunlop Sport Maxx Production Cup.
John Thorne of Thorney Motorsport, the promoter of the CSL Cup series, was pleased to secure the spot on the Festival’s bill: “We’re delighted. The CSL Cup is a new series for 2009 so to be awarded the opportunity to appear on such a prestigious series with an enviable calendar is really quite groundbreaking.