TyreSafe hopes lives will be saved and avoided in as it launches October's Tyre Safety Month. Throughout the month hundreds of garages across the country will be encouraging motorists to check the depth of their tyre tread by using a 20p coin, to ensure they stay safe and legal. "As we move into the wettest months of the year, adequate tyre tread depth is a critical element of road safety," explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. "There are still far too many accidents and fatalities occurring every day which could have been avoided if the driver had paid more attention to the condition of their tyres. The 'lifesaver in your pocket' campaign gives drivers an incredibly easy and simple way to check their tread depth which will help them stay safe and on the right side of the law."
During 2008, 34 motorists died on the UK's roads where an illegal, defective or under-inflated tyre was a contributory factor in the accident. At least 900 other motorists were also injured in accidents where tyre neglect played a part. Independent research commissioned by TyreSafe found that more than half of all drivers could not correctly identify the legal tread depth and a startling one in five drivers had never checked their tread depth. The AA reported that in 2008 nearly one in ten of every breakdown it attends, is for a tyre related call out.
2009 could be a breakthrough year for the Korean tyremakers. A collection of circumstances (some clearly the result of famed Far Eastern forward planning, and others distinctly more fortuitous), mean Kumho, Hankook and Nexen have found themselves poised to sell increasing numbers of replacement tyres in the UK and Europe. In addition, their successful efforts in the OE department – ironically helped along by the shaky macro-economic environment – mean this perfect storm of variables could leave the Korean manufacturers in an even stronger position when the dust settles. In the UK, a market where mid-range and economy tyres make up around 60 per cent of unit sales, official figures show that 4.7 million passenger car tyres of South Korean origin were imported last year. However, this cannot be the complete total because it only includes tyres imported from factories actually situated in South Korea. Owing to the fact that all three have significant manufacturing presences in China, and tyres often enter the market by “indirect routes,” it is likely the true total is a lot more.
European carmaker’s association ACEA has written an open letter to the European Commission urging it to reassess the conditions of the forthcoming free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea. According to the ACEA, the FTA will “have a significant impact on jobs and competitiveness in the EU economy and rushing into signing a bad agreement is wrong.” ACEA reported that the trade commissioner intends to initial the FTA in October.
Goodyear has announced the appointment of John “Jack” D. Fish as senior vice president of global operations. Fish replaces Christopher W. Clark, senior vice president of global sourcing, who in June announced his intention to retire after 36 years with Goodyear. Fish will be responsible for overseeing manufacturing and related supply chain activities throughout all of the corporation’s global business units. He will begin work at Goodyear on 5 October, 2009.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced that its four-year labour contract with the United Steelworkers union (ratified on 18 September) could save the company as much as $555 million in savings before a potential profit sharing impact. The company also committed to investing $600 million in its USW facilities over the next four years. The seven plants covered by the master agreement are in: Akron, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Alabama; Topeka, Kansas; and Union City, Tennessee.
According to a Goodyear statement, these changes are expected to provide Goodyear with cost savings of approximately $215 million over the term of the contract. Combined with savings realized through “pre-bargain agreements to reduce staffing levels at five plants,” the company expects to realize $555 million in total savings over the term of the agreements. However, financial analysts at Deutsche Bank estimated that the agreement will result in $155 million of gross annual savings by 2013. Their response was to raise their share price estimates for 2010 and 2011 to $1.85 and $2.45 from $1.70 and $2.20 respectively.
Nine months before it opens its gates, the organizers of Hillhead 2010 report that the show is filling up quickly. Almost 90 per cent of stand space is said to be booked by some 300 companies, including most of the major suppliers to the extractive and heavy construction industries.
Event director Jack Berridge commented: “Since the summer, a steady stream of bookings has been received from new exhibitors and, despite some understandable scaling back in certain areas, the continuing enthusiasm and support for the event is very encouraging.
Honiton HiQ recently gave away a £500 car makeover to customer John Woodland to celebrate the re-launch of the centre. Woodland won a new set of tyres, a car service and full MOT from HiQ in King Street, after he was picked at random to win the competition. HiQ Honiton was re-launched in June following an extensive £20,000 refurbishment and all of its customers were entered into the car makeover competition to commemorate the new-look surroundings. The King Street centre is now being described as Honiton’s ‘flagship facility for motorists.’
A pleased John Woodland said: “This is only the second time I have ever won anything in my entire life, so I am over the moon. I’m not sure how much four new tyres cost in today’s market, but they will certainly be gratefully received, along with the MOT and service. It is a brilliant prize to win, and my Toyota Yaris will be all the better for it!”
Centre manager Julian Hellyer said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Mr Woodland to our forecourt. Our staff will fit his car with high performance, Goodyear EfficientGrip tyres, before giving the vehicle a thorough service and MOT. We are always looking for ways to engage with or customers and this competition was successful in helping us to achieve this. The uptake was great, and we are sure that Mr Woodland will really feel the benefit from the car makeover.”
Tire Service Equipment Mfg. Co., Inc. (TSI/SSG) has bought all inventory, trademarks, equipment and manufacturing rights of Amermac, Inc. of Ellaville, Georgia. Not details of the price have been released. Amermac, Inc. is a leader in tyre vibration equipment and is known in the automotive trucking industry and the motorsport world. President, Wes Sprunk, said the company is committed to providing superior service to all Amermac customers and is looking forward to building lasting relationships with them. The entire Amermac line of tyre vibration equipment will continue to be supported and all service parts will be available through TSI/SSG.
SPX Service Solutions (SPX) and Bartec USA, LLC, have embarked on a joint product development and distribution partnership to develop and distribute SPX patented TPMS tool technology. “Under this new partnership, both firms will focus on providing new high-performance TPMS diagnostic tools to the tyre and wheel service technician, as well as, to the broader automotive service market," according to Pat Pierce, director of Product Development for SPX. "As the prevalence of TPMS-equipped vehicles continues to grow, the need for effective service tools will also grow, driving the need for a wider range of tools to meet the demands of the more diverse technician base that will encounter TPMS in the course of vehicle service." The first new product as result of this partnership will be unveiled at the SEMA show in November.
Industrial and commercial equipment provider, Slingsby has launched a new website – slingsby.co.uk. The company reports that it is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Lee Wright, marketing director of Slingsby, explained: “With such a large product range and wide-spanning customer base, the launch of this new website marks a significant investment in technology for Slingsby.”
UK compressed air and fluid process systems specialist, Thorite has launched the latest edition of its free ‘Air Power’ catalogue, illustrating hundreds of top quality pneumatic products. In addition to large ranges of automotive aftermarket and industrial service air tools from Chicago Pneumatic, there’s the widest range of compressors in the UK (each with free UK mainland delivery) and a comprehensive choice of spray guns & equipment.
The arduous task of indicating hazardous areas in workshops and garages is significantly easier today, thanks to the release of a new Floor Tape Applicator from Laser Tools. Applying hazard warning tape is an essential requirement of tyre-related workplaces for health and safety reasons, and the applicator – according to Laser Tools – makes this job quicker and easily. The company also supplies rolls of tape separately.
(Tire Review) The University of the Aftermarket and SEMA are collaborating on an accredited marketing program. University of the Aftermarket has accredited the SEMA “Online Marketing Conference,” a day-long business marketing workshop that will take place on Monday, Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, the day before the SEMA Show opens.
Workers at Pirelli’s plant in Carlisle have been given increased hours, according to local newspaper, News & Star, continuing that the Italian manufacturer has lifted its suspension of the ‘guaranteed week’ thanks to a “stabilisation” of orders in the European market. The company also sounded a note of caution, saying that the situation could fluctuate in the coming months with the market.
The Japanese Grand Prix this weekend will mark the first occasion on which only Bridgestone’s rubber will be used at Suzuka, the race having been held at Mount Fuji for the past two years. The supplier will bring an allocation of hard and soft tyres, which was previously used in Sepang, Barcelona and Silverstone, representing a return to the concept of leaving a stiffness gap between allocated tyres.