European Tyre Labelling: The Cost is Worth it, Says Conti
Continental AG says its welcomes the tyre labelling system agreed upon by various EU bodies. While the system must pass a final vote in the European Parliament before it is given the official green light, the German tyre manufacturer looks forward to its November 2012 introduction and holds the opinion that the extra costs manufacturers face through labelling will pay off in the long term.
“We expressly welcome the EU tyre label,” stated Continental press officer Alexander Lührs upon reflecting on the path to its approval. “Considering that discussions about a label focusing purely on rolling resistance started two years ago, we are pleased that Europe’s politicians now appreciate the fundamental conflict of objectives in tyre development between safety (wet grip) and environmental aspects (rolling resistance, noise). The point is that only an integrated label can truly increase transparency on the market with regard to the technological level of the products.”
Implementation of the tyre label regulation will be via self-certification by the tyre manufacturers. Conti is not shy in admitting that an additional obligation to label products will “create considerable extra costs for tyre manufacturers,” yet the company is confident this effort will pay for itself in the long run. Looking forwards, Lührs commented optimistically: “We have been the market leader in the European Original Equipment business for over five years and we fully meet the substantially increased demands made on manufacturers as regards rolling resistance characteristics. The safety characteristics of our products remain our principal concern and in particular the shortest possible braking distance on wet roads. We therefore assume that the high level of technology in our premium brand Continental as indicated on the tyre label will also convince the motorist.”
While the EU labelling focuses on three important tyre characteristics, Continental believes the test reports published every spring and autumn by the editorial teams of leading independent trade magazines will “undoubtedly remain the most important source of comprehensive assessments of almost all car tyre characteristics.” The manufacturer adds it will also be “interesting to see” whether individual tyre manufacturers incorporate the EU tyre label in their advertising before national laws determine the sanctions to be imposed for misuse and the resulting infringements.