US Myers Tire Supply is offering a new Tire Inflation Maintenance (TIM) customer retention programme designed for tyre dealers and their customers, reports Tire Review. TIM is a US initiative “dedicated to improving safety and the environment through the promotion of regular tire inflation maintenance,” the company said.
A new report by Global Industry Analysts suggests that the synthetic rubber market will climb to 13.4 metric tons by 2015, “particularly” on increased usage in the tyre and automotive industry. The consumption and production of synthetic rubber was significantly affected by the global economic recession, says a statement by GIA announcing its new publication: ‘Synthetic Rubber: A Global Strategic Business Report’.
Cooper Tire Europe has announced a pair of new products designed specifically to cope with the UK’s winter motoring conditions. The Wiltshire-based company’s latest high-performance tyres for winter, the WM-SA2 and WM-ST3, are available now in sizes ranging from 13” to 16”.
Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East and Africa third quarter sales increased 7 per cent from last year on top of a “strong price/mix performance” to $1.7 billion despite being hit by $0.1 billion in unfavourable forex translation, making them the highest since the third quarter of 2008. The company continues to post improved figures for the year to date, with sales up to $4.68 billion in the first nine months (from $4.24 billion in 2009), yielding an operating income of $259 million – way up on last year’s $41 million.
MAI Group recently raised its tyre prices by three per cent and Ian Thomas, head of Sales & Marketing at the company, warned that customers should brace themselves for a further price increase in December, of up to 10 per cent, as raw material costs continue to rocket. He said: "Over the last few months, we have absorbed the raw material price rises, but it has now reached the stage where we are reluctantly having to pass on some of the latest increases to customers."
Agricultural and aggregate specialist Finedon Bulk Haulage has switched to a 100 per cent Michelin policy following a 12-month trial which saw tyre longevity increase by approximately 60 per cent compared with the previous fitment, according to a Michelin statement today. The haulier’s fleet of ten tractors and ten bulk tipper trailers are required to negotiate farm tracks and rough quarry terrain on a daily basis; director Corey Donaldson had previously been sceptical about investing in a Michelin fitment: “Our tyres are subjected to a fair amount of wear and tear, but we pressed ahead with the Michelin trial and were very impressed with the durability and overall performance.”
Shortly before the surreal comic quips of this year’s after dinner speaker (popular TV and Radio comedian Milton Jones), the hundreds of industry opinion makers gathered for the 2010 TAFF Awards and NTDA annual dinner heard the customary speech from association chairman David White. In it he succinctly observed recent changes in market condition and suggested that if the business is ready to embrace change with necessary attitude and enthusiasm “success will surely follow.”
This year’s Innovation Award, which is decided upon by a jury of industry experts as opposed to the popular vote held for all other categories, this year saw eight entrants come from a complete cross section of the tyre industry with companies from the manufacturer/supplier (Continental, GITI and Michelin), garage equipment (Pro-Align), retail (HiQ) workshop consumables (Apaseal) and tyre recovery (Vellco Tyre Control) sectors all represented.
In this final polled category only two companies – Credential Environmental and DME Tyres – survive from last year's finalists and they are joined by previous winners Kingpin Tyres, Envirotyre and Hardings Vans, a company providing a localised service. The awards, which recognises which tyre collection and recycling-related company members of the wider tyre industry considered most worthy in a popular vote, went to Envirotyre – a company that bills itself as being “one of the largest collectors of end of life tyres in the UK.”
A field of nominees that featured four of the top six tyre manufacturers and new entrant to the top ten, Maxxis, was always going to be competitive. In the end Continental won out over Bridgetone, Goodyear, Maxxis and Michelin claiming the prize for the second year on the trot. The tyre manufacturer won the honour for its World Cup campaign, ‘Don’t Miss the Big Game.’ The successful campaign promoted Continental’s ongoing sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup with a distinctly South African theme to match the host country of the 2010 tournament. With striking visuals of South Africa’s big game, Continental gave consumers the chance to win a once in a lifetime trip to the World Cup finals including a Safari tour – so that they wouldn’t miss any of the big game.
Apaseal won the Tyre & Aftermarket Supplier award, with the award said to represent the acknowledgement of Apaseal’s commitment to continuous improvement, quality of product and service. In order to achieve this feat the company had to outperform well known names Auto 4, Harvie Tyres, Pro-Align and Rema Tip Top Automotive UK. One possible reason why voters opted to support Apaseal is because the firm continues to play a leading role in the development of British Standards’ guidelines on repairs, and have been active with the introduction of what are seen as the norms today including – says the company – fitting valves, enhancing wheel balancing techniques and consistently providing the distributors with opportunities to achieve additional revenue and provide better tyre and wheel maintenance for the customer.
Nominations for this year’s Tyre Manufacturer of the Year Award were fairly evenly split between 2009 nominees vying for success this time round (Bridgestone, Continental and Michelin) and relative newcomers in this category Hankook and Vredestein. With some characterising this as a David and Goliath fight, in a twist that betrays the original story the UK part of the current world number one – Bridgestone – won out. Last year’s winners Continental were left to congratulate Bridgestone on its success, but with one of the two awards the German-based company won in 2009 now out of contention, would the company go home empty-handed?
A nationwide campaign by tyre manufacturer Goodyear to promote its EfficientGrip tyres will be launched on Tuesday, 2 November in Gateshead. The manufacturer will reportedly partner with five petrol stations across England to give motorists £20 of free unleaded or diesel fuel, and will be available for four hours each day or until stocks run out with an estimated 600 motorists expected to benefit at each location. The campaign is designed to stress the fuel savings potential of fitting the company’s EfficientGrip tyre.
Yokohama Tire Corp. is investing $13 million in expanding operations at its Salem, Virginia manufacturing plant, reports Tire Review. The project will include new tiremaking machinery, upgrading and modifying existing machines and an increase in high-performance and light truck tyre manufacturing flexibility. The expansion, which will result in a 10-12 per cent increase in production capacity, is slated for completion by August 2011, the company said.
Michelin North America’s truck tyre division was recently honoured by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) with the 2010 Mike Russell “Good stuff” Trucking Image Award as the industry supplier winner, reports Tire Review. The award, which recognizes those that creatively generate positive awareness of the trucking industry, was presented to company officials at the annual ATA Management Conference and Exhibition last week in Phoenix, Arizona.