Automechanika Middle East 2011 concluded on 9 June with confirmation that it was the largest international automotive aftermarket trade fair in the wider Middle East region. According to data provided by the exhibitions organisers, 17,421 visitors from over 120 countries attended the show, with a 52 per cent of them described as international visitors. In addition there were 1,102 exhibitors from 52 countries.
Infinity Tyres has announced that it is to sponsor the Lord’s One Day International between England and Sri Lanka in London on 3 July. The game is the third in the five-match ODI series following a crushing victory for England in the first at The Oval and tomorrow’s game (1 July) at Headingley. The brand will have a static publicity panel at the ground.
Formula One Autocentres has announced the addition of a new puncture repair service, costing £19.30. The chain says it considers the service to be priced at a “very inexpensive” level. The company says the replacement of a punctured tyre is “not always necessary as punctures in the tread area of the tyre can often be repaired”. It is easy to see how repair could be a popular option in the current financial climate, as motorists seek ways in which to save money.
Following a successful Tyrexpo Asia earlier this year, Zafco, the Dubai based tyre distributor of tyres, batteries and lubricants, opted for a second high profile exhibition stand at Automechanika Middle East. Tyres & Accessories was on-hand in Dubai to find out more.
Itochu has just announced that it has officially completed the acquisition of the Kwik Fit Group for £637 million. While details of the purchase have been in the press and a popular part of market discussion for some time, up till now the deal had been subject to regulatory approval. However, with the issue of today’s statement Itochu can now say it has officially purchased the UK’s market leading automotive repair company from PAI Partners, which had owned the group since August 2005. The business received EC approval for the purchase back in May.
The ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race is wrapped up in both the corporate spending in making fast, reliable machines to conquer this most challenging of circuits and what Falken representatives describe as the “punk rock” aesthetic of the camping motorsport enthusiasts – and indeed some of the competitors, as evidenced by the famous Opel Ascona with the fox tail attachment. Speaking with event main sponsor and tyre-supplying participant Falken Tyres Europe, T&A understands the brand’s argument that the race’s blend of research and development opportunities, and the connection with fanatics (a quarter of a million trackside, without taking into account those keeping track on the internet and television) makes it one of the brand’s “most important” events. Falken Tyre Europe’s marketing director, Satoru Ushida explained that the company is keen to show its presence in Europe at such events as it establishes itself further, having taken over distribution of the brand from Goodyear Dunlop in 2009.
The price of fuel is still the biggest headache for transport companies battling to cope with rising costs, with haulage rates failing to keep up, according to a report published by the Freight Transport Association.
FTA's Manager's Guide to Distribution Costs 2011 calculates that the cost of diesel for commercial vehicle fleets rose by 15.6 per cent in the twelve months to 1 April 2011. The second biggest increase was in the cost of overheads, followed by vehicle maintenance. The total rise in vehicle operating costs to 6.8 per cent outstripped the rise in domestic haulage rates, which increased by an average of 3.41 per cent. International haulage rates increased on average by 5.40 per cent.
One collaboration Tyres & Accessories experienced the benefit of during Automechanika Middle East was that of Auto Strategies and CIP Development Services. The two companies work together to produce insights in the automotive markets of some of the lesser reported markets, including many in the Middle East. As well as annual vehicle sales, which are relatively easy to get hold of, the companies reports also look at the car parcs of the markets covered. And data that looks at what vehicles are currently on the market wearing out tyres is obviously of great interest to tyre companies too.
The latest EM/OTR sector product from Steinbichler Optotechnik is the Intact 4300 tyre shearography machine. This unit machine is designed for the non-destructive testing of giant OTR tyres with an inner diameter between 45 and 63-inches, a width of 550 to 1550 mm and a maximum weight of 7500 kilograms. This most recent addition to the Intact series can clearly detect non-visible separation in the bead, sidewall and tread area within 20 minutes, enabling the easy identification of areas where belt separation has occurred. The first Intact 4300 is already in service with Togliatti, Russia-based company Povolzhskaya Shinnaya Kompaniya, the German manufacturer reports.
Growth at Techking continues unabated. The Qingdao, China-based company, who in early June celebrated its sixth birthday, started 2011 with a passenger car range containing more than 100 size specifications and a swelling truck and bus radial range. But its core business remains the off-road sector and by last year Techking offered consumers some 229 OTR radial specifications. This year it is adding a further twenty or so products to this bulging portfolio. Speaking with Tyres & Accessories, Techking’s marketing and sales manager James Wang reported that a number of fitments for the mining sector are being introduced. “We have developed 14.00R25 & 14.00R24, ETAT (E2) tyres particularly for long travel distance trucks for mining or logging transportation businesses, especially those operating in Australia, Indonesia and Canada. A second important new product is our 13.00R25, ETOT (E4) tyre, designed for heavy mining trucks in China, Mongolia, South East Asia and some African countries. A third newly introduced tyre is our 21.00R25, ETHM (E2), a high-mileage and speed tyre designed for an Australia original equipment customer.
As of July 1, Slovenia’s Sava Tires will be known as Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires. This name change was announced by Sava Tires management at a press conference on June 28; the reason given for adopting the new name was that it will bring the Sava operation’s company name in line with the other Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe companies. Furthermore, it is expected the new name will give the company greater visibility and strengthen its market position.
For the third year in a row, The National Business Group on Health, a US non-profit organisation devoted to representing the perspective of large employers on national health policy issues, has honoured Michelin North America as one of the best employers for healthy lifestyles. The tyre maker is one of 48 national employers to receive the 2011 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award and one of only 20 to receive the group’s Platinum Award; this is the second year Michelin has received this highest award.
Following the demonstration its new tyre pressure monitoring system at the Vienna-based ‘e-Safety Challenge 2011’ event on May 31, Bridgestone Europe has announced plans to roll out its commercial vehicle system across Europe during the course of this year. The system is being rolled out as a tool within Bridgestone’s Total Fleet Management package.
Pirelli has confirmed that it will take its PZero Silver hard (prime) and PZero Yellow soft (option) to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, while Formula One’s 2011 visit to the Nürburgring this year will be on the PZero White medium and PZero Yellow soft tyres and the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit in Hungary will see the PZero Yellow soft and PZero Red supersoft tyres. Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “Our nominations are designed to maximise the opportunities for strategy and find the right compromise between performance and durability.