Winter truck tyres steady
As you might expect, the majority of the forthcoming September issue's winter tyre feature focuses on products designed for use on passenger cars, but what are the latest developments on the commercial vehicle side of things?
It is pretty much universally agreed that the winter truck tyre segment in the UK is small but, according to Continental representatives it is “very small but growing.” No-one wanted to go on the record with a particular figure associated with this market, but Bridgestone went some way to explaining why this is the case: “The proportion of the UK market that is purely winter is very low due to our (normally) temperate climate.” For its part Bridgestone pointed out the fact that it offers an all-season, all-position M788 pattern which is said to have proved “very popular” in 2010. In addition, Bridgestone representative reported that they have seen a trend of fleets fitting this tyre to the steer axle of trucks: “Our established M729 drive tyre pattern is also marked M+S, meaning fleets do not need switch product during cold weather.”
Are any plans to supply this market or to stimulate demand in this sector? The simple answer is no. The leading companies Tyres & Accessories spoke to either didn’t answer this question or said very little. Nevertheless Bridgestone’s answer goes some way to summing up the demand in the UK at the moment: “Will continue to monitor the UK winter tyre market and react to demand, but our M788 and M729 meet most of the needs of the UK customers.”