Yokohama will be the new control tyre supplier for the Irish Touring Car Championship or ITCC starting in the 2012 season. Touring cars have become something of a speciality for Yokohama’s motorsport activity; its Advan range is currently used as the control tyre in the FIA World Touring Car Championship as well as the Russian, Chinese and Scandinavian national iterations.
Japanese manufacturer Yokohama has a range of three van tyres available in the UK through its distributor Yokohama HPT and its nationwide dealer network. The patterns in the range aim to cover van applications across all conditions and circumstances, according to the company.
First in the commercial range is the RY818 tyre. Aimed predominantly at the urban delivery user, it features a flat tread pattern to maintain grip and safety under all vehicle load conditions while the design helps to improve water clearance in wet weather. Yokohama says its construction means that it will withstand the daily rigours of multiple deliveries, with its specially-designed kerbing rib protecting against sidewall damage, as well as resisting wear and generating long life and the all-important commercial consideration: value for money.
Continental’s van tyre range boasts the distinction of being fitted to one third of European manufactured vans as original equipment, and its three tyre models cover a range of driver applications in the light commercial sector, meeting passenger comfort and safety specifications. The range comprises the VanEco, designed to provide better economy through reduced rolling resistence; the Vanco 2, for improved longevity; the VancoWinter 2 for improved cold weather running; and the VancoContact 2, which strives for improved comfort through a passenger car-style tread pattern and construction.
Bridgestone has started testing its 2012 MotoGP tyre testing season in Valencia, Spain and Sepang, Malaysia. The company says it has spent the winter completing a programme of intensive development, and the tyre evaluation performed around the world over the next two months will be used to gauge perception among the riders. While six lap records were set on Bridgestone rubber in 2011, feedback from riders suggested that additional safety features needed to be built into new tyres, and Bridgestone Motorsport general manager, Tohru Ubukata says this is where the focus has been.
Avon Tyres has launched the latest in its range of van tyres, the AV11, available now in sizes 215/60R16 C, 205/65R16 C, 215/65R16 C and 235/65R16 C. Standing alongside the AV9, Avon says the new tyre will have an expanded fitment range later in 2012.
A Chesterfield man received a suspended prison sentence after illegally storing thousands of tyres and transporting some of them to Vietnam. Andrew Revell appeared at Derby Crown Court on 27 January and admitted five charges in relation to an illegal waste operation called Revco Recycling Limited, which he ran from a unit on the former GKN site in Sheepsbridge, Chesterfield. The case was brought against Revell by the Environment Agency, and the 50-year old was sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years on each of the five charges, ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay full court costs of £9,578.75.
It’s been almost two years since Lanxess’ Jhagadia production site in India began supplying antioxidants to tyre industry customers, and now the range of products manufactured there has been expanded. Lanxess subsidiary Rhein Chemie has established a facility in Jhagadia for the production of the pre-dispersed rubber additive Rhenogran and the environmentally-friendly release agent Rhenodiv in Jhagadia. The plant was formerly located in Madurai, in India’s Tamil Nadu state, and is one of three new units being set up in Jhagadia. In total, Lanxess has invested more than 70 million euros there and created 300 new jobs. Jhagadia is Lanxess’ second largest production site in India after its site in Nagda in Madhya Pradesh state, and covers an area of 18-hectares.
Denmark’s Nordisk Dæk Import A/S (NDI), developer and manufacturer of the AP Wheels range, has appointed a new exclusive Australian distributor for its AP+ Dual wheels line-up. As of January 2012 Armstrong Tyres has taken on this role; the company, which is based in the state of Victoria, has been active in the agricultural sector for more than 65 years and supplies tyre and wheel combination for a variety of farm-related applications.
We’re more accustomed to seeing them on the battlefield than down on the farm, but tracked vehicles are said to be gaining popularity on agricultural vehicles. Farmers Weekly reports they are increasingly finding a place in conditions such as damp fields where tyres would struggle.
Malaysian retreading specialist Goodway Rubber Industries is drawing its five product brands together under a new housemark, GIIB. Pronounced ‘gheeb’, this new ‘umbrella’ brand name is intended to represent a new phase in Goodway’s growth and business direction; the company says the GIIB name unifies the brands and presents customers with a more dynamic message.
After two successive cold winters (2009 and 2010) a lot was hanging on a frosty conclusion to 2011. While only five years ago winter tyre sales barely registered at less than 1 per cent UK market share, by the end of the opening months of 2011 various sources were reporting that the market had swollen to around 450,000 units, doubling and even tripling some wholesalers’ stock forecasts.
Brityrex International 2012 in Manchester later this year will feature exhibits from Aeolus, Antyre, Profil, Treadsetters and Uniroyal in addition to those that have already committed to bring a presence to the show.
According to the show organisers ECI International, the latest names to confirm their attendance include: Uniroyal Truck Tyres, the Chinese manufactured brands Aeolus and Antyre, UK-based international wholesaler Treadsetters and Profil Tyres, the Polish car tyre retreader. They join other names such as Infinity Tyres, Westlake, Matador, Kleber agricultural and Cooper 4×4.
Goodyear has been present in Turkey for half a century now, however the tyre maker hints it may need a little persuasion to maintain its production facilities there. In an interview with Istanbul-based daily Hürriyet, Goodyear’s EMEA Commercial Business Unit vice-president Michel Rzonzef said the cost of tyre production in Turkey is too high despite a weakening of the Turkish lira’s value; this is creating an impediment to new tyre investments.
Lanxess may still a year away from moving into its new home, yet anybody passing by the future site of the company’s global headquarters in Cologne, Germany will be left with no doubt as to whose digs it is. The specialty chemicals company has renamed the former Lufthansa building, which is currently undergoing renovations ahead of the arrival of Lanxess’ employees in the second half of 2013, and from now on it will be known as the Lanxess Tower. The name was chosen from more than 600 staff suggestions.
Schaeffler AG, which currently controls what is effectively a 60 per cent stake in Conti, has announced plans for new credit worth around 8 billion euros. In addition to this refinancing, the company announced plans to issue 2 billion euros of bonds.
According to financial analysts at Morgan Stanley, this all comes around the same time as ratings agencies Stand & Poor’s and Moody's are planning to publish official credit ratings. And all follows Schaeffler’s decision to change its legal form into AG back in September 2011 in order to gain better access to capital markets.