UK car production rose 4.5 per cent in first 11 months of year to 1,424,023 units, the SMMT reports. This means that output looks set to pass 1.5 million units in 2013, the first time this has occurred in six years.
The European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM) has granted the 2013 EIPM Peter Kraljic Excellence Award for ‘Value Creation – Extended Enterprise’ to steel cord manufacturer Bekaert during the 2013 annual EIPM Purchasing Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
On 18 December, point S Development and Portuguese independent tyre dealer network Mega Mundi announced the signing of a partnership agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, point S Development becomes stakeholder in Mega Mundi and both retail networks will merge together under the point S banner. This combination of Mega Mundi’s 50 outlets and the existing 24 point S centres in Portugal will form the largest retail tyre network in Portugal, with 74 points of sale and complete national coverage.
Lanxess has celebrated 50 years of butyl rubber production at its Zwijndrecht plant in Belgium. Festivities surrounding the milestone were rounded off by a plant visit from board member Rainer van Roessel on 17 December.
Magna Tyres Group reports its confirmation as a key strategic partner to Terex Port Solutions following the latter’s conclusion of a six-month test trial of the Magna MB300 tyre on its GHMK 6407B harbour crane in Ghent. The MB300 will now be fitted in size 14.00-24 as original equipment on three Terex Gottwald harbour crane models – the GHMK Model 6, Model 7 and Model 8. This trio, Magna points out, are the most widely used Terex Gottwald crane models in the world.
In response to the coroner’s findings following the September 2012 fatal coach crash on the A3 caused by the failure of a 19 year old tyre, on 19 December the Department for Transport and Vehicle and Operator Service Agency released a tyre age recommendation document. The guidance “strongly recommends” that tyres over ten years old should not be fitted to the front axles of buses and coaches.
Exclusive tyre supplier to Formula One, Pirelli has issued a response to a deleted tweet by the Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg following a high-speed tyre failure in Bahrain. The manufacturer explained that there were “a number of prototypes, which were completely innovative in terms of structure and compounds” as part of its development plans for the 2014 tyre range.
The question of how long it is before a tyre reaches its sell by date is a familiar subject. A few years ago this column covered the rising age of tyre company directors and raised the question of what this meant for individual succession plans in particular and the market in general. But there is one specific type of “tyre aging” that we (and to the best of my knowledge) no-one has ever touched – how the tyre trade pitches its products and services towards “older” consumers.
The UK’s biggest selling superbike magazine has awarded the Dunlop D212 GP Pro its ‘Tyre of the Year’ honour in the 2013 Fast Bikes Awards. The supersport tyre, launched in 2013, received the accolade in the magazine’s round up of 2013’s leading motorcycles, accessories and events.
Grouptyre’s top independent customers claimed a trip to New York City in early December as part of the 2013 Grouptyre Rewards programme. The dealers earned a place for themselves and a partner by purchasing volumes of exclusive brands Evergreen, Federal and Goodride tyres from the wholesaler during 2013.
Just a week after being named Tyre Retailer of the Year at the TyreSafe Awards, Micheldever Tyre Services Limited and its retail arm Protyre, have picked up two more industry awards. This time for customer service and staff training. Both awards were judged by an independent panel of experts organised by Training Journal magazine. Nominations came from all sectors of UK industry. According to the company, Training Journal is the UK’s leading training publications and their annual awards. The scheme attracts entries from major and international companies and this year submissions were up by 30 per cent.
We have all heard that the average age of the population is getting older, but did you know that there are already 4 million over 70s on the roads currently? The statistics appear to show that this proportion is going up. According to the RAC Foundation, the number of people over 70 who hold valid driving licences passed four million for the first time in the last quarter.
Audi has chosen the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season as OE for its A7 model in the North American market. Therefore Pirelli will supply 18 and 19-inch versions of the tyre to equip the company’s most powerful sportback model. As a result the Cinturato P7 All Season will be marked “AO”.
Avon Tyres has announced an original equipment deal that, while not high volume, certainly sees its tyres on an eye-catching machine. Old Empire Motorcycles, specialists in building bespoke, limited-run motorcycles, has launched its latest custom bike, the Fox. Only five of this limited-run motorcycle, which is based on the classic Royal Enfield Bullet 500, will be built – and all will be fitted with Avon Roadrunner tyres as original equipment.
When it comes to analysing trends in the comparatively unpredictable UK winter tyre market, November unit sales figures are a key indicator of what is going on in the season. The latest figures aren’t out just yet, but GfK’s Kevin Glynn talked Tyres & Accessories through the thinking behind the leading market research company’s analysis.