The Volkswagen Group continues to expand its production capacity in China. A further example is the new vehicle plant of Shanghai-Volkswagen (SVW) in Changsha, southern China, which was inaugurated this week by Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China. This plant is the Group’s 119th global facility and its 20th in China.
In October 2014, Michelin and Renault Sport announced they would jointly develop 17- and 18-inch diameter tyres for the single-seat Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 3.5 cars that compete in the WSR (World Series by Renault). After three quarters of a year, the partners’ conclusion is that replacing the 13-inch tyres now in use with the two larger sizes is “a first-class solution to make driving more enjoyable still for competitors.”
Recently, the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA) met with the Head of the Commission’s Sustainable Mobility and Automotive Industry unit. Philippe Jean will be replaced next week in its function by Joanna Szychowska who is already working in the DG. Both EC representatives repeated that the Commission wants a solution for outstanding issues in vertical agreements between manufacturers and dealers, and this before the end of the year.
Andreas Berents has been named Euromaster’s new managing director for Germany and Austria. His succession of Dr. Matthias Schubert in this role takes effect in late June; Schubert has left Euromaster “at his own request” and will take up a new role within the industry in September.
After what seems like an eternity since the thrilling championship curtain-raiser for the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series at Rockingham last month, the 2015 campaign will make its eagerly awaited resumption at Thruxton in Hampshire just over two weeks from now on 13th/14th June.
Quality certification by a known, independent organisation adds weight to a product’s credentials, and earlier in the year Aeolus Tyre announced that its new PrecisionACE2 had been awarded the TÜV Tire Test Mark from certification specialist TÜV SÜD. The tyre maker stated at the time that approval of this first product from the ACE2 portfolio would soon be followed by the TÜV certification of a second range, the SteeringACE2. This has now been achieved.
Two developments have extended the Point S retail network’s presence in the North American market. Independent US tyre dealer network Tire Factory has joined Point S, while Canadian group Unimax – a member of Point S for the past two years – has elected to rebrand its network using the Point S corporate identity. Point S International operations manager Fabian Bouquet views both measures as a means of reaching the target of rolling out the Point S corporate identity in 600 retail points of sale throughout North America within four years.
Jürgen Titz, who served as UK and Ireland director of consumer replacement tyres at Goodyear Dunlop between 2009 and 2013, has been appointed the new head of Goodyear Dunlop Tires Germany. He begins as group managing director of Goodyear Dunlop’s DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) organisation on 1 June, succeeding George Rietbergen, who held the post since 1 August 2013 and will now, according to a statement released by Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe president Darren Wells, “follow a new career outside the company.”
Honda will put the real-world fuel economy of its super-efficient 1.6 i-DTEC engine to the ultimate test in an 8,500 mile drive across all 24 contiguous EU countries, with the aim of setting a new Guinness World Records title for fuel efficiency. On Monday 1st June 2015, two members of Honda’s European Research & Development (R&D) team will climb into a Honda Civic Tourer and set out on an epic journey from Aalst, Belgium. Heading towards the Netherlands and Germany, their trip will see them navigate the Continent in a clockwise direction, with the aim of returning to their starting point some 25 days later, on June 25th, having covered a planned total of 13,614km.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ new financial year got off to a sluggish start, with sales declining 2.9 per cent year-on-year in the January-March period to 185.2 billion yen (£976.3 million). Ordinary income went down 34.6 per cent to 12.0 billion yen (£63.3 million) and gave a margin of 6.5 per cent, compared with 9.4 per cent a year earlier. Net profit fell 29.4 per cent to 7.7 billion yen (£40.6 million).
New figures released by the SMMT show the UK surpassed the 500,000 milestone for car production this April, with 530,505 new cars built so far this year. Production for the domestic market is up 19.4 per cent in the first four months of the year, reflecting strong performance in the UK new car market.
The Goodyear Ultra Grip Max winter truck tyre range will soon be completed with the introduction of the Ultra Grip Max T trailer tyre. The 3PMSF and M+S approved tyres will be available in sizes 385/55R22.5 and 385/65R22.5 from September 2015. The first two tyres in the Ultra Grip Max range, the S steer and D drive fitments, were recently released in sizes 315/70R22.5 and 315/80R22.5.
As the Calais migrant problem continues to worsen the Freight Transport Association has warned that the UK supply chain is in danger of collapsing. The migrant population has risen to around 3,000, as those fleeing North Africa and Middle East make their way to Calais in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain.
While JK Tyre & Industries was unable to maintain turnover in the previous financial year, profits at India’s third-largest tyre maker rose significantly. The company reports that turnover decreased 3.6 per cent to Rs 73.3 billion (£743.9 million) during the 2014/15 financial year, which ran from 1 April 2014 to 31 March this year. Operating profit rose 11.7 per cent to Rs 7.7 billion (£78.1 million) while net profit jumped 26.7 per cent to Rs 3.2 billion (£32.5 million).
The Hakka Truck tyre range from Nokian Tyres has been expanded to include drive axle fitments. The first two sizes in the Nokian Hakka Truck Drive line-up, 315/70 R22.5 and 315/80 R22.5, are being introduced throughout Europe in spring and summer 2015, and a size 295/80 R22.5 fitment will be added next year.