“Cost per mile and hour is excellent” – Magna Tyres Group challenges users to see what its tyres can do

Magna is the tyre of choice for replacement fitments on Emerson Crane Hire vehicles

The global OTR market of a decade ago differed vastly from that of today. Mining tyres from established manufacturers were rarer than precious metals, used OTR tyres were changing hands for more than the retail new tyre price, and desperate machinery manufacturers even resorted to delivering equipment to customers sans tyres. In response to this global shortage, an established rubber compound supplier decided to branch out into the tyre business. Over the following ten years it grew into a company producing and selling two tyre brands in more than 100 markets around the world.

Magna Tyres Group celebrated its tenth anniversary on 23 March 2016, but rather than looking back with nostalgia over the past decade, the Netherlands-based firm is marking the milestone with further growth in the core OTR segment and with plans to enter further off-road markets. In late April, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Stephan van Leeuwen, who has served as the company’s regional sales manager for the UK and Ireland since the start of the year, about Magna Tyres’ OTR market activities.

“Magna tyres have been on the market for ten years, and available in the UK for seven,” comments van Leeuwen. “Our mobile crane tyres and all-terrain crane tyres have been very successful in the UK, with aftermarket sales helped by our original equipment supply to companies such as Terex and Tadano, but there is still much growth potential for us, particularly in the earthmover side of the business.” To cater to this market, Magna Tyres Group recently released a new product for articulated dump trucks, the M-Terrain. The range debuted in the popular size 29.5R25, and during the course of this year the tyre maker will introduce two more sizes, 23.5R25 and 26.5R25.

The M-Terrain joins a wide OTR range that starts with E3/L3 fitments and goes right up to L5 products; the deep-tread L5 tyres for extreme condition environments are, incidentally, a product segment enjoying growing demand in the UK. Offering a comprehensive tyre portfolio is, however, only half the battle in becoming established within a market. The other half is ensuring that end-users know your brand.

Van Leeuwen was appointed to elevate awareness of the Magna brand in the UK and Ireland, and sees one of his main tasks as being to convince potential customers about Magna’s good cost per mile and hour performance. He considers personal experience and word of mouth the key to achieving this. “Salespeople are good at telling enticing stories, but we think the best way for potential customers to see we have a good product is for them to try it out,” comments van Leeuwen. “And as the quarrying and crane hire worlds are small, news of end-user experiences quickly spread by word of mouth.”

Contracts such as those Magna Tyres Group holds with Cemex and Emerson Crane Hire also raise awareness of the Magna brand: The tyre maker has supplied tyres to Cemex, which services 63 quarries in the UK, for almost five years now through its key partner Vacu-Lug; it started delivering the building materials company with small quantities of tyres for testing, and over time expanded the scope of its supply arrangement. Cemex recently extended Magna Tyres’ supply contract for a further two years. The regional sales manager says Cemex selected Magna as its supplier on the basis of the good cost per hour and cost per mile performance its tyres deliver. “A number of factors were important, including good service, product reliability and continuity of supply, but cost/price per hour was the key point.” Due to Cemex’s positive experience with Magna in the UK, Magna Tyres Group now supplies tyres to the company in Germany, Mexico, Poland and France, and in several other countries around the world.

Van Leeuwen comments that Cemex serves as a good reference for Magna Tyres Group in the OTR market, and Emerson Crane Hire fulfils this valuable role in its respective market segment. “Emerson has a huge fleet and is one of the leading UK crane hire companies. They carried out numerous tests with our tyres and have now decided, due to their efficiency and cost per mile, that all tyres demounted from fleet vehicles will be replaced with Magna tyres. We are very proud of this.” Magna Tyres will supply Emerson its MA03 crane tyre in size 445/95R25.

Magna and MTP

Magna is not the only tyre brand Magna Tyres Group sells in the UK and around the world. In 2014, the company launched a second line, MTP. This range is aimed at customers with a more limited budget, however Stephan van Leeuwen points out that a lower price shouldn’t be mistaken for low quality. “The technology used to develop the MTP range is very similar to that you’ll find in the Magna brand. The main difference is that Magna uses a more premium rubber compound.”

Van Leeuwen stresses the importance of compounds to Magna Tyres Group – the company’s origins lie in the business. Magna was founded by a firm with several decades’ experience in manufacturing masterbatches of rubber compounds and supplying these to tyre manufacturers all around the world. “Therefore our knowledge and know-how about rubber compounds, and what’s needed for certain applications and jobs, is considerable. The importance of knowing your rubber compounds can’t be underestimated – this is a very big part of the difference between a good and a perfect tyre.”

Four new tread patterns have joined the MTP portfolio of late, extending it to a total of nine different tyre models. The new patterns are the WB07 (G2/L2), WB08 (E4/L4), WB09 (E3+/L3+) and WB10 (L5). These additions enable the MTP range to cover a variety of applications in sizes from 15.5R25 up to 24.00R35. MTP Tyres are available in L3, L4, L5 and specific tread designs for wheel loaders, articulated/rigid dump trucks and motorised graders.

UK debut for MA03+

The Magna MA03+ was launched at Bauma in April and will be introduced to the UK at Vertikal Days next month

The Magna MA03+ was launched at Bauma in April and will be introduced to the UK at Vertikal Days next month

Mobile crane tyres are Magna Tyres Group’s best-selling product category in the UK, and at the Vertikal Days show, which takes place at Haydock Park on 15 and 16 June, the company will introduce its latest tyre for this market, the MA03+ crane tyre. The global debut for the MA03+ took place at Bauma in April, and Magna Tyres Group is making the range in the popular 385/95R25, 445/95R25 and 525/80R25 sizes. The manufacturer reports that the MA03+ delivers improved rolling resistance, greater operator comfort, including in severe off-road conditions, and less irregular wear. The tyre’s all-steel radial construction and improved protector plies are said to optimise load performance, while the compound has been developed specifically for crane applications and therefore offers a long working life and shorter braking distance.

The MA03+ will be the highlight of Magna Tyres Group’s presence at Vertikal Days, yet van Leeuwen notes that the company will also promote its truck tyre range at the show. These products are closely-related to mobile crane tyres and quite new to the UK market. Three new patterns are on offer, the MSL (12R22.5), MSR-2 (12R22.5) and MSS (14.00R20). The Magna MSL is a steer axle tyre optimised for long haul use, while the MSS has a specific pattern optimised for sand, and the MSR-2 is designed for regional distance traffic.

“We’re confident in our products”

Van Leeuwen stresses that even though Magna Tyres Group is only ten years old, it today represents a challenge to established OTR tyre manufacturers. “Our dealers, partners and end users often express their astonishment in how far we’ve developed in just ten years,” he exclaims. “Today we are a key player in the OTR segment, we sell in 110 countries and have ten sales offices around the world. We’re confident in our products and have a lot of ambition, we’re working hard to grow every year. Our chief executive officer, Michael de Ruijter, has big plans for Magna Tyres Group, and we’re still in the early stages of these.”

Short-term plans for the OTR segment in the UK include capitalising on growth within the waste and recycling industry. Van Leeuwen reports that the sector is an up-and-coming business for Magna, and to satisfy demand here it produces the Super Solid range for large loaders and telehandlers. These tyres are manufactured in the same 25-inch sizes as their pneumatic equivalents.

Further, larger plans lie beyond the scope of this OTR-themed feature, but are nevertheless worth mentioning. The regional sales manager shares that Magna Tyres Group will extend its product portfolio to include agricultural tyres by the end of 2016. “This is something completely new within the Magna Tyres Group, previously we mainly focused on the construction side. It will be a nice challenge for us.”

In closing, van Leeuwen repeats that, rather than using an eloquent sales pitch to promote its tyres, Magna Tyres Group encourages end users to simply try them. “We are confident in and trust in the quality of our products. We have a good range, we challenge owners and operators to see for themselves what Magna tyres can do.”

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