Bridgestone: Sale of Firestone Building Products completed
Bridgestone Corporation reports that its Bridgestone Americas, Inc. subsidiary has completed the sale of Firestone Building Products to Holcim Participations (US) Inc, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim Ltd. (LafargeHolcim). According to the Japanese company, the US$3.4 billion transaction will “advance Bridgestone’s efforts to deliver value to customers and society as a global leader providing tyres and advanced mobility solutions.”
Insurer predicts ‘sharp increase’ in accidents when UK lockdown ends
Based on claims trends following previous UK lockdowns, insurer NFU Mutual is expecting a sharp increase in accidents from next week. This is when self-contained holiday accommodation lets, non-essential retail, personal care, outdoor hospitality and indoor leisure venues are scheduled to open to the public on 12 April. Claims to NFU Mutual for car accidents increased sharply by 22 per cent over the late May Bank Holiday last year, shortly after lockdown was eased on May 11. Car accident claims also increased by 12 per cent over the Christmas period compared with previous weeks, prompting the insurer to advise caution on the roads. The prediction comes alongside 1 in 4 drivers admitting they are feeling nervous about making long journeys once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Transaid picked for project to improve public transport provision in Lusaka
Transaid has been selected by the sustainable transport planning and research consultancy, ITP, to support the development of a road map for providing improved public transport services in Lusaka, in a major new project funded by the World Bank. The Zambian capital is one of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, with its metro area population growing by nearly five per cent annually for the last 20 years. Yet it remains almost entirely reliant on minibuses for intracity public transport, supported by a smaller number of buses and taxis.
Yokohama Advan Sport V107 certified for Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC SUV
Yokohama’s Advan Sport V107 has been approved for fitment on the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC. The SUV went on sale in Europe in December 2019. The GLB 35 can be outfitted with 21-inch 255/35ZR21 98Y size Advan Sport V107 tyres. The deal expands Yokohamas already thriving relationship with Mercedes-AMG.
Electric BMW iX3 approves Yokohama Advan Sport V107
Yokohama is supplying its Advan Sport V107 tyres to BMW for the manufacturer’s new iX3. The German marque’s first sports activity vehicle (SAV) with an all-electric-drive system uses three sizes of the Advan Sport V107 on the new electric SAV: 245/50R19 105W, 245/45R20 103W, and 275/40R20 106W. Yokohama began shipping the tyres to the BMW Group in September 2020.
A ceremony was held on 5 April to commemorate the start of work to build the KamaTyresKZ tyre factory in Saran, Kazakhstan. The plant, a joint venture between Russia’s Tatneft Group and the Kazakhstan-based AllurGroup, is being set up at a cost of US$284 million. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2022 and the facility will be capable of producing 3 million passenger car tyres as well as 500,000 solid steel cord tyres a year.
Nokian Tyres ramping up car tyre capacity in Finland
Nokian Tyres is increasing production capacity for passenger car tyres at its factory in Finland approximately 30 per cent by adopting a four-shift production schedule. To accommodate this capacity increase, it will hire around 70 new workers for passenger car tyre production in Nokia, Finland. Recruiting begins immediately and four production shifts will be in action by the start of August at the latest.
Continental launched its first earthmoving tyres under the General Tire brand name early last year, and is now expanding its General Tire portfolio for the earthmoving industry with the General TE95. The tyre maker says the General TE95 “impresses with high traction, especially for soil compaction work” in road and construction applications, and the tyre is equipped – as is the entire product line – with V.ply technology.
Continental has become the first tyre manufacturer to order Ansible Motion’s all-new advanced Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator, the Delta S3. Simulation technology, which is now capable of modelling tyre performance to an extreme degree of accuracy, is increasingly employed by car manufacturers and original equipment suppliers, such as tyre manufacturers. Conti’s decision to bring in the latest DIL simulation technology is informed by the need to mirror its OEM customers’ development processes, but the system’s most important effect will be the efficiency benefits it delivers, as Dr. Boris Mergell, head of research and development of the Tires business area at Continental, explains. “Developing and testing premium tyres is a highly complex, time-intensive process. By using the new dynamic driving simulator, we will make this development process even more efficient in the future.”
The relationship between Michelin and BMW dates back 35 years, and at present the tyre maker supplies to no less than nine ‘M’ models – the M2, M3, M4, M5, M8, X3 M, X4 M, X5 M and X6 M. Most recently, Michelin tailored two of its high performance tyre lines for original equipment fitment on the BMW M3 and M4.
China’s State Council approves ChemChina, Sinochem restructuring
On 31 March, Pirelli & C. S.p.A. received a notification letter from China National Chemical Corporation Ltd. (ChemChina) stating that ChemChina had received a notice regarding its restructuring and that of Sinochem Group Co., Ltd., (Sinochem Group) from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), a commission of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China.
Machines used in off-highway applications have evolved over the years into heavier vehicles with increased capability and capacity, and tyre makers have needed to keep apace with this evolution. Goodyear has done so by upgrading some of its products for loaders to a 3* marking.
Yokohama Tire opens 430,000sqft distribution centre in Texas
Yokohama Tire Corporation will open a new 430,000sqft distribution centre in Wilmer, Texas in summer 2021. The company will first distribute Yokohama’s OE tyres from the facility, about 15 miles southeast of Dallas, followed by passenger car/light truck and commercial truck/bus products in 2022. Yokohama operates three other distribution centres in the US: Chino, California; Groveport, Ohio; and Auburn, Georgia.
SUV boom brings technology opportunities for Goodyear
Three of the top ten best-selling cars in Europe are SUVs. The growth of this market is such that the meaning of the terms has come to encompass a broad range of vehicle applications. Broadly though, a motorist can expect an elevated driving position, hatchback practicality mixed with some degree of all-terrain ability, and rugged looks. Handling a wide range of conditions and environments is a big part of their appeal, meaning tyre technology in the SUV segment needs to support these applications, as as Thomas Gesenhoff, technical project manager at Goodyear, explains.
Goodyear appoints Rock-Rees head of external communications EMEA
Goodyear has appointed Kate Rock-Rees as its new head of external communications EMEA. In her new position, Rock-Rees will be responsible for proactively shaping the corporate reputation strategy for the EMEA region, the company states. She will also become “a steward of Goodyear’s corporate brand-building initiatives,” the company adds. Such initiatives include Goodyear’s Better Future corporate responsibility programme.