The new Eagle NCT 5, introduced to the trade press at Goodyear’s own South of France test track in Mireval in mid-February, is a high-performance tyre in speed categories from H (up to 210 km/h) to Y (up to 300 km/h) with the emphasis on comfort. The manufacturer claims that the new type of tyre, immediately available in more than 20 sizes, is an improvement on its predecessor, the NCT 3 – sometimes to a very considerable extent – in braking on dry and wet roads or aquaplaning both in straight-line driving or cornering. The new product is aimed at an interesting growth market. 52 million tyres of speed index H and faster are currently sold in Europe per year, and this segment already covers 28 p.c. of the market (186 million tyres). The market share of high-performance tyres in Germany is about 35 p.c. at the moment, but still rising strongly. In the new NCT 5 Goodyear’s tyre developers had ecological qualities especially in mind. Compared with its predecessor the newly developed tyre can boast rolling resistance reduced by 20 p.c. and optimised tyre noise. In addition to the reduced rolling resistance which, according to the manufacturer, saves up to 5 p.c. in fuel, the NCT 5’s mileage is said to be improved by up to 25 p.c. In naming this new tyre Goodyear quite deliberately skipped the number 4, since the Far East, one of the target markets for the NCT 5, regards the number 4 as a symbol of impending disaster.
Sales of tyre and wheel manufacturer Titan (Quincy/Illinois, USA) have dropped last year to US$ 588 million (1998: US$ 660,8 million). Striking and a bad condition of the American agriculture are assumed to be responsible for the figures showing an EBIT of US$ -11.4 million compared to US$ 8.4 million in 1998.
Nokian Tyres turnover last year reached 322.6 m Euro (28% higher than 1998) and an operating profit of 42.1 Euro (1998 32.2 m Euro). Profit before tax was 35.5 m Euro (1998 29.9 m Euro) and net profit 25.7 m Euro (1998 21.6 m Euro). The company invested 85.7 m Euro (1998 72.7 m Euro), this was mainly in production (30 m Euro). There was also expansion in retail equity with the purchase of the Finnish company ISKO.
Sava, the Slovenian tyre manufacturer – 60 p.c. owned by the Goodyear group since 1998 – presented the Effecta to the public for the first time in mid-March. This S/T summer tyre, developed in cooperation with its European group headquarters in Luxembourg, a non-directional successor to the Exact line, is to be introduced in the market in 28 sizes, from 135/80 R 12 68 T to 185/65 R 15 88 T, by June this year. More than 300 tyre traders in total from 35 countries, among them far-flung places like Iceland or Lebanon, had assembled in the idyllic holiday resort of Bled to see the new Sava product launched. The German contingent consisted of about 50 members of Team, which markets all segments (car, light truck, truck) of the Sava brand exclusively in Germany. The new tyre is the first new product development since Goodyear took over almost two years ago. It derives directly from the Luxembourg research and development centre and is thus destined to represent Goodyear state of the art technology. What this means and how the Effecta could support Sava raising brand awareness in Western Europe which is one of the tyre manufacturer’s most important aims can be read in the April issue of NEUE REIFENZEITUNG.
The German accessories wholesaler WFZ has changed its name to Europart. This is the result of the expansion from a specialised utility to a car part dealer. Europart has a foothold in 15 countries throughout Europe with its own outlets.
Jordan has extended its contract with Bridgestone and hopes to become the tyre manufacturers number one partner. There are rumours that McLaren and Ferrari are leaning towards Michelin like Jaguar Racing, the BMW/Williams team and Toyota did before.
The turnover of the motorcycle tyre division of Pirelli Germany (brands: Metzeler & Pirelli) in 1999 amounted to 94.9 million Euro; 1.4 p.c. more than the previous year. In motorcycle tyre terms, Pirelli is the market leader in Germany, Italy and Europe as a whole.
Poor Start To 2000 For German Vehicle Registrations
The German Automotive Industry Association (VDA) reports that vehicle registrations in Germany dropped by 10 per cent in March and 8 per cent overall for the first quarter of this year. It is anticipated that the German vehicle market will remain weak for the time being and a decrease in domestic orders by 10 per cent is likely for the whole year. At the same time, exports are expected to rise by 6 per cent
DaimlerChrysler has launched two Dodge Stratus concept cars in co-operation from a number of suppliers that has been produced mainly from recycled materials including scrap tyre. The programme is part of a scheme to verify which recycled products can be used for the production of future models.