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.
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.
Fleet sales mean March new car sales up 11.5 per cent YOY
The car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for the month of March shows that the UK new car market recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year. However, the month represents the anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020, when the pandemic brought Britain to a standstill and registrations fell by -44.4 per cent.
Goodyear brand Sava has launched a new all-season tyre with fitments between 14 and 18 inches. The Sava All Weather is designed for versatile performance in varied road conditions. It carries the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol (3PMSF), certifying its winter performance. The tyre is the latest all-season product from parent company Goodyear, whose 2020 launched Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 was recently named both the All-Season Tyre of the Year and overall Tyre of the Year by Tyrepress sister site WhatTyre.com. The Sava All-Weather features a similar V-shaped tread design to its premium stablemate, with a range of technologies designed to improve life and fuel efficiency as well as all-season capabilities.
Sailun enhancing commercial tyre production across manufacturing footprint
The Sailun Group is ramping up production at its plants in China and Vietnam. The manufacturer brought its newest truck tyre plant in Shenyang, China onstream in November 2020, giving it an additional 3.3 million units of all-steel truck radial capacity. In addition, Sailun plans to invest RMB 719.9 million (£81.3 million) to upgrade production at recently acquired manufacturer Shandong Anchi Tyres in Weifang, giving it the capacity to produce 1.2 million truck and bus radials and 6 million high performance passenger car and light truck tyres a year. Most recently, Sailun confirmed plans for the third phase of expansion at its Sailun (Vietnam) subsidiary.
Kumho truck tyre range supported by ‘significant investment’
Kumho’s extensive truck tyre range has benefited from “significant investment in new technology”, according to the manufacturer. It says it has recognised the growing demand for multi-purpose tyres. Kumho now offers its 3PMSF marked KXS10 steer and KXD10 drive patterns in 315/70, 295/80 and 315/80R22.5 fitments. The range offers all-season performance across a variety of operational demands, together with increased mileage.
Giti launches next-generation GAM831 mixed service tyre
Giti has launched the next generation Giti GAM831 mixed service all-position tyre in Europe. The tyre has been designed to deliver significant mileage improvements and improved robustness in severe applications. To achieve this, the manufacturer designed a new belt construction concept, which helps to optimise the tyre’s footprint and a new tread compound with improved abrasion resistance. The tyre is available in 13R22.5 156/150 (154/150) K (L) and 315/80R22.5 158/150 (154/150) K(L).
Dunlop SP346+ launched to ‘support versatile commercial operations’
Dunlop has introduced the SP346+ steer tyre for “fleets and hauliers who demand a wide variety of performances in all on-road applications”. According to the company, the Dunlop SP346+ features a range of technologies designed to achieve high mileage, robust durability and improved fuel efficiency or low energy consumption for electric vehicles. It offers advanced winter grip, “making it a tyre for all seasons and all purposes” in Dunlop’s words.
GB Tyres introduces 6-year warranty on JK Tyre commercial vehicle tyres
GB Tyres has introduced a new six-year warranty on JK Tyre’s commercial vehicle tyres. The wholesaler became the exclusive UK & Ireland distributor of the Indian brand’s tyre range in January 2020. GB Tyres told Tyres & Accessories that the first year of the partnership has been “very successful” and the customer feedback it has generated has allowed it to fully assess the quality and performance of the brand under various working conditions.
Commercial vehicle tyre suppliers are increasingly required to be multifaceted in their approach. Following its acquisition of TomTom Telematics in 2019 (now known as Webfleet Solutions), Bridgestone’s transition from tyre producer to mobility solutions provider with increasingly integrated approaches to fleet services moved up several gears. Demand for fleet-based mobility grows year-on-year, the tyre manufacturer says, with fleet managers demanding reliable and innovative services to maximise their effectiveness and efficiency. Webfleet Solutions has allowed Bridgestone to support business process streamlining with seamless end-to-end systems. These include transport management systems, on-board cameras, and route optimisation.
The battery experts at Varta are issuing advice to vehicle drivers around the risks and complexity of attempting a DIY battery replacement in this age of increasingly complex cars. Varta say that its new awareness campaign seeks to dispel the myth that changing a battery continues to be the easy DIY task it was through previous decades. The advice from Varta is to do their research and if possible, to proactively seek battery fitting options, and if in any doubt, to check in with their local independent garage before attempting a battery change themselves.
GT Radial FE2 summer tyre launched with 15% wet braking improvement
Giti Tire is introducing the successor to its most popular European market tyre. The GT Radial FE2, which replaces the Champiro FE1, is aimed primarily at compact and family passenger cars and small and crossover SUVs. The tyre will be available initially in 17 sizes from 15-18. These sizes will have speed indices T, H, V, W and Y, section widths from 185-235 and series sizes from 50-65. Tyres dedicated to SUV vehicles carry the initials on the sidewall to highlight their core market.
The Ford Ranger Raptor is now exclusively fitted with General Grabber AT3 tyres as standard. The high-performance off-road pickup from Ford features a specially developed motorsport-friendly chassis. And its particular performance qualities come to the fore at high speeds away from paved roads.
Like all vehicle manufacturers, Ford defines a wide range of requirements, which Continental (the manufacturer of the General Tire brand) reports the Grabber AT3 “more than met during intensive testing”.
Goodyear has launched a new tyre for port applications, and says its focus when developing the tyre was upon “improved tread wear to help increase efficiency,” a “decisive factor in modern port and industrial handling.” A further aim of the Goodyear EV-4M Port Handler is to “promote driver comfort.”
With Land Rover Defender production ceasing after 67 years of manufacturing, an exclusive limited build programme by Land Rover’s Classic division is going to give 25 enthusiasts the chance to own a special version of the original Defender wearing the Works V8 Trophy badge.