Auto Express all-season tyre test 2020: Continental, Goodyear and Hankook take the honours
With sales of all-season tyres being one of the good news stories of an otherwise challenging year, at the end of November Auto Express published its latest test comparing the performance of leading year-round tyres. Continental’s AllSeasonContact was the outright winner, but Goodyear’s Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 and Hankook Kinergy 4S2 were not far behind it in second and third place respectively.
Goodyear’s European motorsport renaissance continues despite pandemic challenges
It has been nearly two years since the Goodyear brand’s reintroduction to motorsport in Europe, and it is fair to say that operating in a pandemic was not part of the plan when this brand strategy was set out. Tyres & Accessories spoke to Ben Crawley, Goodyear motorsport director EMEA, about his experiences of the 2020 season. Goodyear re-entered European motorsport almost two years ago. While the brand on a global level has “never really been out of motorsport,” bearing in mind its six continuous decades of NASCAR in the USA, Crawley tells T&A that the thinking behind Goodyear’s reentry in more global series “fits into a wider brand rejuvenation” strategy. “We know we have this fantastic legacy and history in racing, and we want to be able to use that to reengage and provide some excitement for the brand and how we communicate the brand with consumers.” The motorsport strategy also coincided with Goodyear’s introduction of ultra-ultra-high performance (UUHP) Eagle F1 Supersport tyres, and “the natural synergies that come with high performance tyres for the road and racing.” Beyond the new product range, the “brand rejuvenation strategy includes the Blimp, racing, and broader advertising and marketing partnerships,” Crawley adds. Subscribers can view the video of this interview in the full version of this article.
Porsche Taycan the first car to use Pirelli Elect-marked tyres
Pirelli launched the Elect marking at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and is designed to be available as original equipment for “the most modern cars on the road”. Now Pirelli is highlighting that the Porsche Taycan is the first car to use Pirelli Elect-marked tyres.
Giti Tire has won additional original equipment supply business with Groupe Renault after the GitiSynergyE1 was selected as OE for the new Dacia Sandero and Logan models. Production started in the Renault factories in October. The vehicles will be supplied with 185/65R15 88H tyres.
An ‘unbeatable package’ of performance & price: UK launch for Alliance 372 VF
During the summer Alliance Tire Group began showing off its Agri Star II Alliance 372 Agriflex+ VF and lines. The first of these debuted at the LAMMA show in January, but both tyres came to market during the first corona lockdown. Tyrepress.com saw these products in action on a farm in Germany a couple of months back, but the UK’s second lockdown put paid to plans for a real-world 372 VF launch over here. So instead of togging up in extra-thick jackets and pulling on our wellies, on 1 December we headed over to the virtual farm and caught up with ATG and Kirkby Tyres, who exclusively distributes the Alliance brand in the UK and Ireland.
Michelin has introduced two new sizes of its multi-purpose, all-season CrossGrip tyres for operators of backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, telehandlers and small tractors. The new 440/80 R34 and 480/80 R34 CrossGrip fitments expand the range to 12 dimensions, available on both the original equipment and replacement markets.
The Launch X431 EURO PRO 5 PLUS is Launch UK’s latest addition to the market, based on the most up-to-date Android OS 9.0. It comes in a robust carry case with all necessary leads and a wide selection of legacy OBD 1 adapters.
PCL has launched the CH3A01 Twin Swivel Clip-on Tyre Valve Connector and CH3A02 Single Swivel Clip-on Tyre Valve Connector. The two new models complement the recently launched CH2 air connectors, which have received excellent feedback since their launch last year and run alongside the popular CO3 range.
National Ambulance fleet tyre analysis shows punctures and sidewall damage the main non-wear change reasons
Throughout 2020 Tyres & Accessories has been analysing the tyre choices of UK emergency services fleets. The series began with an investigation into the National Police fleet’s tyre demands, followed by closer looks at the Kent, Metropolitan and West Midland force fleets. At the start of November, we took a look at some key Fire Brigade fleets. Now it is the turn of the Ambulance service.
Davanti and Evergreen have joined premium brands in hailing 2020 as “a big year for electric vans.” The trend towards electric vehicles in the light commercial sector has gathered pace as van manufacturers announced new models. Meanwhile the Covid-19 pandemic served to underline the importance of delivery drivers to the economy. Delivery giant UPS placed an order for 10,000 electric vans over the next four years. Currently in the UK, there are 10,300 electric vans registered. Davanti, the Oak Group’s tyre brand, and Evergreen for which its wholesale arm serves as UK distributor both say they are prepared for the electrification of the van parc with their current products.
Conti: European, US e-commerce accounts for 77 billion km per annum
September’s new van registrations represented a bright spot in a dire year for new vehicles in Europe. While European Union van registrations have declined 22.8 per cent over the course of 2020, September figures registered double-digit growth. In the UK, the figures are even more polarised, with the light commercial vehicle market down 27.4 per cent for the first three quarters, September growth was nearly the opposite, over 25 per cent up. Though it should also be noted that the UK figures reflect a weak month in September 2019. While the new vehicle picture is clearly complex, the demand for new vans to replace less efficient older models, and to expand fleets, is present even amid this pandemic year. And with the demand – even legislative requirement – to downgrade emissions, OE tyre suppliers will be required to develop increasingly more efficient tyre solutions. And there are more reasons for tyre suppliers to the replacement markets in mature North American and European markets to feel optimistic about their prospects, both for the reasons laid out in the previous analysis of the market, and thanks to some startling statistics relating to the growth in e-commerce laid out by Continental.
Yokohama launching all-season van tyre in Europe and Russia
Yokohama has announced that it will launch a new all-season tyre for European and Russian vans, the BluEarth-Van All Season RY61, in spring 2021. The tyre will be available in 23 sizes, from 225/55R17C 104/102H to 195/70R15C 104/102T. The manufacturer joins the trend of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers introducing new products in the segment, an intersection of two growth markets in Europe.
Maxxis Vansmart range ‘punches above its weight’ in latest independent tests
Maxxis’s light commercial tyre range received a boost with the selection of the Mecotra ME3+ as the original equipment tyre on the 2021 Volkswagen Caddy 5. While this version of the tyre was developed specially for the new VW, Maxxis’ existing van-focused products have also been “punching above their weight,” according to the manufacturer, in independent tyre tests. The manufacturer says it is “committed to delivering high-quality tyres to the world at affordable price.” Comprising the Vansmart MCV3+ and the all-season Vansmart AS AL2, the range offers high-speed stability and all-weather driving.
While the company is best known for supplying and fitting specialist solid tyres, Tyre Boss also sources a wide range of off-highway tyre solution. This includes tyre fill which is said to be “a very popular option for many customers”.
With electric vehicles soon to be a large part of the overall vehicle parc Ateq – a company best known in the tyre business for its TPMS products – has launched an industrial scale battery management tool. Designed for both electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV), the battery module balancer is called the EVB 5100. The unit is designed for rework stations in battery manufacturing or electric vehicle production plants. According to the company, it uses “the most efficient and precise technologies to equalize voltage differences between modules to maximize battery performance”.