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”.
Tyres for electric buses: Continental working to shorten development time
Continental is currently testing prototype tyres for electric buses at its Contidrom proving ground in northern Germany. These prototypes, developed built by the tyre maker’s Prototyping department in Hanover-Stöcken and featuring hand-carved tread patterns, are the fruit of joint work with vehicle manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach. The partners’ aim is to reduce the time taken to complete the tyre development cycle, which currently takes three to five years from initial prototype to volume production.
Another two-wheel OEM approval for Bridgestone. Kawasaki Heavy Industries has selected the Bridgestone Battlax Racing Street RS11 as an original equipment fitment on the 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. This new Ninja, which was released this month, is fitted with the RS11 in the front wheel size 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W) and rear size 190/55ZR17 M/C (75W).
The 2021 Yamaha MT-09 ABS will wear Bridgestone tyres as original equipment. Bridgestone is supplying its Hypersport S22 for Yamaha’s new hyper naked in the front wheel size 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) and rear size 180/55ZR17M/C (73W).
Prometeon presents Pro Check fleet inspection and monitoring system
Prometeon head office has announced the launch of Pro Check, a digital monitoring solution specifically conceived to offer an easy and effective tyre management for fleets and dealers. Pro Check is the latest addition to Prometeon’s Pro Services family. According to the company, Pro Check provides “a reliable and customized support to further optimize the operational efficiency of the fleets”.
Bridgestone bringing Enliten to North America on 2021 Nissan Rogue
The launch of the VW ID.3 marked the debut of Bridgestone’s materials-reducing Enliten technology. Volkswagen has decided against selling the ID.3 in the USA, but this doesn’t mean drivers across the pond will miss out on Enliten. Bridgestone Americas says its Alenza Sport A/S with Enliten technology has been specified as original equipment on select models of the 2021 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue is the first vehicle in the USA and Canada to be fitted with tyres featuring the technology.
Bridgestone gaining van fleet traction following all-season launches
In August, Bridgestone launched new all-season van tyres under both its eponymous and its Firestone brands, the Duravis All Season and the Vanhawk Multiseason respectively. The Duravis All Season was the first all-season van tyre from the brand, achieving A-rated wet grip, while the Vanhawk Multiseason was a first all-season light commercial vehicle tyre in Europe for its second-line brand. In addition to this product expansion, the manufacturer says that it is gaining traction amongst van fleets for its tyre husbandry support service too, supplementing its expanding product portfolio.
Launches, network expansion to support continued Goodyear Farm Tyres growth
Goodyear Farm Tires’ European growth has continued in the first full year of trading since the brand’s return to Europe. Manufactured by Titan International, which purchased the European licence for the brand in Europe in 2015, the agricultural tyre supplier has outlined plans to continue its European expansion next year. Agricultural tyres have remained more resilient than almost any other tyre segment despite the pandemic. The Goodyear Farm Tires portfolio was boosted by eight additional tread patterns and 65 new tyre sizes, helping to support its volume growth, and Titan will add a new versatile tyre described as an agriculture, turf and industrial hybrid in 2021.
Goodyear has reportedly entered the automotive lubricants segment in India. Goodyear is collaborating with Assurance International, a part of Satya Group, in the venture which focuses on a new line of engine oils that are designed to complement Goodyears tyre product portfolio. According to local news sources, the product line includes “greases, brake fluid, transmission oil, tractor oil, diesel exhaust fluid, gear oil and hydraulic oils”.
Speedline Truck has added the SLT 3698 to its range of forged light alloy wheels. According to the company, the SLT 3698 is the first forged light alloy truck wheel in 22.5 x 9.75-inch to meet the more “extreme” needs of megatrailers.
Bridgestone to supply Lamborghini Huracán STO supercar tyres
The Lamborghini Huracán STO will roll on custom-developed Bridgestone Potenza tyres. The ultra-high performance tyre will help to maximise the traction, handling, control, and extreme overall performance of the new supersports car. The Huracán STO will be launched in 2021.
While van manufacturers have been both developing their electric portfolios and sustaining a double-digit sales contraction in a pandemic affected market, the picture for van tyre suppliers is certainly not as hostile. As we will see in this feature, the requirements of e-commerce and electric vehicles are providing new impetus to van tyre suppliers in the medium term. But 2020 UK figures generated by market data analyst GfK’s Point of Sales Tracking show that the segment is faring better than many with the travails of this year. At the same time, several trends are coalescing to improve the fortunes of van tyre suppliers.