Falken: stock availability, proven performance means UHP opportunity
The coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns mean that sales of car tyres especially have sustained a harsh blow around the world. But as measures introduced to halt the spread of COVID-19 begin to be eased, motorists will steadily begin to use their cars again, increasing demand. In the car tyre sector, high value, ultra-high performance segments could prove vital, as better potential margins offer attractive opportunities for increasing cashflow quicker. The other side of that coin is that motorists’ finances are also under pressure, putting the price they pay for their car tyres under even greater scrutiny. Could this, therefore, present an opportunity for mid-range brands to make a case for their products, offering more palatable performance compromises compared with premium rivals than the lowest-priced brands?
Coronavirus creates shipping problems for tyre importers
Chinese celebrations of Lunar New Year (25 January) were muted this year by the emerging coronavirus crisis, with the huge amount of personal travel associated with the holiday period down around 45 per cent. Yet global business’s reliance on China’s manufacturing meant that large orders were, as usual, preplanned to take into account the two to three weeks of manufacturing slowdown at this time of year. In the UK tyre sector, the result is that a large number of tyres that will likely exceed some distributors' warehousing capacity are now arriving at UK ports. Freight forwarder, Maritime Cargo Services is offering one solution to companies experiencing this problem.
Davanti unveils wave of new product, partnership news at first conference
Davanti marked its fifth anniversary with its first international dealer conference at the end of February. The tyre brand hosted more than 150 attendees by Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park, where it’s development director Gary Cross took the opportunity to announce its upcoming products, including range extensions and what might be called the second generation of Davanti tyres given the new naming conventions first introduced in the Wintoura winter tyre and Terratoura all-terrain 4x4 tyre ranges. Davanti sales director for UK and Ireland Sean Maddocks also presented observations on tyre markets, the development of the brand’s global dealer network over the past five years, and its commercial partnerships including the renewal of its official brand partnership with Everton FC.
NeroForce: ‘We don’t just want to follow in anybody else’s well-worn footsteps’
A new European developer and distributor of tools, machines and consumables says that it wants to increase the reliability and user-friendliness of retreading equipment. NeroForce, based in Leipheim, Germany, was founded by managing directors Andreas Müller and Martin Kalagin, who between them have more than 25 years of strategic experience of the global retread market, both having worked for Bridgestone, and then B&J Rocket and Marangoni respectively. Thanks to this background, Kalagin told Tyres & Accessories that combining this retreading market experience with a more hands-on view of retreaders’ requirements, NeroForce is well placed to tailor its product range to the needs of today’s retreaders.
China now in 3rd place as source for EU truck tyre imports
In previous features on commercial vehicle tyres, Tyres & Accessories has noted the varied effects European Union tariffs on product manufactured in China have had on the market. Questioning whether the tariffs have “worked” is a complex question, because their effect on new tye segmentation and retreads have been varied across Europe’s major markets. Truck tyre markets in France and Germany reacted in very different ways to the UK, at least partially because the latter market was contracting anyway.
For the generations raised in the late 20th century, the idea of travel simulators raises images of a capsule for eight people moved around with hydraulics to match a film, or perhaps contestants tasked with landing a plane on The Krypton Factor. Since those heady days, exponential increases in computer processing power and the ability to model a rapidly increasing range of sensory outputs from a highly complex web of inputs. Compared to the relatively broad strokes of retro aeronautical simulation, the convincingly realistic representation of the driving environment has become a legitimate source of automotive research and development. The latest simulation technology is increasingly making its way into tyre development as a means of increasing the efficiency of product development. With Michelin’s announcement that it would install a new Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator at its North America Research & Development centre in Greenville, South Carolina, USA, Tyres & Accessories got in touch with its manufacturer Ansible Motion and its international manager for the company’s commercial group, Phil Morse to talk about the increasing prevalence of human-in-the-loop simulation within tyre and vehicle development, and the opportunities it offers.
2019 UK car tyre stagnation, but strong all-season and SUV tyre growth
The combination of political disruption and Brexit uncertainty made 2019 a tough year for the UK economy in general, so it is not surprising to learn that this was reflected in the overall passenger car tyre replacement market. According to the latest sell-out UK tyre replacement market data collated by analysts at GfK, the headline news is that both the value and the volume of the decreased in 2019. But there are reasons for hope, with signs of growth remaining in the value-rich SUV tyre sub-segment and with evidence of strong growth in sales of all-season tyres.