Michelin presents sustainability-infused strategy to capital markets
Groupe Michelin’s Capital Markets Day presentation, conducted via webcast on 8 April, set out its agenda for the next decade, putting its plans in front of leading global banks and financial firms. Circling around a central theme of sustainability, the group executive committee, led by managing chairman Florent Menegaux and general manager and chief financial officer Yves Chapot, showed how Michelin intends to “diversify while strengthening” in order to achieve its key economic and ecological targets. Chapot and Menegaux stated that expanding “non-tyre revenue” up to more than one-fifth of the group’s turnover by 2030 would make the group more agile and robust in the face of future crises. The current global health crisis has been instructive in this regard; the committee credited the development of the group’s non-tyre portfolio with assisting in its resilience over the difficulties of 2020, and now intends to continue the acceleration of its diversification. Its digital and materials innovations will simultaneously “deliver new growth,” while contributing to the overall strength of the group: a leitmotif of the committee’s presentation.
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.
For the last few years Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) take-up has continued apace. Indeed, according to the latest UK vehicle registrations figures, cars that can be described as SUVs now occupy a significant portion of new vehicle market share. Indeed, the Nissan Qashqai crossover was the third most popular purchase in February 2021, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). And the Volvo XC40 as well as the Volkswagen T-Roc and Tiguan also figure in the top 10. Of course, all these vehicles need tyres so there is every chance that the recent trend towards SUV tyre replacement sales is also going to continue over the next few years. But what about last year? With these trends in mind, the month’s SUV tyre feature takes a closer look the best products on the market beginning with a detailed look at the latest market data produced in association with GfK.
The sequel with no [pr]equal – a closer look at the Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF 2
At the start of February, Pirelli introduced its Cinturato All Season SF 2 and Cinturato P7 tyre ranges in a virtual event broadcast from Milan. The virtual launch also previewed the forthcoming Cinturato Winter 2, which will be released in time for the next winter season (and therefore sometime between Summer and Autumn 2021). The unifying theme was Safety on the move, but Pirelli’s latest all-season offering was really centre-stage.
Shortly after the event began, launch proceedings got underway with Francesco Sala, senior vice president Manufacturing at Pirelli (pictured) setting the launches in the context of “a completely refreshed Cinturato range”. These come against the background of significant research and development efforts intended to work with the company’s best-fit OE/replacement policy. Specifically, Sala explained that digital prototyping has resulted in 400 homologations across 128 car models and 40 models. And the success of this approach can be seen in the number of homologations already achieved for the new products.
Brand Finance: Michelin most valuable and strongest tyre brand
Following last month’s preview of the 2021 report, Brand Finance has released its full Tyres 10 ranking. According to the 2021 table, the tyre sector has taken a hit over the last year, with all 10 brands losing brand value. Brand Finance unsurprisingly puts this decline down to the pandemic-related behavioural changes: “Owing to the lack of travel due to lockdowns, car sales are declining, which means tyre brands are selling less units, resulting in a drop in market equity across the industry. Furthermore, since the economy has been riskier in general over the past year, investor risk has increased, triggering a rise in the cost of capital.”
Test World becomes first centre in Europe to offer ASTM 1805 winter tyre testing
This year the well-known Finland-based tyre testing centre Test World turns 30. What better way to celebrate than to redouble its efforts to become a comprehensive test centre for summer, winter and all-season tyres? Following the acquisition of Test World’s parent company Millbrook by UTAC CERAM, which was completed at the start of February 2021, key developments towards this goal include: the purchase of the world’s first all-electric winter tyre traction testing light truck and the addition of a new soon-to-be opened proving ground in Morocco. Tyres & Accessories me up Jukka Antila, Technical Director at Test World as well as Millbrook business development manager Andrew Kern in order to find out more.
Goodyear to regain number 3 global PCLT tyre volumes ranking – Astutus Research
With the addition of the Cooper Tire business, Goodyear will return to the global number three ranking in passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyre volumes in 2021. After previously holding the clear number three ranking behind the world’s largest tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone and Michelin, Goodyear was joint third with Continental in both 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Goodyear fell behind Continental to fourth position in 2019 and 2020. Working on a pro forma basis combining original equipment and replacement market tyres, Astutus Research data reveals some interesting facts about the nascent conjoined organisation, with reference to their largest tyre business segment in terms of volume.
Covid year a catalyst for UK light vehicle tyre market trends
Common sense seems to dictate that when you tell the majority of the population to stay home, vehicle utilisation – and therefore tyre consumption – should be down across the board. And in a blunt sense the latest full-year panelmarket data from GfK, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, does show that this happened. However, the latest infographic from the automotive market data analyst also reveals a few more subtle patterns to consumer behaviour in the difficult 12 months of 2020, compared with the previous period. This article is available in Tyres & Accessories February issue.
$250 million Ferentino tyre factory opens in Sri Lanka
Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.
The difference between lockdowns 1 and 2 for the tyre trade
A couple of weeks after the end of the UK’s second lockdown, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Micheldever Tyre Services wholesale director Graham Mitchell. Since Mitchell was part of the panel in our inaugural “Kickstarting your tyre business” webinar in May 2020 at the end of the first lockdown, we thought it would be good to catch up at the end of the year and compare the differences between the first and second lockdowns. In short, while many shops closed during the first lockdown, the vast majority were open for business during the second. We also discussed 2020 as a whole and looked forward to 2021.
National Police and Ambulance tyre consumption compared
During the course of 2020 the emergency services’ irreplaceable role as keyworkers took a deserved centre stage. At the same time, tyre technicians up and down the country stayed busy making sure blue light fleets kept rolling. With the Crown Commercial Services framework coming up for renewal in 2021, Tyres & Accessories conducted an in-depth analysis of the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance fleets’ tyre purchasing and consumption serialised across the year. But how do the Police and Ambulance fleets compare? In this, the concluding part of our series of blue light fleet analyses, we zoom out and compare the national trends present in each emergency service with the other.
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.
CAM talks digitisation, self-service, and the pandemic
Digitisation has been an extremely important trend in 2020, to say the least. Due to the restrictions implemented by global governments to combat the spread of Covid-19, the use of technology to perform all sorts of basic business functions has never been as widespread in its usage. While tyre fitting businesses have been spared enforced closure with their rightful designation as an essential service, the implementation of solid digital systems to assist operational and marketing functions has been vital – more so than ever before. Tyres & Accessories used one digital system with which many are now intimately acquainted – Microsoft Teams – to speak to the commercial director of tyre business software systems provider CAM, Steve Daly, about how the company has supported this increased digitisation, as well as the general growth in companies employing CAM’s solutions, such as e-jobsheet and Fitter-Force. This interview is also available as a video to subscribers below.
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.
Four out of five consumers changing tyre shopping behaviour
Following what was generally regarded as an insightful presentation on the impact of coronavirus on global, European and UK tyre markets, the panel for our “New Tyres in Corona-World” Virtual Tyre Industry Conference 2020 session (James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, Sales General Manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear) moved into a discussion relating to how manufacturers are working on creatively supporting the tyre trade in the face of the second lockdown and ongoing pandemic- and economy-related complications.