Chinese manufacturers want to and, in fact, already are benefiting from strong international demand for OTR tyres. One company that follows these lines very closely is the China Noble OTR Tyre Co., Ltd. When at the turn of the century it was becoming more evident that there was going to be a strong growth on the profitable OTR tyre market, Noble Tyre decided to jump on the bandwagon. The company’s co-founder Sky Zhuang said in an interview with Tyres & Accessories that this was the time when Noble decided to change its production plans. The company used to produce truck tyres and then changed over to the production of OTR tyres and thus invested considerable amounts of money from 2001 onwards.
One of the largest motorcycling events to be held in the UK took place in Stockton on Tees last month. Ridewell, promoted by Cleveland Police and other police forces in the north east, this year attracted over 16,000 bikers and visitors, showing it has grown in popularity and importance since its inception in 2001.
The increasing product quality and the level of distribution of Chinese tyres in the UK and Europe clearly demonstrates how the Far Eastern manufacturers are closing the gap between themselves and the European/US markets. Another important indicator is the existence of a renowned tyre exhibition, a title which by all accounts has already been given to China International Tire Expo (CITExpo) in the eyes of visitors. This show has developed strongly in the four years since it was first held in Shanghai. Today CITExpo could be considered as one of the leading tyre exhibitions in China and even in Asia. This year the show again set new standards although CITExpo is still far away from an international reputation held by the Reifen show in Germany or the SEMA show in Las Vegas. However, the CITExpo clearly is on-track towards becoming a fixed entry on the international tyre agenda. The organisers have once again proved themselves capable of offering the right show to the ever-increasing number of exhibitors and visitors.
Sébastien Loeb, the two-time World Rally Champion, has equalled the record for the highest number of WRC wins (26 - held jointly by Carlos Sainz) thanks to his fifth win in Germany, the fixture that gave him his first world class success in 2002. Loeb finished 33.8 seconds ahead of fellow Citroen driver Dani Sordo of Spain while Marcus Gronholm of Finland came third.
TyreAuctions Network is a venture that the founders believe will help businesses move excess tyre, wheel or equipment stock. David Willmore, manager for TyreAuctions commented: “We have designed the site to try and keep transactions on TyreAuctions Network as anonymous as the user wishes. The design of the site also limits the information the general public can view, but also allows interested businesses to see what we are about before joining up. Joining up with us requires a minimal fee, of which we are currently running a time-limited 75 per cent rebate, available as online listing vouchers.
Marangoni Tyre now has a greater online presence following the launch of a brand new UK website - specifically targeting end users. www.marangonityre.co.uk provides consumers with real time information about the brand and the range of tyres available. A main feature of the new site is an integrated dealer locator that allows consumers to locate their nearest Marangoni ‘Intelligence Centre’ with the click of a mouse.
28 years ago, Mike Furner and Harish Mistry started up TW Tyres & Autocare, which now employs more than 24 people at its site in Rugby and is still a family-run organisation. Mike Furner has always been a firm believer in customer service and, since day one, has striven to offer the best service possible. Now his efforts, and those of his staff, have been recognised, with TW Tyres picking up the Customer Care award in the Rugby Business Awards and Mike himself winning the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fleet decision-makers are failing to grasp the importance of managing occupational road safety with glaring holes in policies and procedures uncovered in a survey by Kwik-Fit Fleet. A nationwide survey of 162 fleet operators by corporate sales managers at Kwik-Fit Fleet, Britain’s largest independent fast-fit organisation, has uncovered a widespread failure to embrace best practice in numerous risk management issues.
Until recently, Bandag’s winter traction product range featured five treads. However, changes in winter driving conditions in the north of Europe prompted Bandag to develop a new winter traction tread that would be perfectly suited to the emerging requirements in this region; the BDR-W.
When Bandag was developing its new winter traction tread, it relied extensively on the expert advice of the best consultants in winter tyre technology: the end-users in the Nordic region who battle winter conditions for almost six months a year. In addition, research had highlighted a series of other needs and problems, which were also tackled in the development of the Bandag BDR-W.
End-of-Life Tyres Highlighted in Independent Report
Consumers reading the Independent have learnt details of the current End-of-life tyre (ELT) situation through an article published on 29 June. The article, which featured an interview with Tyre Recovery Association secretary, Peter Taylor, used DTI figures for setting the ELT scene – “48 million tyres, weighing 480,000 tons, were scrapped in 2004.” The Independent article reported that “around a quarter of old tyres are reused and around half are recycled in some way.”
Market observers agree that the Russian and Eastern European markets are not only interesting for Western manufacturers, but vice versa as well. However, this belief wasn’t reflected in the number of Russian exhibitors that were present at this year’s Reifen show. Polite visitors counted 1.5 Russian exhibitors in Essen. Those who see Vredestein as a Russian company now managed to count two. For Russian manufacturer Sibur-Russian Tires (SRT) the Reifen exhibition definitely was a required course, according to Igor Karavaev, strategy and business development director. Right now the Russian company is looking for a potential joint venture partner abroad and also wants to increase its exports to the European markets. Consequently, SRT’s stand mainly featured the latest flagship product - the new Cordiant brand.
No expense was spared when it came to the construction and presentation of the Nexen stand - both signs that Nexen wants to be to seen to be taking its image “up a gear.” Tyres & Accessories met with managing director, David Sul, and found out about the sales growth that is propelling the company’s promotional drive.
The scale of Nexen’s Essen stand, placed near the centre of Hall 3, was probably the most surprising thing about the exhibit. Not only was it just seconds away from most of the premium manufacturers, but the large stand featured a Nexen-shod Ferrari 430 Spider – a move that can only be interpreted as a suggestion that the company has increasingly high aspirations.
(Interestingly Hankook’s stand also featured a Ferrari 430)
Continental Makes Forbes “Global High Performers” List
Business analysts Forbes have published their Global 2000 High Performers list, featuring companies that stand out among the rest. Germanys Continental AG is featured in the consumer durables section and makes the list at number 403. It is the only European company in the top six of this category.
(Akron/Tire Review) The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) recently participated in Canadas national truck show – Truck World 2006 – as both a featured presenter and an exhibitor. Held at the International Centre-Toronto on Apr. 2-22, the event brought nearly 20,000 trucking industry senior executives, fleet managers, owner-operators and drivers.
Beginning this year, Bibendum the Michelin Man will once again serve as Michelins spokesman in the UK and Europe. Still funny and playful at 108, he is returning to centre stage in Michelin’s advertising — after several years absence — in a multi-media European campaign which started in late January 2006 and extending throughout the year. In the UK, the Michelin Man will be featured on radio, in magazines and newspapers, and on the Internet and in sales outlets.