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.
Fintyre Group employee pay ‘coming’, restarting business operations a priority
All 16 companies in the German Fintyre Group have now applied to open insolvency proceedings. But what lies ahead for the 1300-plus employees awaiting wages and salaries, the affected companies’ creditors, and the companies themselves? Sebastian Brunner, spokesman for Miguel Grosser, the provisional insolvency administrator at law firm Jaffé, told our sister website in Germany, Reifenpresse.de, that approximately 200 Reifen Krieg employees will receive their outstanding January wages and salaries in the coming days. Business at the group’s wholesalers and retailers is largely at a standstill, though the office of the provisional insolvency administrator has some more positive news on this too.
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.
Why sensorisation means ADAS and ADAS means calibration equipment
As the road to autonomy continues, companies such as Tesla, Uber, Ford, and Toyota are putting an increased emphasis on reaching the ultimate goal of ‘Level 5’ autonomous vehicle operation. With self-driving cars becoming closer to reality, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are rapidly becoming commonplace in modern cars. Today, an increasing number of vehicles are equipped with ADAS, featuring collision avoidance, autonomous braking in emergencies, cruise control, and self-parking. Moreover, several safety organizations are lobbying governments to mandate at least two types of ADAS in all new vehicles. As of 2022, new safety technologies such as advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS) and forward collisions warning systems (FCWS) will become mandatory in vehicles in the US and Europe. With this in mind and following the publication of “ADAS Calibration Equipment Market” by Future Market Insights, Tyres & Accessories got in contact with one of the report’s writers, Alice Ajit Mutum, in order to find out more. According to her Future Market Insights biography, Mutum is an experienced market research writer and has written extensively on the industrial automation and equipment, and automotive domains.
The Klarius case and the future of exhausts in an electric vehicle world
On 3 December 2019, Manchester Crown Court cleared five current and past directors and managers of Klarius Products Ltd of charges of selling non-typed approved catalytic converters. Following the news of the Klarius directors’ acquittal, Tyres & Accessories got in touch in order to find out the inside line of what happened in and around the case.
ZSL: Global natural rubber production lacks transparency
Global natural rubber production lacks transparency and the necessary sustainability commitments to protect both people and wildlife, according to an analysis of the natural rubber industry undertaken by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London). ZSL assessed 15 of the “most significant” natural rubber companies and calculated an average score of just 35 per cent on SPOTT (Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit).
Goodyear and Halfords moves represent the virtualization of the tyre distribution chain
The ongoing effects of import tariffs, Brexit uncertainty and structural changes in the distribution chain have all affected the tyre business this year. As well as featuring the latest motorsport news and covering market developments in our regular features, this month’s Tyres & Accessories focuses on a number of key examples of changes in the marketplace in our Review of the Year feature. But one trend stands out above the others – virtualization. In short, increasing moves towards electric and autonomous vehicles (complete with their inherent sensorisation tendencies), coupled with changes in vehicle (and tyre) ownership models such as MaaS (Mobility as a Service) are driving changes in the tyre market that are resulting in the virtualizing of parts of the distribution chain.
Decennial shift in global PCLT tyre volume market share
The latest global tyre market share figures from tyre industry analyst Astutus Research show how long-established, leading players headquartered in Japan, Europe, and North America have seen their volume share diminish, while Chinese, ASEAN, and selected other markets’ tyre manufacturers’ share has risen. The analyst states that in aggregate, the ten leading PCLT tyre manufacturers based in Japan, Europe and North America (J-E-NA) have lost almost 6 percentage points of market share since the end of 2011 (OE and replacement segments combined, volumes in tyre units). In part this reflects a strategic choice of some to focus on the higher value premium segments of the market.