We’ve emerged from lockdown into a market environment of rising raw material prices, a global imbalance of containers and exploding shipping costs, not to mention continuing port disruptions. These combined factors have already led to higher tyre prices and product shortages in some instances, but the extent to which customers are affected can be tempered by good stock management.
The growth of the construction and industrial sectors is currently faster than any other part of the private sector economy, says Kirkby Tyres, Speke-based distributor of OTR tyres. In order to support this growth, Kirkby adds that it is positioning itself to supply a comprehensive line-up of tyre patterns and applications to serve its customer base. While this growth is encouraging, wholesalers must contend with the unprecedented challenges currently affecting global supply chains, including long production lead times and increases in raw materials and shipping costs. Kirkby marketing director Michael Rosenthal tells Tyres & Accessories that these challenges are presenting a bottleneck to economic recovery. The wholesaler says it is working to reduce the impact of these challenges and support its customer base by replenishing its stockholding continuously and holding good stocks of the most common OTR tyre sizes.
Yokohama Off-Highway Tires’ Alliance brand has expanded its value segment portfolio with the introduction of a tyre for pivot irrigation systems, the Alliance 768 Value Plus. This new addition is available in three sizes – 11.2-24, 14.9-24 and 11.2-38.
Yokohama Off-Highway Tires Europe Middle East and Africa (YOHT EMEA) has announced across-the-board price increases of 4.5 to 5.5 per cent. An official statement specified that the first price increase of 4.5 to 5.5 per cent was implemented on 1 Jan 2021. The new pricing will apply to the entire portfolio of Yokohama Off-Highway Tires EMEA (including the Alliance and Galaxy brands) and will take effect from 1 April 2021.
Heavy equipment manufacturer Manitou has homologated the Alliance 585 tyre range as an option for its MLT NewAg telehandlers. The Alliance 585 is now available from the factory on MLT NewAg and NewAg XL ranges in size 460/70R24.
Yokohama Rubber’s off-highway tyre business, Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT), has unveiled a new corporate identity and corporate logo. The tyre maker says this new identity draws on the company’s century-old legacy while underlining YOHT’s own distinct space in the off-highway segment. As a result, the ATG trademark was phased out around the world as of 1 January 2021.
During the summer Alliance Tire Group began showing off its Agri Star II Alliance 372 Agriflex+ VF and lines. The first of these debuted at the LAMMA show in January, but both tyres came to market during the first corona lockdown. Tyrepress.com saw these products in action on a farm in Germany a couple of months back, but the UK’s second lockdown put paid to plans for a real-world 372 VF launch over here. So instead of togging up in extra-thick jackets and pulling on our wellies, on 1 December we headed over to the virtual farm and caught up with ATG and Kirkby Tyres, who exclusively distributes the Alliance brand in the UK and Ireland.
While the challenges of the pandemic to the light vehicle markets are familiar due to the day-to-day experiences of people around Europe, commercial, industrial and agricultural markets experienced different levels of lockdown, as many companies in these sectors worked hard to reinforce supply chains. In the tyre wholesale sector, this meant distributors of products and services to these segments needed to stay strong to supply the rubber that kept countries rolling. Michael Rosenthal, marketing director of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive distributor of off-highway tyre and wheel solutions, Kirkby Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories about the latest news from the Speke-based wholesaler.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. is set to build a new plant at Atchutapuram Industrial Park, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India to expand ATG’s (Alliance Tire Group) tyre production capacity. The new plant will have a daily production capacity of 55 tons (rubber weight), with planned capital investment totalling US$165 million. Construction will start in the third quarter of 2020 and the new plant is scheduled to come on line in the first quarter of 2023.
Visitors to the LAMMA show way back in January were amongst the first anywhere to see Alliance’s new standard tractor radial, the Agri Star II. The new tyre came to market a few months after this, but corona lockdowns got in the way of a more thorough launch – until now.
The Alliance brand has gained a strong position in certain segments of Europe’s agricultural tyre market. Alliance Tire Europe claims a leadership market share of up to 30 per cent for row crop applications and a 20 to 30 per cent share for implement applications. But Alliance’s primary ambition is to break into the tractor segment in a bigger way. In recent months it introduced a couple of products to support this drive.
AGCO has named Alliance Tire Group, Ltd North American Direct Materials Supplier of the Year during its 2020 online North America Supplier Event. Alliance was recognized by AGCO for “performance in cost, collaboration, innovation, account management, coordination and flexibility”. AGCO officials noted that Alliance – the only tyre supplier recognized during the event – exhibited strong coordination and alignment with AGCO and improved factory efficiency.
Alliance has introduced three new sizes for its 644 Forestar III tyre. The forestry tyre has earned an excellent reputation since its launch last year. The tyre has undergone extensive field tests against a premium forestry tyre competitor on a harvester in the Czech Republic and on a forwarder in Latvia. During the tests, customers were impressed with the overall performance of the Forestar 644, singling out the tyre’s traction and stability in challenging conditions. Alliance says the test results show that the tyre stands comparison with the premium competition, while offering value for money. The tyre is now available in sizes: 710/40-24.5, 710/55-28.5, and 780/50-28.5. These have been added to the previously launched sizes: 600/50-22.5, 710/40-22.5, 600/55-26.5, 710/45-26.5, 750/55-26.5, and 800/40-26.5.
The new Galaxy Mighty Trac ND is a freshly-developed L-4 tyre for skid steer loaders, which is designed to equally excel “on hard surfaces like roads or paved farm yards as well as sticky mud, loose sand, or snow”. The Galaxy Mighty Trac ND is available in sizes 10-16.5NHS and 12-16.5NHS. A 14-17.5NHS variant is currently under development.
From the start of 2020, all Galaxy solid tyres come with a five-warranty. Announcing this extended warranty, Alliance Tire Group (ATG) comments that the Galaxy solid range thus enjoys “one of the longest warranty periods in the industry.”