Carbon fibre is part of the construction of the new Goodyear Eagle(R) featuring ResponsEdge Technology™, which will be available to consumers in May. With threadlike strands of carbon that are strong and flexible, carbon fibre is a substance that weighs much less than steel of similar strength. As a woven composite fabric, it is increasingly used in high-tech racecars and jet planes.
In the new Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology, the outboard sidewall of the tyre is reinforced with a high-tech carbon fibre insert that provides stiffness for responsive handling and steering precision. Combined with conventional tyre construction on the inboard sidewall, the ResponsEdge tyre delivers a smooth, comfortable ride.
When Tyres & Accessories visited the Kumho stand at last week’s Autosport show it was a hive of activity – an achievement that is no mean feat considering it was press day. The centre of attention was Modern Tyre Service/Kumho Tyres’ announcement that the leading Northern Irish retailer would sponsor Irish Tarmac Rally Champion Eugene Donnelly.
January’s Aftermarket Show will “depict all the key sectors of the UK aftermarket,” say organisers, with exhibitors present from each target area.
More than 50 exhibitors will service the event’s chosen visitor categories including: Accessory retailers, motor factors, distributors, independent garages, fast-fits, body shops and franchises. In addition to repeat exhibitors from previous years, The Aftermarket Show has attracted new companies, from each sector of the aftermarket industry.
The Indian Ministry of Consumer affairs, Food & Public Distribution is considering branding automotive tyres with the “ISI” mark. The move is expected to be implemented from 1 April next year. While tyre manufacturers are reported to have welcomed this move, the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers Association (SIAM) has raised objections.
CGS Tyres has presented a new tyre brand for agricultural products at the Agritechnica, exhibition in Hanover. In effect the moves equates to the re-branding of its Uniroyal products under the Semperit moniker. According to CGS, the Semperit brand is characterised in particular by an excellent price/performance ratio.
(Akron/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America (CTNA) has entered into a joint marketing partnership with Wholesale Tire and Wheel Corp., North American marketers of the Giovanna custom wheel line. In the deal, CTNA will introduce a special limited edition ContiSportContact 2 Giovanna tyre. The new tyre will be launched at next week’s SEMA Show, and will be available in sizes 265/30ZR22 and 295/25ZR22.
From 1 January 2006, Tanvic Tyre Distributors Ltd and We Sell Tyres (Wholesale) Ltd will come together to form The Tanvic Group Ltd. The most significant change will occur when Newark-based TS Wholesale re-brands under the We Sell Tyres (wholesale) name before the end of 2005. Tanvic Spares Ltd will remain a separate company.
Newark based Tanvic Tyres is planning to make “wholesale” changes to its operation. In order to streamline the business and improve efficiency, from 1 January 2006, Tanvic Tyre Distributors Ltd and We Sell Tyres (Wholesale) Ltd will come together to form The Tanvic Group Ltd.
The major change will occur when the Newark based TS Wholesale re-brands under the We Sell Tyres (wholesale) name before the end of 2005. Tanvic Spares Ltd will remain a separate company.
(Akron/Tire Review) Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is set to open a new 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Grand Prairie, Texas. The new facility, said Cooper, will improve its service to customers in the Southwest, South and Midwest regions of the US.
The Aftermarket Show has signed up a number of new exhibitors say organisers, as the campaign to book potential exhibitors is intensified.
One of the new exhibitors includes Beissbarth UK. Managing director, Philip Hodges, said: “As a supplier of automotive service equipment to garage workshops, we believe that The Aftermarket Show is the ideal avenue for us to unveil and demonstrate our next-generation products to the garage and consumer.
“The event has some very exciting plans for its ongoing development and we are determined to play an active role in this, championing the cause for the garage equipment sector.”
National BEN Week raised over £18,000 for our less fortunate colleagues last year, thanks to the ‘£99 for 99 years’ campaign that the charity adopted. Hundreds of industry members took part by holding their own fundraising activities ranging from raffles and dress down days to cycle rides and other sponsored events. This year, to celebrate a century of care and support for the automotive and related industries, BEN will be bringing back the campaign but re branding it as ‘£100 for 100 years’ for National BEN Week, which runs from 18-24th July (inclusive of BEN’s actual birthday, 19th July).
BEN wants even more industry members to get behind the campaign this year and raise a minimum of £100, either by holding a fundraising event or simply by sending in a donation, so that we can reach our target of £100,000 for BEN’s 100th birthday. However, as fundraising can be quite daunting, BEN has put together a fundraising pack, a comprehensive guide to planning and putting on events, sponsored activities and other fundraisers. Included in the pack are items such as the A-Z of fundraising, which is full of interesting ways to raise money, legal information and even posters and press release templates.
The UK fast fit sector has long had an enigmatic player in the shape of Hi-Q. Even without the coming together of Motorway and Hi-Q the brand was substantial and widespread across the UK thanks to a blend of equity and partnership units. However, unlike its rivals, Hi-Q suffered from a raft of management, branding and performance problems. Even the relatively small Central Tyre operation could offer a standardised branding and a certain level of uniformity of image and service across its domain. Hi-Q was, by comparison, a sleeping giant. It was an operation that needed organisation, it needed a good shakedown and sort out. It needed someone capable and prepared to turn it on its head, shake out all the loose change from its pockets and put it back on its feet.
That was a view taken, not only by spectators but by people higher up the feeding chain in the parent Goodyear organisation. As Goodyear and Dunlop were brought together, so too were all the group operations and this led to, in Hi-Q/Motorway, a complicated and divisive structure where there were dual brands, in both truck and car, there were multiple sales teams and, to quote Graham Scholefield, the man brought in to head up the revitalised Hi-Q, “The main task was to create cohesion in the business, give everyone a sense of direction; and improve communication and motivation.”
Graham Scholefield has a considerable length of experience in corporate retailing, initially with House of Fraser and then with Kwik-Fit, holding powerful positions in both organisations. When CVC bought Kwik-Fit Scholefield was looking at finding another outlet for his retailing skills. When the option of taking on Hi-Q came up, he realised that the task offered him a real challenge, not only that but turning Hi-Q from the sleeping giant it was into the powerful retail operation it should be, would be realising untold potential. “I could see the potential of Hi-Q,” says Scholefield, “here was a massive asset under-utilised, under-performing, but with all the elements of a first class retail operation. I could see this was a business I could feel passionate about and that I could really use my retailing skills to develop its full potential.
“The coming together of Goodyear and Dunlop had created a great deal of uncertainty. The business was fragmented by old loyalties and structures. For a considerable time people didn’t know what was happening, where the future lay, and there was talk of the Equity being sold off. The perceived wisdom now is that tyre manufacturers should manufacture tyres. There was a period when they tried to control the whole chain through to the end user, but despite the obvious advantages the Equities were often usually the agents of the tyre manufacturer and sold what the manufacturer told them to sell. These were issues that had to be addressed. The difficulty of the disjointed management was one met by restructuring the business, but this could only be done once there was a commitment to the retail operation.
“Fortunately the new Goodyear Dunlop management could see merit in the retail operation and the decision to divest was reversed. We knew that there was confusion about who Motorway and Hi-Q were and what they each did. We needed to clear the clutter and create a cohesive approach. It was clear though that what was needed was a single organisation. The choice was made to re-brand the whole retail operation as Hi-Q, as that was the stronger of the two brands and the brand used for our strategic partner network. That re-signing and re-branding operation was completed by December 2003.”
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has named three key senior appointments, effective 1st May, as a result of a realignment within the Tire Group to better focus on target markets. Harold C. Miller has been named President, International Tire Division – he joined Cooper in March 2002 as vice president, corporate planing and control. D. Richard Stephens becomes President, North American Tire Division. His Cooper career spans 26 years and has been president of Cooper Tire since December 2001. Patricia J. Brown takes up the newly-created post of Vice President, Global Branding and Communications, after a Cooper career of nearly 36 years, latterly as vice president, advertising and communications.
Michelin is to raise its stake in Apollo Tyres from 14.9 per cent to 26 per cent over the next 15 months. The investment will happen when Apollo expands its passenger car radial manufacturing capacity. The two companies in the joint venture have also finalised their branding policy – while truck and bus tyres will carry both brand names, individual brands will be used for passenger car tyres. Michelin car radials will be positioned at a premium over Apollo-branded tyres to avoid any cannibalisation.