Larger capacity, increased comfort in the cabin and multi-terrain capabilities are just some of the reasons why motorists are continuing to choose SUVs when purchasing a new vehicle.
Indeed, SUVs and crossovers currently account for a third of the UK’s best-selling cars list of 2019 to date, with offerings from Nissan, Ford and Kia among the biggest sellers.
An analyst report published by Jefferies International Limited has stated that the closure of Michelin’s Dundee plant “supports [the company’s] intent to accelerate cost savings during 2019-20.” Presenting its nine-month 2018 results in October, Michelin warned that demand had deflated in the car and truck markets and it was revising down its guidance; subsequently Michelin shares fell to a seven-year low.
In the last few weeks, Apollo has initiated production at its new Hungary tyre factory and launched a brand new European truck tyre range (see Company News section pages 32 – 24); Doublestar has confirmed that it is the only remaining bidder in the race for 42 per cent of Kumho Tire (see pages 36 – 37); and as we went to press, Finnish tyre maker Nokian announced that it will build its third production plant, this time in the USA. All this points to what we might call a re-globalisation trend. Rather than businesses from the large so-called developed nations expanding around the globe, this second wave of international expansion sees the roles reversing to some extent. While before the Western nations were looking to invest in fast-growing “emerging” economies, now the proverbial shoe is on the other foot and large companies in what used to be called the BRIC nations are investing in more developed tyre markets.
Our neighbours in Germany are gearing up for the seasonal changeover to summer tyres, and every year this rush to swap to the warm weather rubber is accompanied by a rash of tyre tests. ACE and GTÜ were two of the first to release their comparative summer tyre evaluations, and now high-profile German motoring organisation the ADAC has published tests of two different tyre sizes – the smaller of the two tested dimensions is size 185/65 R 15 H, a tyre suitable for small and compact cars. The ADAC tested 16 tyres in this size.
The association representing the interests of four tyre majors in South Africa would like to see anti-dumping duties imposed on cheap tyres entering the country. The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), which acts as the ‘generic face’ of Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo in their dealings with government, the motor industry and the public, intends to petition the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) for protection against these imports.
The motoring public, states Bridgestone, has “a low understanding of tyres and little affinity with them,” and in many cases consider a tyre to be a round and black commodity typically acquired as a distress purchase. This point of view is unlikely to change unless drivers are more regularly exposed to tyre-related information, and therefore Bridgestone is currently striving to influence the people that may possibly influence you.
Tyrereviews data suggests mid-range is perceived as outperforming premium The tyre-buying public is most likely to repeat-buy mid-range tyre brands, according to data collected and compiled by consumer tyre rating website, tyrereviews.co.uk. The data, which is based on a total of 11,429 consumer reviews even goes as far as saying that consumers believe their mid-range […]
On 27 January the UK economy registered growth of 2.6 per cent in 2014. Of course it has not been the same across Europe, but with record new car registrations in the UK and 32 consecutive months of growth in that figure, you could be forgiven for asking why the UK tyre market came out as flat according to both the sell-in and sell-out measurements in 2014. At the same time it is important to set all this into its wider European context, something which this month’s analysis of the passenger car tyre market attempts to embark on.
A new habit in cost cutting measures by major transport companies in Australia is likely to come back to haunt them, according to independent industry expert, Brad Bearman, who says the revamping of tyre purchasing and management dynamics to save costs is highly likely to emerge further down the track as a higher expense.
“In general, a sizeable percentage of the larger transport companies are dropping links with the better-known tyre companies such as Michelin, Bridgestone and Beaurepaires for their supply and servicing,” said Mr Bearman. “Instead, they are purchasing tyres directly from non-traditional Asia-based producers and appointing inexperienced in-house tyre fitters in the false belief they will get better results. This is good in principle, but the real problems will emerge a little further down the track,” added Mr Bearman, developer of the world’s only software based Bears Tyre Tracker.
Interstate Tires, the premium budget tyre manufacturer has been an exhibitor at the Reifen show since 1996. At this year’s exhibition, Interstate will showcase its new, expanded range of products. With a product portfolio of more than 300 sizes of summer tyres and 280 unique sizes of winter, Interstate is now a true full line supplier.
Continental Tyres recently invited Mercedes-Benz World representatives and driving instructors to experience its Contidrom testing facility in Hanover, Germany. Utilising Contidrom’s 2km wet handling track, Continental set out to demonstrate the difference between premium and budget tyres on a Mercedes-Benz C-Class among other tests.
Claiming a UK and Irish truck tyre market first, Michelin has introduced a six-month accidental damage warranty with every replacement market purchase of its new X Works tyre before the end of May 2012. The tyre maker says it took the decision to introduce this warranty as it is “so confident” of the tyre’s robustness. Purchasers wishing to register their tyres under the free guarantee must either download the form from the X Works microsite at http://xworks.michelintransport.co.uk or contact their local Michelin account manager.
Independent sawmiller and leading timber supplier James Jones and Sons has switched its entire industrial machinery fleet to Michelin tyres on its Lockerbie Sawmill after recording tyre life gains. The 150 year-old firm Larbert, Stirlingshire firm’s Lockerbie Log Yard manager Iain Gale said it switched to the XZM tyres after using mostly budget fitments: “We had a few Michelin tyres on our forklift trucks, but on the whole we were buying according to price, thinking it would save us money. In fact, the reverse was true.”
What Car?’s tyre test team make a good point highlighting the differences between some premium and budget products in their recent tyre test. But it appears they went a step too far when they entitled the feature “why budget tyres could kill” lumping the three cheaper products (Arrowspeed, Ovation and Sunew) together in the their final conclusion. It might sound a touch pedantic, but the addition of the word “some” in the headline may have been fairer as this would have avoided generalising about the overall quality of tyres.
It didn’t take long after Tyres & Accessories reported on the tests on our daily e-Newsletter for the manufacturers involved to take up their right to reply. The Korean manufacturer behind Kwik-Fit’s popular Arrowspeed tyre brand arguably has the best case for disputing being tarred with the saw low-budget brush as the Ovation and the Sunew tyres.