Reporting market trends for the month of June, Michelin notes that the current shortage of semiconductors strongly dampened recovery within the global automotive industry, which impacted upon sales of original equipment passenger vehicle and light truck tyres.
Nankang has launched a new winter tyre developed exclusively for the European cold season. The Winter Activa SV-4 will be available on the European market from the third quarter. The tyre will initially be available in 20 sizes from 13 to 21 inches. A second phase with additional sizes will follow during 2022.
Kevin Burke Tyres (KBT) has signed an initial three-year distribution partnership with Groupe Michelin brand BFGoodrich. The wholesaler will supply BFGoodrich tyres across the whole of Ireland until at least mid-2024 with the option to extend for a further two years. The deal covers BFGoodrich car, van, SUV and 4×4 tyres, all of which will be stocked for next-day delivery at KBT’s warehouse facility in Athenry, County Galway. The company has stocked “large quantities” of BFGoodrich tyres since 2015, it said, with the new deal representing the latest step in its developing relationship with the brand. The deal follows news from Great Britain that newly appointed UK BFGoodrich 4×4 wholesaler Micheldever Tyre Services has almost doubled its sales of the brand in the last year.
The significant decline in revenue for global tyre makers based on headwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic was felt most keenly by companies with the greatest exposure to the consumer vehicle tyre markets. (For the effects of the crisis on manufacturers, see our ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers in the Company section of our 75th anniversary special issue.) As many countries reduced private mileage considerably with working from home orders and travel restrictions – not to mention the negative effects of measures such as the UK’s MOT freeze, which removed a significant push factor in the market for much of 2020 – car tyre sales last year dropped considerably, though again there were big differences even within the EU27 and UK. Within car tyre segments there were significant differences in the depth of the contraction too. Broadly speaking, the higher value the segment, the better it tended to fare. Pirelli’s financial reporting for 2020, and the subsequent first-quarter growth in 2021, provide a good illustration of how higher performance segments provided increased resilience in these difficult times.
Earlier this month, Lotus revealed its latest sports car; the Lotus Emira. According to the company, it “delivers exotic supercar appeal in the sports car segment” and “above all, it looks like a Lotus”, while the design is “beautiful, timeless, memorable and modern.” Of course, what really interests this magazine are the wheels and tyres, and Lotus says that the Emira will have four 20-inch wheels. Standard tyre fitment is the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 available as an option. Lotus says that both tyres have been specially developed for the Emira by their manufacturers.
The Tyre Recovery Association has revealed one simple factor behind the increased expense of collection and recycling end of life car tyres; they are getting heavier. New analysis by Astutus Research reveals that the average weight of a car tyre is now seven per cent more that it was just five years ago. Several factors have recently combined to push up the cost of waste tyre collection.
The car tyres with the largest dimensions represented the segment least negatively affected by the pandemic and its lockdowns in Europe. While UHP tyre demand varied through the lockdowns of 2020 – as you might expect within a segment quickly trending towards 30 per cent of the entire European market – the negative trend was kept relatively under control. This was increasingly the case as you look further up the size range. Tyres & Accessories asked market analyst GfK to examine full-year panelmarket data, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, for the top 19” and above car tyre segment in calendar year 2020 versus 2019. The infographic on this page shows its characteristics, as well as the relatively mild effects of the last year on retail sales of the highest performance tyres.
STARCO is expanding its remit as distributor of the Kenda passenger car tyre range. It took on responsibility for these products in the Swiss market three years ago, and will now begin distributing Kenda passenger car tyres in Poland.
Six years ago, when Brazil introduced anti-dumping duties on car tyres imported from Ukraine, tyre maker Rosava withdrew from this market. It reports that it is now back, and following negotiations with a key player in Brazil’s tyre market will begin shipping 50,000 summer tyres a month.
A rare and valuable Toyota Supra Mk4 TRD 3000GT featured in a hit YouTube video has been fitted with Yokohama’s high performance Advan A052 tyres. With a view count over 900,000 in a few weeks, motoring journalist Mat Watson gives the striking Advan-liveried car and its tyres a thorough workout in a series of tests which showcase the car’s capabilities.
The Van den Ban Group (VDB) has added the new Gripmax SureGrip Pro Sport UHP summer tyre to its range. The modern, sporty pattern offers A-rated wet grip and availability in more than 40 size variations between 18 and 22”. The supplier says the tyre’s size range will ultimately be expanded to more than 130 SKUs.
The Nova Force Acro is the latest generation performance tyre from Leao Tire, a sub-brand of Linglong Tire. Tuned for “ultra-high performance luxury cars,” Linglong says the development of the tyre began with the extensive use of FEA simulation in the early product design stage. Using these methods to analyse and optimise overall tyre stress and strain distribution, Linglong says it improved the durability of the new Leao tyre.
Davanti Tyres launched its new flagship tyre, the ultra-high performance Protoura Sport, in early 2021. The brand says the development of the premium pattern complements its existing DX640 UHP product, giving drivers more choice within the range. “With Protoura Sport we have taken the latest in tyre engineering innovation and created a new benchmark in our UHP offering,” said Davanti’s development director, Gary Cross.
General Tire’s Altimax One S is the heritage-rich Continental group brand’s successor to the Altimax Sport, offering reliable dry performance, increased wet grip, and higher mileage due to its silica enriched rubber compound. The tyre is available in the UK from exclusive distributor Micheldever Tyre Services in a broad range of 15 to 20” sizes, approved for speeds of up to 186 mph.
Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd (Jiangsu General) has announced plans to invest 1.304 billion yuan (£143.888 million; 167.458 million euros; US$203.947 million) in the construction of “high-performance semi-steel radial tyre projects in Cambodia”.