Giti Tire has launched its new mass-market European UHP tyre, the GT Radial SportActive 2. The second generation of the SportActive comes with a range of performance enhancements, particularly in wet conditions. The GT Radial SportActive 2 will initially be available in 14 sizes for rims from 16-20”, section widths from 205-275, series sizes from 35-55, and with speed indices of W or Y.
With the addition of the Cooper Tire business, Goodyear will return to the global number three ranking in passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyre volumes in 2021. After previously holding the clear number three ranking behind the world’s largest tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone and Michelin, Goodyear was joint third with Continental in both 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Goodyear fell behind Continental to fourth position in 2019 and 2020. Working on a pro forma basis combining original equipment and replacement market tyres, Astutus Research data reveals some interesting facts about the nascent conjoined organisation, with reference to their largest tyre business segment in terms of volume.
Summer tyre tests in 2021 have highlighted the sometimes dazzling qualities of the best performing tyre products. However, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub’s (ADAC) most recent test appears to have been particularly demanding. No tyre received ADAC’s top “very good” rating, and only five models were rated “good” over the two sizes tested – 205/55 R16 V and 225/50 R17 Y. There were some intriguing results at the top of the table. Falken confirmed its increasingly impressive performance of recent years by winning the 17” tyre test with its Azenis FK510 flagship UHP tyre. The Kumho Ecsta PS71 also achieved a “good” rating in the 17” test, while Continental group brand Semperit’s Speed-Life 3 achieved an overall result matching the Conti PremiumContact 6 in the 16” test. There was worse news for the 17” Firestone Roadhawk, which became the only tyre to receive an “inadequate” report.
Bridgestone has looked to the past, present and the future in developing its most comprehensive consumer tyre range to date, which is more simplified, sustainable and sportier than ever before. The tyre giant has achieved notable positive test results for its latest product range, which, in its words, has been simplified and revitalised in the past two years.
Common sense seems to dictate that when you tell the majority of the population to stay home, vehicle utilisation – and therefore tyre consumption – should be down across the board. And in a blunt sense the latest full-year panelmarket data from GfK, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, does show that this happened. However, the latest infographic from the automotive market data analyst also reveals a few more subtle patterns to consumer behaviour in the difficult 12 months of 2020, compared with the previous period. This article is available in Tyres & Accessories’ February issue.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Thierry Bolloré has announced that the Jaguar brand will be a 100 per cent electric vehicle marque by 2025. The announcement, which came as part of the company’s “reimagine” global announcement, also saw JLR initiate a journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039. Specifically, Jaguar and Land Rover will offer pure electric power, nameplate by nameplate, by 2030. By this point, in addition to 100 per cent of Jaguar sales, it is anticipated that around 60 per cent of Land Rovers sold will be equipped with zero tailpipe powertrains. At the same, executives emphasised the company’s British identity and sought to differentiate between its Jaguar and Land Rover flag brands.
Tyre retailer and car maintenance brand Point S is launching a new version of its exclusive brand summer tyre. It says the tyre offers better efficiency, safety and longevity. The company is keeping the branding of its house brand tyre line simple; the range is branded “Point S Tyres” and will include Summer, Winter and 4 Seasons patterns. The new Point S Tyres Summer replaces its Summerstar 3+. The company says it invested in research and development to achieve a range of performance improvements, including 7 per cent better rolling resistance, 5 per cent longer mileage, and 3 per cent shorter wet braking distances. The full Point S Tyres Summer range is rated B for wet grip in the European tyre label. The tyre will be distributed in the European, African and Asian markets.
Pirelli’s “power is nothing without control” strapline is well-known and apt. But, as we move further into the era of electric vehicles, should we be thinking: speed-ratings mean nothing without considering torque? In July 2003 my predecessor Peter Gardner published “Let’s torque speed ratings”, an editorial article that followed suggestions from within the tyre business that we reconsider what we mean by those letter values so-often tagged onto the end of tyre sizes. The discussion was specifically prompted by Stephen Marsh (then of Stapleton’s Tyre Services) who made the point that the power transference properites of millennial engines is as important as the absolute speed capability of tyres. In other words, when recommending products, the tyre business should be just as concerned about a vehicle’s torque demands as its top-speed capability.
Pirelli has introduced new Cinturato All-Season Snow Flake 2 and Cinturato P7 tyre ranges in a virtual event broadcast from Milan. The virtual launch also previewed the forthcoming Cinturato Winter, which will be released in time for the next winter season. As far as performance improvements are concerned, the new Pirelli Cinturato All-Season Snow Flake 2 (or Cinturato AS SF2 for short) stole the show, boasting a whopping 50 per cent increase in mileage performance compared with its predecessor.
The first tyre produced by Giti Tire to attain A grade wet grip and fuel economy on the EU label tyre has secured its second VW Group fitment in as many months. This time, the Skoda Karoq will roll off factory lines on the GitiSynergyH2 in size 225/55R17 97V. The mid-sized SUV joins the light commercial Volkswagen Caddy 5 in selecting the version of the new tyre, specially developed in cooperation with the VW Group. The tyre is due to receive its aftermarket launch in March 2021, and will replace the GitiSynergyE1 and GitiPremiumH1, with which Giti launched its brand in Europe in 2016.
Vredestein has launched its new Ultrac car tyre today, with a range of sizes between 15 and 18 inches suited to many of Europes biggest selling compact-medium sized cars. The tyre, the third Vredestein has launched during the pandemic, has been developed with full life cycle sustainability a key consideration. Yet the Ultrac’s performance in wet and dry conditions is also head and shoulders above its predecessor – the manufacturer says overall performance is 15 per cent better. In addition to its green credentials, the Apollo Tyres global R&D centre in Enschede, Netherlands focused on safety and comfort. As a result, the company’s flagship European brand calls the tyre’s performance “best-in-class”. Hosted by Formula 3 driver Vicky Piria, the tyre’s launch was streamed online in a virtual presentation suite, with chief technical officer Daniele Lorenzetti supplying insight into the development of the new tyre.
Vietnamese officials have interpreted the US Department of Commerce (DOC) anti-dumping investigation preliminary conclusions as “very positive” for Vietnam-produced car tyres. There was even hope that cooperative Vietnam-based tyre manufacturers Local newspapers read this mean Vietnamese tyre factories had been “cleared” by the investigation.
As we reported in January 2017, Onyx Group subsidiary Ceylon Steel bought Marangoni’s car tyre radial processes, technological know-how and production line from Marangoni Group subsidiary a few years ago.
Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.