Winter is a dangerous time to be on the roads even for the most experienced of drivers. However, TTC, the truck and trailer component distribution arm of the Unipart Group, says it has the essential winter products and tips to help you stay safe. The company advises that, before you drive, you should ensure that you have the essential winter products in case you get caught in the snow. Some of the products that TTC offer include: high visibility jackets, rock salt, and traditional brown rock salt for winter de-icing, heavy duty snow shovels – both small and large, salt bins in 110ltr and 130ltr sizes and snow chains.
Nokian sales and profits are down 5.7 and 18.4 per cent respectively for the first half of 2013, the company has reported. However the second quarter has been increasingly strong for the company, with net sales totalling 419.1 million euros 1.3 per cent up on the second quarter of 2012. President and CEO Kim Gran said that the company had been strong in the Nordic countries and Russia particularly during this period, and Nokian expects growing winter tyre demand – playing to the company’s strengths – in these countries and in central Europe during the rest of the year.
New research and data released by a leading automotive remanufacturer, has uncovered the top ten strangest DIY repair attempts on cars; including a man who attempted to use bubblegum to fix his car radiator and a woman who replaced her car door locks with heavy duty padlocks.
Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH and Japanese firms GS Yuasa International Ltd and Mitsubishi Corporation have agreed to work together on the next generation of high-performance lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are fundamental for future forms of mobility, including plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles. The companies’ stated aim is to use advanced cell management and progress in electrochemistry and materials to significantly increase energy content. This will reduce weight and space requirements, and increase the range of electric vehicles.
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A recently-issued report on the effect of winter on drivers says that a combination of more frequent and more extreme weather events will mean drivers having to change their habits and expectations.
A report for the RAC Foundation concludes that although councils and the Highways Agency responded well to the recent periods of snow and ice, changing weather patterns mean strategy will have to shift from one of trying to change the conditions to one of coping with them. One of the report's recommendations is for more advice for drivers on the benefits of fitting winter tyres.
Earlier this year US firm Kiene Diesel Accessories – whose products are distributed in the UK by Liftmaster Garage Equipment – introduced a new adapter for its K-1350 Wheel Grabber. This “Extender” allows a technician to safely remove seized wheels from vehicles on a floor lift.
With half of all tyres sold through tyre specialists, this is clearly the most influential route to market for tyre suppliers. Within this segment the balance of power is divided between a relatively small number of nationally influential retail chains and large numbers of smaller operators. In fact, according to the Tyre Industry Federation Factbook 85 per cent of tyre specialists operate from a single outlet. At the same time we have all been dealing with the financial effects of general economic upheaval. All this makes insights into the ebb and flow of the tyre retail sector all the more valuable.
Roughly half of the 30 million-odd tyres sold to UK motorists each year are delivered through tyre specialists, a figure that is broadly comparable with figures across Europe. And while there are some noteworthy differences between the structure of the UK tyre market and mainland Europe in general, perhaps the most interesting details are to be found within this 50 per cent. That’s why in this month’s retail chains/buying groups feature Tyres & Accessories considers the state and make-up of the sell-out market and releases the details of latest top 20 tyre retail chains survey. As well as our own research we consider data compiled and analysed by four well-known third-party research firms, however for commercial and confidentiality reasons we aren’t citing the sources individually each time they are mentioned. Instead this year’s retail report analyses their input and presents our view of the consensus.
Bridgestone’s decision to open a tyre manufacturing plant in Russia is likely to result in more intense competition between the non-domestic tyremakers in general as well as Nokian in particular. The news also appeared to dash hopes that Bridgestone (Nokian’s biggest single shareholder) might buy it out at some point (see below).
Now that Bridgestone has shared details of its plan to build a passenger car tyre ready to produce tyres in 2016, the race is on to assess the impact of the move on the current market situations. Indigenous tyremakers such as Nizhnekamskshina aside, there are two reasons why this announcement means more intense competition than ever between the likes of Pirelli, Yokohama, Continental and especially Nokian (for which Russia is a key profit centre) and Bridgestone.
Even though car service portals are being accepted only hesitantly, they still have a remarkable effect already today and the online booking of auto-services is beginning to enter the imagination of motorists across Europe. According to German research firm Wolk After Sales Experts, the concept has now “become imaginable” to many car drivers and the finding forms the basis for a new study named “After Sales Goes Online“, conducted by the automotive consultancy.
McConechy’s Tyre Services, one of Scotland’s oldest and largest independent garage chains, has joined the road safety organisation TyreSafe. Mainly active north of the border, McConechy’s also has five branches operating across Yorkshire under the Gordon’s Tyres banner. “With an established presence across the whole of Scotland, we’re delighted to welcome on board McConechy’s as our latest member,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
Italian elastomer firm Versalis and guayule biomass specialist Yulex Corporation have announced the formation of a strategic partnership to manufacture guayule-based biorubber materials. Within the partnership, the companies will launch an industrial-scale production complex in Southern Europe.
New research commissioned by Green Flag Breakdown reveals Brits have missed 51.4 million working hours in the last week as a result of the poor weather conditions. Over 8.5 million (18 per cent) British adults have been unable to work their contracted hours because of the adverse weather, costing employers an estimated £318 million.