Five months on from its groundbreaking ceremony, the first pictures from Shandong Jinyu Tire’s new Vietnam truck and bus radial tyre factory show the progress made so far. At its May 2020 event, Jinyu said the new tyre manufacturing plant would have an annual capacity of 2 million tyres in its first stage, supplying mainly European and North American markets. At its completion, due March 2024, Jinyu would have an annual capacity of 7 million TBR tyres, with a global sales footprint.
For hauliers, fuel consumption is of paramount performance and fuel is one of the major costs for fleets. Just how much of an effect tyres can have in keeping costs down was illustrated recently when tyres from Michelin’s X Line Energy range – designed for fleets seeking the lowest possible carbon footprint – were fitted to two Volvo trucks which have set new fuel efficiency records on demanding press road tests in the UK.
Hankook’s global launch of Laufenn brand commercial vehicle tyres, targeting the segment’s second tier, represents a substantial development for the company’s commercial vehicle tyre business. For the UK market in which Hankook is a leader in terms of sales, the initial nine Laufenn patterns cover more than 85 per cent of tyres in the market for goods and people transportation, as well as construction truck tyres. Most sizes also offer the three peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) marking for use in winter conditions. The Laufenn range was due to be presented in the UK at the Commercial Vehicle Show, before the Birmingham NEC event was cancelled due to the pandemic. Tyres & Accessories took the opportunity of the launch to speak to Guy Heywood, Hankook’s European marketing and strategy director for its truck and bus business, and UK sales director Paul Emery about the addition of Laufenn to the manufacturer’s European commercial vehicle tyre portfolio, Hankook’s position as a leading player in the segment, and its response to the coronavirus crisis and the financial headwinds emanating from the pandemic.
DSV Road Holding NV will continue to distribute Westlake commercial tyres in the Nordic region after the company extended its strategic partnership with a new five-year contract. The partnership began in 2016. DSV offers a wide range of Westlake Tyres covering truck, bus and trailer tyres and services in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Giti Tire has extended its Giti GAU867v1 all-position tyre range to size 215/75R17.5. The tyre is suitable for small ‘stop-start’ city buses and 7.5 tonne delivery vehicles within the growth market of urban transportation. The tyre replaces the established Giti GAR820 in this size.
John Sutch Cranes has confirmed it will specify Michelin tyres across its fleet of mobile cranes, tractor units, trailers and rigid trucks, after a trial set of Michelins covered more than twice the distance normally seen from the firm’s previous tyre of choice. The family business compared the performance of the 445/95 R25 Michelin X-Crane + tyres fitted to one of its three-axle Liebherr cranes, versus an identical crane doing similar work, but running on the same size tyres from another premium brand.
The launch of the second-line Laufenn brand onto the European commercial vehicle tyre market has rounded out Hankook’s offer to fleet customers. Offering a second tier brand – alongside a growing retreading programme via its Alphatread range – can both allow the manufacturer a more extensive product range to cater to each customer’s entire fleet, and also allow Hankook to capitalise on the growing interest in more value-oriented products. The new tyres, which give Laufenn itself impressive market coverage, also help to emphasise one of Hankook’s competitive advantages; the proportion of products under three years old in its TBR portfolio. The timing of the launch could also help to address the economic strife felt by the logistics sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Featured in the September issue of Tyres & Accessories, we spoke with Guy Heywood, Hankook’s European marketing and strategy director for its truck and bus business, and UK sales director Paul Emery about how the introduction of Laufenn will help to develop the tyre manufacturer’s commercial business in the UK and Europe.
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Goodyear has appointed Kate Norton sales general manager commercial UK & Ireland. She assumes the role after a decade-long career with Goodyear. Most recently she was head of sales capability Europe. Goodyear states that Norton has extensive knowledge of the industry. She has previously managed some of the company’s largest consumer accounts in the UK, bringing strong sales coaching skills to support the ongoing development of the commercial team.
Aeolus has launched its new NEO Urban D bus tyre in size 275/70R22.5. The tyre has been specially developed for the drive axle. Jeroen Vos, Aeolus product manager comments that the new addition “allows us to offer a complete range of tyres for city buses, in a variety of sizes and patterns.” The tyre is available in much of Western Europe via Heuver, which has distributed the brand since 2004.
Hankook Tyre UK has appointed Shane Kallaway as truck and bus tyre regional sales manager for the South West. Kallaway succeeds Richard Ettey who has retired. Ettey leaves a long career in the tyre industry, with more than twelve years’ service at Hankook, and 40 years with Goodyear Dunlop in various roles.
UK commercial vehicle production increased 23.9 per cent in June year-on-year, but this was not enough to mitigate first-half contraction in 2020. Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 4,144 vans, trucks and buses left production lines last month. The increase appears particularly strong because it follows a particularly weak June 2019, when output fell by more than half due to key model changeovers. Despite this production ramp-up, the first six months of 2020 saw total output decline by -24.8 per cent, on the same period in 2019, due to the pandemic lockdown of global markets.
Hankook has introduced a new line of Laufenn brand commercial vehicle tyres in the UK. With Laufenn the Korean tyre manufacturer targets the second tier of the market. Hankook initially launches Laufenn in the UK with nine patterns covering more than 85 per cent of tyres in the market for goods and people transportation, as well as construction truck tyres. Hankook adds that most sizes offer the three peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) marking for use in winter conditions. The Laufenn CV tyre range was due to be presented in the UK at the Commercial Vehicle Show, before the Birmingham NEC event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Giti Tire’s 2020 racing truck had a very successful debut at the Dekra EuroSpeedway Lausitzring in Germany. The new unit recorded two first and two second place finishes. The 11-12 July event was held behind closed doors with ten teams from the Dutch, British and FIA European Championship. The fully race-prepared and liveried MAN TGX 18.480 secured its four podium positions in two qualification and two reverse grid races.
The second quarter of 2020 provided the worst quarterly sales results in recorded memory, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) states. Publishing its members’ replacement tyre sales for the Covid-19 pandemic stricken quarter, ETRMA secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp said: “The tyre sector’s full recovery is still far away. For the moment, we can only hope for the market to stabilise in the second half of the year. Our outlook for 2020 remains bleak with a double-digit drop in sales expected across all segments.”