McGill’s Buses has extended its 19-year relationship with Michelin, signing a new Effitires contract with the Michelin Services and Solutions team to cover its entire fleet of single and double deck buses. At the end of last year McGill’s acquired Xplore Dundee from National Express, making it the UK’s largest independent bus operator – running 650 vehicles from depots across Scotland and employing 1,200 members of staff. Michelin has been supplying and managing the business’s tyres since 2002.
Michelin has supplied five sets of 12.00 R20 Michelin XZY2 truck tyres to Co Down-based Mulgrew Haulage, for fitment to a fleet of classic vehicles being restored by the family-owned transport company.
Michelin has added 315/80 R22.5 X Multi Energy Z (multi position) and X Multi Energy D (drive) fitments to its regional truck tyre range. As a result the manufacturer’s range focused on fuel-saving now offers two of the most popular sizes in the UK and Irish heavy truck market. The manufacturer said the tyre targets regional or national haulage operations with a high priority on sustainability, the new sizes are available now, alongside the popular 315/70 R22.5, first launched in 2018, for the original equipment and replacement markets.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has reported that exports to the EU going through British ports in January fell by 68 per cent compared to the same month last year. An article in the Observer newspaper said that the fall was mostly down to problems caused by Brexit.
Towards the end of last year, Linglong Tire announced it would bring its new Hubtrac tyre brand to Europe. The tyre maker also intends to sell this commercial range in the USA, taking advantage of its production site in Thailand and under-construction facility in Serbia to avoid the country’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese products.
Hankook Tyre UK has appointed Jon Cottrell as UK commercial sales manager. He follows on from Paul Emery who was promoted to UK sales director earlier in 2020. Cottrell has a career spanning more than twenty years in the tyre industry, including spells with Bridgestone, Goodyear Dunlop, Mitas, and most recently Apollo Vredestein. Hankook says he will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the commercial sales department within Hankook Tyre UK. This includes the expansion of both the Laufenn and Alphatread ranges, contributing to the overall growth strategy.
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.