With Cooper Tire Europe renewing attention on its Cooper brand, while also upping marketing efforts in general including on its Avon brand (see separate article in our June magazine's Company News section for more on this), here is a summary of the company’s current range including details of both brands’ line ups.
Motorsport plays a key part in how Cooper markets its performance tyres. Continuing support of the Cooper Tires British F3 series highlights the company’s ability to produce tyres that perform at the toughest limits and for 2013, Cooper is appearing in the FIA European Rallycross Championship, showing how the company’s tyres can perform in a range of conditions.
Every three years Bauma, the international trade fair for construction machinery, mining machinery, construction vehicles and equipment, takes place in the German city of Munich. The show also serves as a focal point for tyre makers, wholesalers and equipment suppliers serving the off-road segment. And although many within Europe’s tyre industry are not experiencing the best of times at the moment, most Bauma exhibitors were nevertheless in very high spirits and saw themselves, as companies active within the OTR tyre sector, as an “island of the blessed” surrounded by a highly contrasting situation in the passenger car and truck tyre markets. Many exhibitors expressed hope of once again experiencing sound growth within their market segments in 2013, yet one thing was clear: Everyone in the market realises that, in the long-term, real growth will only take place outside of Europe.
Michelin has begun its three-year commitment to the Dakar Rally as it means to go on, with its tyres fitted to victors in the Bike, Truck and – on the tyre manufacturer’s comeback to the category for the first time since its 2001 victory – Cars. The French tyre giant brought its Latitude C tyres for the Car class, the Bib Mousse-equipped Desert Race for Motorbikes, and the XZL for Trucks, showing the strength and versatility required for competitors to tackle the frequently punishing conditions encountered.
It has been quite a month for the forecasters. Not the weather forecasters mind you – although the winter weather that has sprinkled the UK and parts of Europe with a fresh dusting of snow will no doubt have kept them busy too – but rather the market forecasters. With ETRMA reporting that tyre unit sales fell off a cliff last year, Conti saying the market is likely to bottom out in 2013 and with other analysts predicting 2013 will be a good year for tyre retailers, what is on the horizon for the next 12 months?
Bridgestone Corporation has announced plans for its Bridgestone Asia Pacific PTE Ltd (BSAP) subsidiary to establish a technical centre in Thailand. The total investment of the project is said to be around 3.7 billion yen, with the opening pencilled in for July 2013.
After two consecutive years of modest growth in total tyre unit sales, European tyre makers are reporting double digits drops across the board in 2012. While previous market growth can be qualified by the fact that the increases came despite a decrease of ETRMA member market share, it is clear that the economic crisis is far from being over.
Infinity’s ‘Win a Bentley’ prize draw, which has been running between September and November, reached its finale last week. Working alongside its UK distributor, Bond International, Infinity Tyres held the final prize draw at Bond’s head office near York, where members of the Infinity Europe team including Jorge Crespo (Infinity’s European General Manager) and Clive Mansfield (Sales and Marketing Manager) joined with Steve Tidmarsh, Finance Director of Bond International and Paul Palmer of Savoy Tyres to host the day’s events.
The winners of a recent Pirelli promotion run in collaboration with Volvo recently enjoyed a day with Mithril Racing School at Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit. The promotion, which was run from July to September, enabled all Pirelli tyre purchases from the official tyre suppliers to enter the promotion. Six league divisions were set up by Volvo: five divisions for existing members of the programme and a sixth division was set up for dealers who were new to the scheme.
A row has broken out between Halfords Autocentres and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) over advertising relating to the cost of car servicing at franchised dealerships. The SMMT complained to Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about an advertisement at halfordsautocentres.com which highlighted apparent savings of up to 50 per cent on car servicing. The complaint was subsequently upheld by ASA who said the ad could not continue in the offending form.
Southampton based alignment equipment supplier, Supertracker is 25 years old this year and Tyres & Accessories visited managing director Trevor Lovesy and alignment specialist, Jerry Barker to celebrate the milestone. Having been established by Lovesy’s parents in 1987 the company has moved from a cottage industry needing to sell 26 units in its first year to a major supplier of alignment equipment to Kwik Fit. It is indicative of the company’s quick progress that 1987 actually saw 87 sales, with the first units manufactured in August.
Kings Road Tyres is 40 years old this year. While you could be forgiven for associating the more famous Kings Road in Chelsea with the Group’s name, it actually derives from the Richmond street of the same name, where what was Thames Haulage decided to get into the tyre business due to its large outlay on rubber for tipper trucks. Though it has evolved during the last 40 years from these beginnings to comprise divisions dealing with tyre wholesaling, tyre services and a retail outlet, the company places great emphasis on the continuity of its personnel. Indeed, KRT’s 40th anniversary as a company is also credit control manager, Barry Hill’s 40th year with the company, while the company’s owners – Commercial director Mark Cooper, Financial director Simon Lister and managing director Adrian Bader – have industry experience of over a century, much of which is with the KRT Group. The Group employs over 200 people, with a sales team of over 25 in Wholesale, over half of which has been with the company for 20 years. “KRT is where it is because of the continuity of people,” Bader says.
All charges against a former research scientist at the Bridgestone Americas technical centre in Akron have been dropped, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Xiaorong Wang, 50, of Hudson, Ohio, is "very relieved," his lawyer, Paul Adamson, told the newspaper.
Hankook is expanding its Europe Technical Centre (ETC) and will officially inaugurate its new facilities in Hannover this Friday. Hankook’s European R&D focuses on the development of tyres for the European markets as well as original equipment. According to the company, the expansion reflects the growing importance of Hankook’s OE supplies in Europe.
Bridgestone Corporation’s 2012 Mid-Term Management Plan (MTP2012) leaves little scope for misinterpreting the company’s aim. In its latest plan, announced 18 October, the Japanese firm states that its ultimate goal is to become the “undisputed world number one tyre and rubber company in both name and reality.” The plan covers the five years from the start of 2013 to the end of 2017, and Bridgestone says MTP2012 reflects “changes in the operating environment” since the formulation of MTP2011.”
Nexen’s Changnyeong factory, the tyre manufacturer's latest passenger car tyre production plant, officially opened on Tuesday 11 October. The factory has already been producing tyres since earlier in the year (as Tyres & Accessories reported in our July issue of the magazine, Company News, page 38). However, the latest event marks the symbolic start of serial production.