Several years ago, a large Chinese tyre maker expressed to us its confidence that it would supply original equipment tyres for Europe within a decade – the assumption being that its tyres would arrive on Chinese vehicle brands imported into the region. Keeping an eye on OEM deals in China thus provide insights into which tyres we may see as original equipment in the coming years.
Maxion Wheels and new joint venture partner, Dongfeng Motor Parts and Components Group, have held a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of their 22,000 square metre aluminium wheel plant in Suizhou, China. The ceremony took place on 6 June and was attended by government officials and company dignitaries, customers, suppliers and associates.
Maxion Wheels, the world’s largest wheel manufacturer, has entered into an agreement to form a new passenger car aluminium wheel joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Parts and Components Group, one of China’s largest automotive parts companies. The new legal entity, Dongfeng Maxion Wheels, will build a new two-million per year capacity plant in Hubei Province, China. Series production is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2020.
Aeolus became platinum sponsor of the Dongfeng Racing Team in the Volvo Ocean Race this season (2014/15), and now for the first time in in the Race’s 41-year history a Chinese team has won a leg. After leading the fleet virtually all the way from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China, over more than 5,000 miles of intense ocean racing, Dongfeng finally crossed the finish line in first place as the sun rose over Sanya (23:31:38 UTC) in a time of 23 days, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 38 seconds.
After a close fight in the race to Cape Town, tyre maker Aeolus has congratulated the Dongfeng team for crossing in second place at 15:22:48 UTC on 5 November, just 12 minutes and 4 seconds behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
Dongfeng skipper, Charles Caudrelier: “As a team we might not have much experience in the Volvo Ocean Race but my men know how to fight and they fight for every 1 per cent. I have a great team around me and for leg 1 we are really happy. We were not the favourites, we knew this, but I also knew we could do great things. I chose men that could fight.”
According to Greek mythology, Aeolus was the ruler of the winds, and for this reason Aeolus Tyres’ Western Europe general manager considers sponsoring a participant in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015 highly appropriate. At a press conference in the French seaport of Lorient, Thomas Wohlgemuth said the sponsorship deal with the DongFeng Racing Team had “set the sails towards the right direction” and will aid Aeolus in its goal of positioning itself at the apex of its business segment.