Continental has relocated its replacement market PLT (passenger and light truck tyre) and (CVT) commercial vehicle tyre business operations for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from the company’s headquarters site in Hanover, Germany to Dubai. This shift relates to the 29-country region’s marketing, sales, customer services and controlling functions.
The 24H Dubai is currently taking place, and for the first time ever, Hankook Tire is serving as title sponsor and exclusive tyre partner to the event. Qualifying and night practice for the race began yesterday, with the Hankook 24H Dubai 2015 race itself getting underway at 1.30pm local time (9.30am GMT/UTC). This season-opener in the United Arab Emirates doubles as the flagship event and curtain-raiser for the ‘24H Series powered by Hankook,’ which was recently granted official international series status by the FIA.
Here in Europe and in other major markets such as Japan, Korea and the US tyre labelling has been the subject of intense discussion for some time. However, if the local news reports are anything to go by, the UAE appears to be taking the concept to the next level with the introduction of smart RFID “tags” which feature both an RFID chip and visual label including a QR code.
Dunlop motorsport representatives have sought to clarify that the Dubai 24h, which Hankook recently took over as tyre supplier, has been affected by the decision to closure the company’ Birmingham motorsport tyre factory.
Apollo Tyres has announced plans to enter the growing Qatar tyre market in the Middle East region. According to the company, the market entry was marked with a product introduction to the Business Partners in Qatar, in the presence of Indian Ambassador to Qatar, H E Shri Sanjeev Arora, late evening yesterday.
Infinity Tyres and exclusive UK supplier Bond International have presented racehorse Gatewood, its jockey William Buick, owner George Strawbridge and trainer John Gosden with a £20,000 prize and a custom-made Arabic coffee pot trophy flown in from Dubai in York’s Winner’s Enclosure. The horse won the 2012 Infinity Tyres Stakes, the first race of the 2012 horse racing season at York racecourse, and the brand’s European general manager, Jorge Crespo and Bond managing director, Reg Bond were in attendance to present the prizes.
Jean-Louis Schlesser won the 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for a record-breaking sixth time on Cooper’s Discoverer STT tyre. Cooper says the tyre excels in these extreme conditions, with an aggressive tread pattern and tapered stone ejectors, which help prevent stones and debris lodging in the tread, keeping them clear and maintaining traction. Schlesser’s victory meant he took the overall points lead in the 2012 FIA World Cup Cross-Country Rallies Championship.
Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), the body responsible for taxis within the emirate, has signed a taxi tyre supply contract with the Al Dobowi Group. The two-year deal, valued at AED 10,558,195 (£1.8 million) deal, was signed by Al Dobowi executive director Harjeev Khandari and Yousef Al Ali, acting CEO of the Dubai Taxi Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Al Dobowi will supply Hankook tyres for and undertake tyre maintenance on Dubai’s taxis.
The Kumho Asiana Group has appointed Kim Chang-kyu the new chief executive officer and president of Kumho Tires, effective 1 February. Kim, whose career within the Kumho group of companies began in 1977, previously served as president and CEO of Kumho company Asiana IDT, a position he’d held since April 2009. Other prior roles within the company include president and CEO of Kumho Trading and president and CEO of Kumho Resort. Kim’s previous experience within Kumho’s tyre business includes roles within Kumho Tires’ export/specialty sales/overseas division between February 1991 and the end of 2000 and with Kumho Tires Dubai between 1984 and 1991.
Mr. Kim replaces Kim Jong-ho, who has retired.
The battle of the supercars in the Dunlop Dubai 24 hour race is made possible by the frenetic activities of tyre-fitters in the pit lane, which the headline sponsor and tyre supplier calls “the world’s busiest fast fit centre”. During the 24 hour race, the Dunlop team fitted over 3500 racing tyres. At peak times, during the opening stages of the race when all the cars were competing, the team was fitting, inflating and balancing a Dunlop tyre every 15 seconds.
The Infinity Tyres Foundation has donated funds to the Indian High School of Dubai (IHS) to “help develop its infrastructures and broaden its programme of scholarships”. The Foundation said the funds were “intended to reinforce our interest in the future leaders of tomorrow and our strong commitment to making a better and fairer society”. Infinity hopes that its donation will allow the school to decrease student fees and award generous scholarships.
Al Dobowi, one of the leading tyre companies in Dubai, has inaugurated the first Hankook Masters Shop in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Al Dobowi, the official distributor of Hankook tyres in the (UAE) cooperated with Hankook Tires, Dubai in the completion of this project. The first Hankook Masters UAE branch is located within the premises of Grand Service Station, Dubai.
The organiser of the Dubai International Motor Show has announced the signing on as Continental Tyres as “official tyre” for this November’s show. This is the first time the Middle East’s largest motoring event has had an official tyre sponsor.
Those living in the seven emirates that make up the UAE – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain – are certainly no strangers to high temperatures. While the mercury rose to 47 degrees Celcius and above this summer, pressures caused by the global economic crisis, which triggered a local property collapse in its wake, have also put the heat on the domestic new tyre and retreading markets. Tyres & Accessories recently visited to the country’s largest Emirate by population (Dubai) to learn more about the local and regional retreading and new tyre markets.