Last weekend’s MotoGP of Valencia not only concluded the 2023 season – it also marked the end of the Dunlop era in this motorsport event. The tyre brand, which locally is part of Goodyear, has been represented in Grand Prix racing since 1949. Despite its departure, Dunlop has reaffirmed its “commitment to top-level and world championship motorcycle motorsport,” which remains a “key component of the brand’s DNA.”
Goodyear may have announced plans to close its Fulda and Fürstenwalde car tyre factories in Germany, but the tyre maker has confirmed that the Fulda brand will continue. Similarly, just a day after Goodyear announced that it is “pursuing strategic options” in relation to the sale of the Dunlop tyre brand as well as the company’s OTR tyres and Chemical businesses, Goodyear EMEA executives have reaffirmed their support for the Dunlop brand.
Following the news that Goodyear is planning to raise around $2 billion from the sale of Dunlop as well as its OTR tyre and chemicals businesses, the company revealed further details during a follow-up conference call. The financially biggest part of the recently-unveiled Goodyear Forward business transformation plan is the proposed sale of Dunlop, OTR tyre and chemicals business. Goodyear estimates that these areas are worth around $0.7 billion, $0.7 billion and $1 billion respectively.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is unveiling its “Goodyear Forward” transformation plan, which – precipitated by the now infamous Elliott letter – is designed to – “optimize its portfolio, deliver significant margin expansion and reduce leverage to drive sustainable and substantial shareholder value creation”. First off, that means generating “gross proceeds in excess of $2 billion” from pursuing a “strategic alternatives for its Chemical business, the Dunlop brand and the Off-the-Road equipment tyre business.” The business will also continue with a new CEO following the parallel announcement of the retirement of current CEO Richard J. Kramer.
In mid-October Tyres & Accessories visited the Goodyear EMEA headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to hear more about exactly how executives are leading the business through its recent tumultuous times. The group of executives Tyres & Accessories met with specifically included David Anckaert, Goodyear EMEA vice-president, consumer; and Troy Scully, vice president, communications and public affairs EMEA. The topics we covered included business transformation, manufacturing optimisation and brand reorganisation. The full article is published in the November edition of Tyres & Accessories, but here’s a brief preview of that detailed response.
This article is a preview of the full interview that will be published in the November edition of Tyres & Accessories magazine. Not a subscriber? No problem, click here to become one.
Several Masters Historic Racing series will compete on Goodyear and Dunlop tyres under a new long-term tyre supply agreement between the tyre maker and UK-based race organiser. Goodyear says this agreement builds on longstanding relationships between Masters and its Dunlop and Avon brands and marks the reintroduction of the Goodyear name into several championships, including events for Formula 1 and 24 Hours of Le Mans cars.
This year will be the first time the Dunlop and Avon brands share exhibition space at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, following The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in 2021. While Dunlop is scheduled to “showcase its strongest range yet,” Avon will “focus on key designs” with a range that “still offers” its “most popular products” alongside the Dunlop portfolio.
In addition to evaluating the performance of 16 winter tyres in size 225/45 R17, European motoring clubs ADAC, TCS and ÖAMTC have tested a further 16 in size 205/60 R16, a dimension primarily worn by smaller SUVs. The test team fitted the tyres to a VW T-Roc and appraised their performance in dry, wet and wintry conditions as well as for environmental and sustainability-related factors such as noise, wear and rolling resistance.
Dunlop will be title sponsor to all classes of motorcycle racing series Campionato Italiano Velocità (CIV) from 2024. Under the multi-year agreement, every rider in each CIV class will race on Dunlop tyres, extending the supply arrangement seen in the flagship superbike class for the past two seasons and longer in a number of other categories, including Moto3 and Pre-Moto3.
One in every five new vehicles on South African roads runs on Dunlop tyres and the Sumitomo Rubber South Africa production facility in Ladysmith supplies original equipment tyres to Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu, Hino, Tata, Scania and UD Trucks. Backed by parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the local subsidiary has announced a “multi-billion rand investment project” to meet demand from OEMs.
National Tyre & Wheel Limited (National) is to become the exclusive distributor of the Dunlop tyre brand in Australia and New Zealand. Wholly owned subsidiaries of the importer and wholesaler signed agreements with Goodyear and Dunlop Tyres (Aust) Pty Ltd and Goodyear & Dunlop Tyres (NZ) Limited on 20 September.
MXGP riders on Dunlop tyres continued their run of success in 2023 with victories in MXGP, MX2 and WMX at Arnhem in The Netherlands. Romain Febvre took his sixth overall FIM Motocross World Championship victory of the season with a second and first place finish in the two Sunday races. Over the weekend, riders used Dunlop’s latest Geomax MX34 front and Geomax MX14 rear tyre to handle the soft, sandy surface of the Arnhem track. Dunlop works with some of the fastest motocross riders to develop the next generation of motocross tyres. Wim Van Achter, motorsport manager, Dunlop, said the riders’ success “demonstrates the performance and quality of Dunlop’s motocross range.”
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd achieved lower profit in H1 2023 despite increasing sales and operating profit. The company has nonetheless upwardly revised its full-year profit forecast from 21,000 million yen to 23,000 million yen (£127.1 million, US$162.2 million).
Dunlop has added the new Geomax MX34 to its championship-winning Geomax motocross range. The versatile MX tyre contains several innovations that build on its acclaimed predecessor, the manufacturer says, offering increased grip and consistency on a range of intermediate surfaces. The new tyre is available from July 2023 in 17 sizes, sitting between the Dunlop Geomax MX14 for sand and mud performance and the intermediate to hardpack-focused Geomax MX53.