Speedline Truck has added the SLT 3698 to its range of forged light alloy wheels. According to the company, the SLT 3698 is the first forged light alloy truck wheel in 22.5 x 9.75-inch to meet the more “extreme” needs of megatrailers.
5 November saw the inaugural virtual Tyre Industry Conference, with Tyres & Accessories bringing the traditional annual conference into the virtual arena due to Covid-19 restrictions. Produced in association with the NTDA and supported by Cam Systems, our expert panel was comprised of James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, sales general manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear. The wide-ranging 45-minute conversation covered a lot of bases, but the first session, which was designed to focus on the new tyre market’s recent trends and statistics began with a presentation from James Ward.
Following Continental’s 5 November recall of roughly 12,000 Continental and General brand passenger vehicle tyres sold to vehicle manufacturers and the North American replacement markets, company representatives have confirmed that the UK and European markets are not affected. Continental estimates that approximately 39 of the 12,000 tyres recalled in the USA are defective.
The Al Dobowi Group has discussed its strategies for the support of its Infinity and Eternity brands in Europe. The Infinity brand has been present in the European market for more than ten years; it is the brand with which Al Dobowi has established itself in Europe. The Dubai based group embellishes its offer with exclusive distribution agreements and continuous investments to increase the popularity of the brand. Tyrepress sister site PneusNews.it explains how the group’s partners in Europe have supported its brands during the pandemic in 2020, and what its future plans are on the continent. “We want to further accelerate the Eternity project across Europe,” said Riccardo Costa, general manager of Al Dobowi Europe.
Europe’s car makers are mostly on track to meet more stringent 2020-21 EU carbon emission targets, helped by a subsidy-fuelled boom in electric vehicle sales, pooled carbon-dioxide emissions credits and incremental gains in conventional engine technology. European credit ratings agency Scope Ratings says that the chances of any of original equipment manufacturers incurring heavy fines for missing the EU’s carbon-dioxide target of 95g/km for 2020-21 are low, even though not all OEMs will meet the regulatory threshold for average fleet emissions.
Nokian Tyres has shifted away from its Vianor retail franchise concept in Germany. The Finnish tyre manufacturer said that it is “continuing the close cooperation with our former Vianor dealers in a new, but similarly intensive way under our Nokian Authorised Dealers (NAD) marketing concept.” The move comes shortly after Nokian sold its US Vianor Tire Centers business to Point S, and signifies a move away from the Vianor branding outside the brand’s domestic-plus Nordic region, where Vianor is established with 186 Vianor Equity locations. Anna Hyvönen, SVP, Nordics & Vianor, told Tyres & Accessories that the company is enacting its plans to “optimise” its Central European and North American distribution network via NAD, “focusing on the quality of the partners and providing excellent support and benefits.”
Environmental campaigners have been protesting against Linglong’s Zrenjanin, Serbia tyre factory. At the same time the construction work, which has been variously described as either an 800 million euro or US$994 million project by different sources, has also been involved in certification disputes.
The European Union has added natural rubber to its list of critical raw materials, a document that was published on 3 September 2020. Listing the main global production centres as Indonesia (31 per cent); Thailand (18 per cent); and Malaysia (16 per cent), the EU underlined that 100 per cent of European requirements are imported and that tyres and rubber components are the principal uses.
4×4 retail tyre sales have long been a growth area and the UK market constitutes one of the leading lights in Europe. More recent growth has been driven by similarly strong SUV vehicle sales as well as consumer switches towards all-season products. At the same time, more practical and off-road-orientated vehicles have also been supporting 4×4 tyre sales.
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The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd’s first half 2020 profit might have declined 92.5 per cent compare with the same period of the previous year to 1.3 billion yen (£9.321 million; 10.322 million euros, US$12.220 million), but the company did remain profitable as all tyre manufacturers have faced serious headwinds due to coronavirus. Operating profit fell 86.8 per cent to 2.9 billion yen. And salves fell 20.6 per cent to 247.1 billion yen.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company reported a second quarter 2020 net loss of US$6 million on 3 August 2020 compared with net income of $9 million in the same period last year. Net sales decreased 26.9 per cent to $496 million. Operating profit was $5 million, or 1.1 per cent of net sales, compared to operating profit of $32 million (4.7 per cent of net sales) in 2019.
Goodyear has been marketing its passenger car tyres in Germany directly to end users for fitting by a listed partner for roughly six months. And for years before that there has been a noticeable trend towards online selling. Following on from our online preview article, Tyres & Accessories’ German group publication Neue Reifenzeitung interviewed David Anckaert, vice president Commercial Europe at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and began by asking: is it too early to draw initial conclusions? And where’s next?