On 19 January, the European Commission extended anti-dumping duties on aluminium road wheels from China for a further five years. The extension follows an expiry review investigation, which showed that these wheels continue to be dumped on the EU market and that industry within the European Union would suffer significant harm if the measures were allowed to lapse.
The European Commission published details of the new Euro 7 standards on 10 November 2022. According to the commission, Euro 7 will “ensure cleaner vehicles on our roads and improved air quality, protecting the health of our citizens and the environment.” The transport industry has become familiar with the increasingly demanding Euro series of standards over the years. Up till now, they have focused on vehicle exhaust emissions, something that tyres can only indirectly affect through reduced rolling resistance and its impact on fuel consumption and therefore emissions. This time round however, Euro 7 brings with it standards relating to particle emissions from tyres and brakes.
Continental considers the Russian dandelion an attractive alternative source of natural rubber for its tyres and has conducted research into its suitability for more than a decade. This Taraxagum project now has a new research partner, German plant breeder Kartoffelzucht Böhm.
The latest EU sanctions against Russia will seriously affect Nokian Tyres and its business in Europe. The tyre maker says the sanctions will have a “significant impact” on its ability to manufacture tyres in Russia, which will reduce its ability to sell tyres in the EU, and within Central Europe in particular.
A number of European industry associations, including vehicle manufacturers’ association the ACEA and wheel manufacturers’ association EUWA, have issued an “urgent call for action against the imminent risk of Europe-wide production shutdowns as a consequence of a critical shortage in the supply of magnesium from China.”
A new manager will lead the Brussels political office of tyre maker and technology company Continental from 1 August 2021. Fadie Al-Masri will succeed Desmond A. Collins, who is retiring at the end of July after nine years in the job.
From 1 May, the new EU rules on the energy labelling of on-road tyres apply at consumer level. Updating the label first introduced for car and van tyres in 2012, the new rules require that tyres for buses and lorries must now be labelled – and offer a new pictogram, where relevant, to highlight tyres suitable for use in snow or in extreme, icy conditions.
On 19 January 2021, 26 Members of the European Parliament wrote to Oliver Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations about concerns relating to “growing Chinese influence in Serbia and the impending environmental damage resulting from several heavy industrial projects in Serbia by Chinese owned companies”. The group are particularly interested in scrutinising Serbia’s apparently “generous” subsidies and environmental compliance protocols.
The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association says it “welcomes” the European Commission’s ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’, which it presented yesterday. The association representing tyre makers in Europe stresses that tyres can make a “sustainable contribution” to the decarbonisation and digital transformation of EU transport system.
Pirelli says it will experience “no economic impact” as a result of a sentence given by the Court of Justice of the European Union yesterday. The sentence pertains to a cartel within the electrical cables market that confirms prior EU Tribunal and EU Commission decisions. The company reiterates that it has “already made the opportune provisions in its risk and charges fund for potential liabilities relative to these proceedings.”
China accounted for more than half of all passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyres entering the European Union and the United Kingdom for the first time during the first eight months of 2020. Comparatively, the then 28 EU nations imported 105 million passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyres from outside the region in the same period of 2019.* The major impact on tyre demand of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as varying degrees of disrupted production, led to the EU-27 and UK together importing 21 million fewer tyres in the corresponding period of 2020, a reduction of 20 per cent. The Eurostat and HMRC data was compiled by leading data analyst Astutus Research.
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) published the new European Standard EN16662-1:2020 for supplementary grip devices on 27 May 2020, which covers not only metal snow chains but also devices made from other materials. On 27 September AutoSock announced that its textile alternative for cars and light commercial vehicles to 3.5 tons was the first and is currently the only product worldwide to be certified according to the new European Standard. As a result, it will be a regulatory approved alternative to snow chains in all EU countries effective 1 December 2020.
The European Commission’s new target of a 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has been welcomed by the tyre industry. The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association said that the industry is ready to “ready to contribute” to the latest decarbonisation goals. The association added that its “members have been committed to reducing their CO2 footprint throughout the tyre life cycle and investing in innovative and sustainable mobility technologies for many years now.” The association was responding to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s 16 September State of the Union address.
The ACEA has revealed EU commercial vehicle registrations decreased 44.4 per cent in May, a less pronounced decline than April as pandemic countermeasures were relaxed. Demand fell across all commercial vehicle segments. The four largest markets of the EU, Spain (-59.0 per cent) and Germany (-47.9) saw the biggest losses in May, followed by Italy (-36.5) and France (-35.0). The UK, as per Brexit, is no longer included in ACEA’s figures, current or historical.
Brexit will have significant adverse effects on a UK manufacturing sector highly integrated with the EU single market, and that disruption will have a sizeable negative impact on the wider UK economy, a new report by UK in a Changing Europe finds. Funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, the Kings College London based initiative conducts independent research on UK-EU relations.