Sumitomo Rubber North America is set to increase prices the price of Falken and Ohtsu branded passenger, light truck and medium truck tyres in the US and Canada on as well as implementing inline adjustments on a per size basis.
Falken Tyre and digital marketing specialist Pixelgenau have won a German Design Award 2021 for its “Falken says tanks” sales campaign. Also known in German as “Falken sagt Tanke”, the long-running sales campaign rewards customers buying a set of Falken tyres from participating dealers with fuel vouchers worth 20 euros, along with the chance to win other prizes. The campaign takes place in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia.
As Tyres & Accessories annual global social media ranking enters its seventh edition, this year there is a new winner. Last year’s champion, Pirelli, has fallen two places to third position. At the same time, Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ Falken brand rose an impressive eight positions to take the top spot. And Pirelli wasn’t the only well-known name to downshift, with two other brands taking retrograde steps. At the same time, in a reflection of what has taken place in the UK-only ranking, the top 10 has a new entry, with previously 10th-ranked MRF being overtaken by another large Indian tyremaker.
Bridgestone’s Blizzak LM005 tyre has won the Auto Express Winter Tyre Test 2020 beating 205/55 R16 tyres from seven other manufacturers to the top of the table. Auto Express cited the tyre’s performance in the wet as a key factor. The tyre, which boasts an ‘A’ tyre label grade for wet grip across the full range, has secured Bridgestone’s first Auto Express test win and follows on from a series of improved results in recent times. However, there were strong performances from Hankook’s Winter i*cept RS2 (2nd) and Michelin’s Alpin 6 (3rd). At the same time, we have to note that Hankook Goodyear and Dunlop each won individual categories as well as Bridgestone, of course. Looking forward, Continental’s TS 870 has to be described as the one that got away because it’s market-beating performance couldn’t be counted owing to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the new tyre’s release for a year.
Tyre brand Falken’s twin Porsche 911 GT3 Rs finished in 10th and 11th place at the 48th ADAC Total 24h-Race 2020. The Eifel weather proved challenging for everyone with constantly changing conditions over the race’s 24 hours. Falken said the finish demonstrated the reliability of its performance tyres. Despite conditions causing many cars to come off the track, Falken brought both Porsches home: 10th place for the #44 with Klaus Bachler, Sven Müller, Peter Dumbreck and Martin Ragginger at the wheel and11th place for the #33 with the double starters Klaus Bachler and Sven Müller alongside Christian Engelhart and Dirk Werner.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours is one of the last open tyre competitions in recent years. For Falken, it represents an opportunity to compete on track against top global premium brands, like Michelin, Goodyear and Yokohama. In the last decade Falken road tyre technology it has narrowed the performance gap, evidenced by improved results in third party tyre tests.
Falken Tyre Europe has launched its 2020 “Falken says Tanke” promotional campaign in Germany, Austria and other European core markets. From 15 September to 30 November, customers will receive a 20-euro prepaid card for refueling and shopping when buying Falken winter or all-season tyres in participating retailers. In addition, participants from Germany have the chance to win one of 25 Shell fuel vouchers worth 100 euros. There are also 100 opportunities to win the Shell V-Power Smart Deal, worth 119.99 euros, allowing winners to fill up with V-Power fuels at the price of standard fuels. Falken is also giving away a total of 17 pairs of Dalbello ski boots in the Benelux countries, Germany, Austria, and Poland. These boots come with a co-polymer sole named “GripWalk”, providing extra snow grip – an analogy to winter tyres’ performance on snow.
Falken Tyre Europe has launched a five-year guarantee on its tyres. The Sumitomo Rubber Industries global tyre brand will offer a percentage retail voucher based on the remaining tread depth down to 2mm within five years of purchase. Should the tyre have 90 per cent of its tread depth, Falken will provide a replacement Falken tyre. The guarantee applies to tyres sold by a Falken partner or original equipment tyres on new cars. The new guarantee backs Falken’s confidence in its development and manufacturing quality standards, the brand states.
Max Kruse Racing’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR scored a class win in the NLS endurance series at the Nürburgring this weekend. The team was competing on Falken Azenis race tyres for the first time. The SP3T pole position and class winner was one of six cars including a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR (997), VW Sciroccos, Golfs and Cupra switching to the tyre manufacturer as Falken expands its motorsport customer programme.
The coronavirus pandemic has put many visits to dream destinations on hold, but Falken Tyres is using its social media feeds to provide some vicarious thrills. The Sumitomo tyre brand’s new ‘Pass the Wheel’ campaign comprises three beautifully shot videos to provide a virtual road trip along some of Europe’s most beautiful roads and passes. The videos show the drive from Zell am See in Austria, across Switzerland, Italy and France, and into Monaco. The campaign trailer has already clocked up 1.7 million views on Falken’s YouTube Channel.
Falken Motorsports has made a surprise addition to its NLS schedule. The tyre brand’s motorsport team will add the Porsche of Christian Engelhart and Dennis Olsen to this weekend’s opening NLS round. Falken says it originally planned to start the revised season with both of its Porsches at the NLS2 and 3 double-header on 11-12 July. A weather disrupted schedule and few other opportunities to test mean the race debut for the 2020 car has been brought forward.
With the 2019/20 season’s Premier League back underway, runaway leaders Liverpool FC’s team bus is primed to roll on official tyre sponsor, Falken rubber. The manufacturer’s RI151 pattern is fitted by Protyre and supplied in the UK by Micheldever Tyre Services.
Falken Motorsports will resume its 2020 testing at the at the Nürburgring on 15 June. The Sumitomo tyre brand’s team will run its two Porsche 911s in the first official NLS test session since restrictions lifted. Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger will share one of the 2020 spec 991.2 GT3 R Porsches, whilst Sven Müller and Dirk Werner will pilot the other. Falken adds that it will race at NLS2 and 3 on 11-12 July.
European lockdowns have caused sever interruptions to many in the tyre industry. But as the continent’s businesses enter a new phase of reopening, it is important to understand how this can be achieved while minimising the associated risks. Due to the different national timelines involved in this process, UK businesses may look to mainland countries a little further along this journey to see how they are proceeding. Tyres & Accessories spoke to the COO and president of Falken Tyre Europe, Markus Bögner, about how the Offenbach, Germany based company – part of Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) – has weathered lockdown, and is now beginning to “see positive changes” in key European markets.
The coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns mean that sales of car tyres especially have sustained a harsh blow around the world. But as measures introduced to halt the spread of COVID-19 begin to be eased, motorists will steadily begin to use their cars again, increasing demand. In the car tyre sector, high value, ultra-high performance segments could prove vital, as better potential margins offer attractive opportunities for increasing cashflow quicker. The other side of that coin is that motorists’ finances are also under pressure, putting the price they pay for their car tyres under even greater scrutiny. Could this, therefore, present an opportunity for mid-range brands to make a case for their products, offering more palatable performance compromises compared with premium rivals than the lowest-priced brands?