Reporting market trends for the month of June, Michelin notes that the current shortage of semiconductors strongly dampened recovery within the global automotive industry, which impacted upon sales of original equipment passenger vehicle and light truck tyres.
Nankang has launched a new winter tyre developed exclusively for the European cold season. The Winter Activa SV-4 will be available on the European market from the third quarter. The tyre will initially be available in 20 sizes from 13 to 21 inches. A second phase with additional sizes will follow during 2022.
With tyre specialists doing as much mechanical work as ever, and with autocentres representing a growing proportion of the top 25 tyre retailers, understanding the so-called aftermarket side of the business is important. When you add in the pandemic-related disruption, which includes the effects of the government’s six-month MOT extension – something that has caused a mini-boom and bust in the garage space – getting to grips with the latest trends and products in the aftermarket sector at this particular time is something of a priority. That’s why in this section July’s edition of Tyres & Accessories surveys the latest data, trends and products to help you prepare for what’s next. Our aftermarket feature starts with an analysis of the full-year 2020 MOT data from a tyre demand perspective.
Hankook Tire confirms that its tyres will be original equipment on Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV, the ID.4. The tyre maker will supply its Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev in numerous sizes from the vehicle’s market launch. OEM fitment on the ID.4 follows the pairing of prototype Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev tyres with the VW study ID. Crozz, the design of which the new ID.4 is based on.
Following Halfords’ recent acquisitions of Universal Tyres and McConnechy’s before that, many have speculated regarding what the future holds for Lodge Tyres. Rumours aside, the short story is that Lodge Tyres had a good 2020 despite the obvious Covid-19-related adversity and is set for further growth in 2021. Tyres & Accessories met with Lodge Tyres managing director Andy Christmas and commercial director Martin O’Brien in order to get the latest details straight from Lodge Tyres’ management.
As mentioned on Tyrepress.com yesterday, the future of tyre making at the site of Bridgestone’s recently-closed Béthune in France has been secured by a deal signed this month between major European vehicle maintenance and mobility firm Mobivia and French retreading specialist Black Star. With support from Bridgestone, the partners are gearing up to retread car, SUV and light commercial vehicle tyres in Béthune – products that Bridgestone intends to sell through selected retail outlets.
Amidst widespread economic and political unrest in South Africa, local tyre manufacturers have experienced significant disruption and even looting. Specifically, the Dunlop South Africa (formally Sumitomo Rubber South Africa Pty Ltd – SRSA) Durban Westville warehouse was “invaded” by trespassers and looters resulting in the loss of 90 million rand (£4.533 million; 5.255 million euros; US$6.190 million) of tyre stock. Such is the scale of the problem, the local tyre industry has embarked on a “say no to looted goods” campaign.
Michelin has been in the UK since 1905, and it has been making tyres there since 1927 when its Stoke-on-Trent factory opened. Michelin’s Stoke-on-Trent plant still produces retreaded truck tyres, which use 70 per cent less raw material than a new tyre.
Stoke-on-Trent is Michelin’s UK headquarters, and it is the global headquarters of Michelin Lifestyle – the manufacturer’s licensing operation. The Michelin Training and Information Centre pushes up standards, safety and knowledge through courses attended by tyre technicians and emergency services from the UK and overseas, while Michelin Development supports new and small businesses in selected regions.
Michelin in the UK also produces the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, giving readers expert and independent advice on where to stay and where to eat, and listing restaurants worthy of a world-famous Michelin Star.
Michelin UK has strong links with other Michelin Group companies in the country, including Camso, Fenner and Blackcircles.com. The Michelin Group employs more than 123,000 people globally.
Tyres & Accessories recently interviewed UK managing director Chris Smith in order to get his view on subjects affecting the market today.
The media might have picked up on the rhetoric of “freedom day”, but the NTDA’s recent “Keeping Tyre Centres Safe” report highlights the fact that businesses will still be required to take responsibility for managing health and safety risks: “All employers will continue to have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from a risk to their health and safety and have a legal duty to consult workers on health and safety matters.” Here, Tyrepress.com takes a close look at the responsibility and choices facing tyre retailers.
BMW M GmbH has selected Hankook Tire as an original equipment tyre supplier and is fitting the BMW X3 M and X4 M with the Hankook Ventus S1 evo Z; both models wear tweaked versions of the UUHP tyre in size 255/40 ZR21 102Y on the front axle and 265/40 ZR21 105Y at the rear. This is Hankook’s first partnership with BMW’s performance division, but it reports that “other tyres for M GmbH models are already in development.”
Data in the NTDA’s “Keeping Tyre Centres Safe” report shows that 95 per cent of tyre centres keeping some or all Covid-19 measures. Providing useful insights into consumer and retail thinking on subject, the NTDA report highlights that: two-thirds of drivers are concerned about Covid-19 restrictions being lifted (this trend was most noticeable in Scotland where the figure was 69 per cent); that the majority “want to see safety measures REMAIN in tyre centres”; and that “63 per cent of the nations’ drivers would be more likely to choose (and 65 per cent more likely to trust) a tyre centre that continues to enforce safety measures”.
With the 19 July 2021 relaxation of Covid-19 legislation fast-approaching, some have dubbed next Monday as “freedom day”. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed that the pandemic is not over and in practice the government is passing responsibility for health and safety and social distancing onto businesses and households. With this in mind, the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) commissioned the “Keeping Tyre Centres Safe – Insight Report” and is launching a “Safe Tyre Centre Scheme” in order to help tyre distributors with the challenging choices they face. At the top of the list of difficult decisions is “which (if any) COVID-19 restrictions they will relax in their branches and workshops” after 19 July, as NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay notes in his foreword to the report.
The significant decline in revenue for global tyre makers based on headwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic was felt most keenly by companies with the greatest exposure to the consumer vehicle tyre markets. (For the effects of the crisis on manufacturers, see our ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers in the Company section of our 75th anniversary special issue.) As many countries reduced private mileage considerably with working from home orders and travel restrictions – not to mention the negative effects of measures such as the UK’s MOT freeze, which removed a significant push factor in the market for much of 2020 – car tyre sales last year dropped considerably, though again there were big differences even within the EU27 and UK. Within car tyre segments there were significant differences in the depth of the contraction too. Broadly speaking, the higher value the segment, the better it tended to fare. Pirelli’s financial reporting for 2020, and the subsequent first-quarter growth in 2021, provide a good illustration of how higher performance segments provided increased resilience in these difficult times.
Skelmersdale headquartered tyre management specialist DTM, which is backed by Palatine Private Equity, has acquired TyreWatch, Europe’s market-leading provider of real-time tyre monitoring technology. Based in Basingstoke, TyreWatch provides digital tyre management services to monitor and manage the wheels and tyres of HGVs and public service vehicles. Established in 2017, it has grown to support clients across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.