Norwegian tyre recycling startup, Wastefront AS has confirmed that its first plant will be located in the UK. It plans to invest between £20-30 million on the recycling facility, with its construction resulting in employment for around 100. When fully up and running, Wastefront adds the plant will employ between 20 and 30 people full time. The company, founded in 2019 in Oslo, is now deciding where to locate its first site. The company tells Tyres & Accessories that its plant will be the first to combine conventional technology with Wastefront’s own proprietary technology, which will minimise the environmental impact typically associated with traditional tyre pyrolysis. It adds that this will “make the UK plant the ‘greenest’ of its kind.”
Volkswagen has called the launch of its ID.3 electric car the most significant since the Golf. But the launch is also a milestone for one of its tyre partners. Following the news that Bridgestone would supply its Enliten-enhanced Turanza Eco tyres to the ID.3, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer has outlined the benefits of its low rolling resistance, reduced materials technology, available on the road for the first time on the ID.3. Bridgestone says Enliten Technology “sets a new lowered standard in material use and rolling resistance to deliver significant environmental benefits,” making it ideally suited to a car launch characterised as a milestone in sustainability.
Tyrepress has published its 2020 ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers. Our ranking lists the top 20 tyre makers ordered by turnover from tyres in the previous calendar year. For example, Continental turned over nearly 45 billion euros in 2019, but 26.4 per cent of this was from its tyre divisions, making it the fourth largest tyre manufacturer in the world with 11.7 billion euros. The ranking presents a baseline for discussing the relative positions of the largest global players in tyre production. In 2019, we noted that Bridgestone had opened up a gap at the top of our ranking, around 2.65 billion euros ahead of second-placed Michelin in tyre turnover. This year, the French giant has reduced this gap to just over half a billion euros, reflecting its most recent acquisitions.
In addition to being the strongest brand globally, according to Brand Finance, Michelin has been named the world’s most valuable tyre brand for the third year in a row. However, the gap between first position and second-placed Bridgestone narrowed, meaning the Japanese tyre manufacturer is well-placed to regain pole.
Michelin remains the world’s most valuable and strongest tyre brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Automotive Industry report. However, while Michelin has retained its top position for the second year in a row since it gained the crown from Bridgestone in 2018, Chinese tyremaker Linglong Tires cemented its position as an up-and-coming tyre brand by entering the top 10 after a couple of years of being tipped as a fast riser.
UK new car registrations fell -34.9 per cent in June, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) as the market began a tentative restart after more than two months of lockdown. The drop was an improvement on May’s -89.0 per cent wipe-out but, with 145,377 new car registrations, this still represented a significant decline of 78,044 compared with June 2019, as dealerships in Wales and Scotland remained closed for much of the month.
Continental has merged its passenger and truck tyres replacement businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Philipp von Hirschheydt, former head of the passenger tyres replacement business in the EMEA region, leads the new business unit. This transformation started on 1 January, 2020, becoming effective on 1 July, 2020. Conti states that it has merged the businesses to “increase customer centricity while increasing the overall efficiency of the organisations.” In making this organisational change, Conti has shifted its structure to align with customer groups rather than product categories.
Continental has announced the reorganisation of various global specialist tyre activities into a single ‘Specialty Tyres’ business unit. Formed on 1 July, the company has combined its ‘Commercial Specialty Tires’, ‘Two Wheel Tires’ and ‘Hoosier Racing Tire’ business areas under the new umbrella unit. The result of the reorganisation means the entire Continental speciality tyre business will be developed, manufactured and distributed worldwide under the new unit. It brings together tyres for material handling, the agricultural, port, and construction sectors, bicycle and motorcycle tyres, and tyres for racing. The move continues the evolution of various specialist tyre segments within the company, begun at the start of 2013, when Conti renamed its industrial tyres business ‘Commercial Specialty Tires’.
Metzeler has launched the Roadtec Scooter, developed for all types of scooters with 10-16” wheels. Global scooter and moped markets are expected to increase, especially as pandemic lockdowns ease, and more people seek a cost-effective private alternative to public transport. The German motorcycle tyre manufacturer has chosen to extend its Roadtec brand into the scooter segment, consolidating its previous three lines for the segment. The new tyre takes inspiration from the award-winningRoadtec 01 sport touring tyre. It is designed for “adaptability and versatility,” capable of dealing with diverse weather conditions and types of asphalt in urban and suburban areas.
Autogem has launched a new, advanced TPMS handheld solution, the I-sensor Pro, in an online event for customers. The device upgrades the original I-sensor, offering customers increased time-saving and potential revenue generation. The I-sensor Pro features Wi-Fi connectivity, wireless Bluetooth and an integrated auto-focus camera, allowing for instant, personalised tyre pressure reporting. It also features a completely integrated tread depth measuring device. The original i-sensor handheld TPMS servicing device was launched in 2013, and has since sold more than 3,500 units in the UK.
Michelin Tyre Plc reopened its retread manufacturing plant at the end of April, but – like much of the company – has been largely working remotely during lockdown. Now, the company is reopening its Campbell Road, Stoke-on-Trent headquarters from mid-July in a bid to move towards the new normal. But what does that look like? Tyres & Accessories spoke with UK managing director Chris Smith in order to find out.
Hankook will supply tyres to Formula E as the series’ third generation tyre partner. The FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) confirmed Hankook after a tender process and FIA World Motor Sport Council approval. The world championship, which stages races in metropolitan areas around the globe, will run on “sustainably produced, particularly long-lasting and energy-saving Hankook tyres,” the manufacturer says. Tyres for Formula E have previously been supplied by Michelin, which was the series’ inaugural tyre partner.