Groupe Michelin’s Capital Markets Day presentation, conducted via webcast on 8 April, set out its agenda for the next decade, putting its plans in front of leading global banks and financial firms. Circling around a central theme of sustainability, the group executive committee, led by managing chairman Florent Menegaux and general manager and chief financial officer Yves Chapot, showed how Michelin intends to “diversify while strengthening” in order to achieve its key economic and ecological targets. Chapot and Menegaux stated that expanding “non-tyre revenue” up to more than one-fifth of the group’s turnover by 2030 would make the group more agile and robust in the face of future crises. The current global health crisis has been instructive in this regard; the committee credited the development of the group’s non-tyre portfolio with assisting in its resilience over the difficulties of 2020, and now intends to continue the acceleration of its diversification. Its digital and materials innovations will simultaneously “deliver new growth,” while contributing to the overall strength of the group: a leitmotif of the committee’s presentation.
Goodyear and De Klok Banden have reached an agreement to increase the Dutch wholesale group’s control over parallel imports, also known as “grey market” tyres. In a statement delivered exclusively to Tyrepress.com and its sister websites in the EU, Goodyear affirmed its resolve to tackle “illegal (grey) tyre imports” using “legal actions”. The manufacturer says it has already taken legal action against a number of European market distributors. It asserts its right to control imports to the European Union from external markets, including, as of 1 January 2021, the UK under trademark or other legal rights. The full statement reads: “Goodyear announced today that it has reached an agreement with De Klok Banden B.V., S & H Tires B.V and their affiliated companies to resolve a parallel import case between the two groups. The agreement resolves the pending trademark infringement claim initiated in Q3 2020 by Goodyear following seizure of tyres often referred to as grey market imports.
Giti Tire has updated its Giti GAU867v1 all-position urban bus tyre range. The manufacturer’s developed tyre is particularly targeting the growing electric bus market. It is manufactured to handle higher load and improve wear resistance. Giti has also added a new size to the range in the 265/70R19.5 143/141 J. The existing 275/70R22.5 size now has an updated load index of 152/148 J.
Yokohama is supplying its Advan Sport V107 tyres to BMW for the manufacturer’s new iX3. The German marque’s first sports activity vehicle (SAV) with an all-electric-drive system uses three sizes of the Advan Sport V107 on the new electric SAV: 245/50R19 105W, 245/45R20 103W, and 275/40R20 106W. Yokohama began shipping the tyres to the BMW Group in September 2020.
Continental has become the first tyre manufacturer to order Ansible Motion’s all-new advanced Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator, the Delta S3. Simulation technology, which is now capable of modelling tyre performance to an extreme degree of accuracy, is increasingly employed by car manufacturers and original equipment suppliers, such as tyre manufacturers. Conti’s decision to bring in the latest DIL simulation technology is informed by the need to mirror its OEM customers’ development processes, but the system’s most important effect will be the efficiency benefits it delivers, as Dr. Boris Mergell, head of research and development of the Tires business area at Continental, explains. “Developing and testing premium tyres is a highly complex, time-intensive process. By using the new dynamic driving simulator, we will make this development process even more efficient in the future.”
Goodyear brand Sava has launched a new all-season tyre with fitments between 14 and 18 inches. The Sava All Weather is designed for versatile performance in varied road conditions. It carries the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol (3PMSF), certifying its winter performance. The tyre is the latest all-season product from parent company Goodyear, whose 2020 launched Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 was recently named both the All-Season Tyre of the Year and overall Tyre of the Year by Tyrepress sister site WhatTyre.com. The Sava All-Weather features a similar V-shaped tread design to its premium stablemate, with a range of technologies designed to improve life and fuel efficiency as well as all-season capabilities.
Giti has launched the next generation Giti GAM831 mixed service all-position tyre in Europe. The tyre has been designed to deliver significant mileage improvements and improved robustness in severe applications. To achieve this, the manufacturer designed a new belt construction concept, which helps to optimise the tyre’s footprint and a new tread compound with improved abrasion resistance. The tyre is available in 13R22.5 156/150 (154/150) K (L) and 315/80R22.5 158/150 (154/150) K(L).
New research released today (31 March) reveals that the impact of the pandemic has resulted in the average driver reducing their mileage by 42 per cent over the last year. However, there has not been an equivalent drop in the amount of pothole damage to the nation’s vehicles.
Giti Tire is introducing the successor to its most popular European market tyre. The GT Radial FE2, which replaces the Champiro FE1, is aimed primarily at compact and family passenger cars and small and crossover SUVs. The tyre will be available initially in 17 sizes from 15-18″. These sizes will have speed indices T, H, V, W and Y, section widths from 185-235 and series sizes from 50-65. Tyres dedicated to SUV vehicles carry the initials on the sidewall to highlight their core market.
For the last few years Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) take-up has continued apace. Indeed, according to the latest UK vehicle registrations figures, cars that can be described as SUVs now occupy a significant portion of new vehicle market share. Indeed, the Nissan Qashqai crossover was the third most popular purchase in February 2021, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). And the Volvo XC40 as well as the Volkswagen T-Roc and Tiguan also figure in the top 10. Of course, all these vehicles need tyres so there is every chance that the recent trend towards SUV tyre replacement sales is also going to continue over the next few years. But what about last year? With these trends in mind, the month’s SUV tyre feature takes a closer look the best products on the market beginning with a detailed look at the latest market data produced in association with GfK.
Halfords has extended its reach into the UK tyre retail space with the acquisition of Universal Tyre and Autocentres for £15 million. Kent-based Universal has 20 garages and 89 commercial vans operating in the South East and on the east coast of the UK. Universal also operates 1 warehouse/head office and from 5 other sites. The company specialises in the supply and fit of tyres for a wide range of vehicles, from cars to commercial and agricultural vehicles. Universal branches also offer general car maintenance and repairs such as brakes, servicing and MOT.
Welcome to the first of a new series of articles, in which leading executives give their insights into matters affecting today’s tyre industry. We begin the series with Gary Oliver; Chairman of Grouptyre, the national network of independent wholesalers. In the article we discuss the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the business, new automotive innovations and long-term trends, and current attitudes towards tyre distribution.
Well-known Italy-based tyre manufacturer Pirelli has indicated its willingness to “make Covid-19 vaccinations available to employees”. Writing in a statement published on 17 March 2021, Pirelli representatives said the move specifically relates to “taking part in the Confindustria initiative” and that the company wants to do this “through its own structures and in accordance with the national plan.”
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Reg Bond on 15 March 2021, at the age of 77. Reg had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010 and had been battling it ever since, ultimately succumbing to complications from the illness. It is testament to Reg’s character that he fought so long and so hard against the tumour.
Reg was the founder of tyre wholesaler Bond International and was the driving force behind it becoming a well-respected and successful independent business and one of the largest tyre wholesalers in the UK. Reg was the Chairman of the business, set up in 1966, until his death and was actively involved in the business for over 50 years, although he had handed over the day-to-day running of the business to his sons Greg and Charlie. Over the years the company has grown from a one-man band to its current size, where it employs over 450 people and sells more than 5 million tyres a year. Reg was immensely proud of the strides that Greg and Charlie had made in recent years in taking the business forward. He delighted in the fact that his sons and his business, continued to challenge the competition as he has done and always encouraged that sort of healthy competition.
Shortly after the event began, launch proceedings got underway with Francesco Sala, senior vice president Manufacturing at Pirelli (pictured) setting the launches in the context of “a completely refreshed Cinturato range”. These come against the background of significant research and development efforts intended to work with the company’s best-fit OE/replacement policy. Specifically, Sala explained that digital prototyping has resulted in 400 homologations across 128 car models and 40 models. And the success of this approach can be seen in the number of homologations already achieved for the new products.