The tyre retreading business has stagnated in many European markets for years. Imports of new tyres from the Far East and the major tyre brands’ own, large-scale retreading plants place small and mid-sized retreaders across Europe under substantial competitive pressure. Although consolidation has become the rule in recent times, a remarkable exception to this rule – one characterised by entrepreneurship and persuasiveness – can be found in Germany’s retreading market: Owner-operated Reifen Quirmback in Zweibruchen, Rhineland-Palatinate has invested a seven-figure sum to develop its own truck tyre retreading, and by doing so enters a completely new business area. When we visited the site, we discovered a very good reason for entering this line of work.
Unique? Grand Seigneur? Warhorse? Pioneer? Master of his Trade? Globetrotter? Man of Action? Tinkerer? Entrepreneur? Decision Maker? Visionary? – Somehow, all these names fit Karl Kurz. In his 87 years, the entrepreneur has combined more characteristics in his person than any other in the recycling and retreading industry. We look back on an extraordinary career.
Camso Germany’s sales team has been integrated into Michelin Reifenwerke. The manufacturer of Camso and Solideal brand off-road tyres, wheels, tracks and chain systems is now under the umbrella of Michelin Off- and Highway Transportation (OHT). Michelin acquired the Canadian company in 2018.
On Wednesday (July 1, 2020), the public prosecutor and Police searched various Continental locations in Hanover, Frankfurt and Regensburg. The searches are related to investigations into the so-called defeat device used by Volkswagen in its diesel engine emissions management system.
Following the news that The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has appointed ex-Brisa and Bridgestone executive Hakan Bayman as president of Goodyear’s consumer tyre business in Europe, it has emerged that former Goodyear Dunlop UK MD, Erich Fric has been appointed as Goodyear managing director Europe Central. Both appointments are effective 1 July 2020.
Reifen Gundlach has resumed its exclusive distribution of GT Radial brand tyres in Germany. The new deal comes three years after Giti Tire ended their previously long-standing exclusive partnership with the wholesaler, started in 1994. Giti stated in 2017 that it wanted to to “achieve a higher market penetration with a planned realignment of the brand.” Part of the strategy was to make the GT Radial brand available through four different wholesalers. This coincided with the European entry of its eponymous Giti brand, with a special focus on the German market. At its peak, it had previously sold around a million GT Radial tyres per year, according to Gundlach statements. Now in 2020, the manufacturer has opted to resume its exclusive arrangement for GT Radial with Gundlach.
Kumho is opening a major new tyre warehouse in Hamburg, Germany with leading European logistics company Fiege. Located adjacent to the city’s harbour, Kumho states the new facility will allow it to supply stock to the majority of German tyre dealers within 24 hours. It will also supply some Kumho distributors in Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria. Fiege Logistics will be responsible for all warehouse processes, including tyre handling from the arrival of product by container to delivery and shipment tracking.
Financial analysts from Jefferies described Continental AG’s plan for fiscal improvements during the corona-crisis “encouraging”, according to an analyst report published 15 May 2020. That Conti’s management highlighted “positive data points in China and the European replacement tyre market”, would seem to be positive indications for the whole tyre business. Specifically, replacement tyre demand was described as “strong” in Germany. However, R&D budgets are likely to be cut and there was even the suggestion that European tyre factory numbers could also be cut back.
The miniscule pieces of plant root that Dr Tobias Ruckert shows us look for all the world like fresh spices, but the recipes he prepares with them aren’t for eating. These roots are from the Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TKS) plant, better known as Russian dandelion. Continental has been evaluating its suitability as an alternative source of natural rubber for much of the past decade.
Workshop and vehicle testing equipment company MAHA Maschinenbau Haldenwang GmbH Co. & KG has acquired a 100 per cent shareholding in ATT, the joint venture workshop equipment company founded in 2000 by Robert-Bosch GmbG and the Nussbaum Group. The change of ownership took place on 30 April.
A week ago, Bridgestone announced its acquisition of 42 Reiff Reifen und Autotechnik retail outlets in Germany from the now-bankrupt Fintyre Group business. The insolvency administrator handling the Fintyre case reports that buyers have also been found for two further Fintyre businesses, Duro Reifenservice GmbH and Reifen24 GmbH.
The demands placed upon tractor tyres are evolving. In addition to field work, the volume of transport tasks and time spent on the road has increased significantly in recent years. This trend presents a challenge for tyre designers as field and road applications are very different by nature. Nokian Tyres approached this challenge with a new kind of hybrid pattern technology that aims to offer the best of both worlds, combining a field-ready lug pattern with a block pattern to improve on-road properties. But does it work in practice? The Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Engineering at Germany’s Kiel University put the Nokian Ground King tyre through its paces to find out.
Messe Frankfurt and its customers, partners and supporting associations have agreed to postpone the Automechanika Frankfurt event that was originally scheduled to take place from 8 to 12 September 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis. The new dates are 14 to 18 September 2021. Automechanika Frankfurt will then resume its biennial rotation – the event will now be taking place in odd-numbered years.
Audi announced its withdrawal from the German Touring Car Masters (DTM), effective at the end of the 2020 season. As things stand, BMW will be the only remianing factory team at the beginning of 2021; R-Motorsport dropped out earlier in the year. Audi wants to concentrate on Formula E and customer sport in the future according to a statement from Ingolstadt. The 2020 season of DTM has yet to start, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. DTM has not started its 2020 series yet due to the Coronavirus crisis, but has announced a new Esports series with Hankook a founding partner.