Hankook Tire has expanded its testing and development capacities in Europe with the commissioning of a new test centre in Spain. The facility, located some 40 miles southwest of Barcelona on the premises of the Applus+ IDIADA Group, will enable the tyre maker to “build on even more efficient and state-of-the-art, fully automated test logistics for European tyre development in the future.”
After commencing tests of its tyres in Europe last year, Prinx Chengshan returns in 2021 to continue its testing programme. The Chinese tyre maker is utilising a number of sites, including Applus IDIADA in Spain and a facility in Ivalo, Finland, in order to test its winter, all-season and UHP summer tyres.
Test World is expanding its service offering to include tyre testing using a skid trailer, co-operating with Applus+ IDIADA to enhance its winter testing capabilities. The test equipment captures tyre adherence measurements, behaviour and characteristics in snow and ice driving environments.
SUVs made up 28 per cent of all European passenger car sales last year, according to automotive market research organisation JATO Dynamics. As research elsewhere in the feature also shows, their phenomenal rise in popularity has created an enormous demand for SUV-specific tyres in larger sizes which still deliver ride comfort, minimal noise and control without sacrificing lifespan.
Roadlink International has successfully demonstrated the performance of its brake pads after putting the product through extensive tests against an original equipment (OE) brand. IDIADA Automotive Technology UK carried out the independent research comparing the stopping power and pad wear of a recognised OE pad against the Roadlink RF4001 brake pad.
Following up the European launch of Giti branded truck tyres at Reifen 2016, Giti Tire has now launched a new flagship Giti branded passenger car and SUV summer portfolio for the German market. The range, which consists of four “premium performance” tyres, has been developed and tested exclusively throughout Europe by the company’s Hannover-based R&D Centre. Giti stated that there were “no plans to replace the GT Radial brand”, previously positioned as its global flagship, in Europe when the commercial range was launched. According to the manufacturer, this remains the case, with the Giti PCR range designed to complement its existing GT Radial, Primewell and Runway brands; Giti will offer selected sizes aimed at specific vehicle segments.
In the most recent Auto Club Europa (ACE) comparative test of competitively priced tyres, the ranking of the newest GT Radial touring tyre, the Champiro FE1, has caused consternation with the manufacturer. ACE-GTU ranked the tyre bottom in the test, with its performance in the wet causing particular concern, despite the fact that the tyre carries a B rating for wet grip on the tyre label. In response, Giti sent a testing team based at Mira in Leicestershire, to re-examine its tyre at Idiada, the proving ground near Barcelona at which the ACE test was carried out. Giti also released a full statement to Tyres & Accessories, explaining that it was investigating all avenues to explain why the results recorded by ACE-GTU did not match its own findings.
At the UK Tyre Recovery Association’s Recycling Day 2015, Bandvulc director Richard O’Connell presented an update on the ongoing pan-European ReTyre (tyre labelling for retreads) project. As T&A mentioned briefly within the first article of this supplement, supplying information on running costs (including fuel efficiency and safety characteristics) could play an important role in retreads’ competitiveness against cheap imported new tyres. The ability to provide a tyre label for retreads, facilitated by an algorithmic tool to take variables into account, could help to achieve a new way to do this, yet there are significant challenges to overcome – a fact referenced by O’Connell when he joked that a talk on the Higgs boson would be “simpler”.
Hankook Tire reports it has formed a partnership with Applus+ IDIADA. As part of what it calls a strategic alliance, the tyre maker has built a new technical office in Spain and will carry out joint research for tyre testing and development. This 7,200 square metre test centre will be known as the “Spain Technical Office for European Technical Center”.
Following the announcement that Linglong is building a new tyre proving ground in China, the company has released a number of further details relating to the investment in the site and its location. First off, in answer to Tyres & Accessories’ questions, Linglong representatives confirmed that the company is investing 1.13 billion yuan in the new tyre test track (£106.3 million; 133.6 million euros; 182.099 million euros).
On 1 July Linglong Group signed a strategic agreement with IDIADA to partner in the construction of a central Asian tyre proving ground. The agreement was signed between Josep-Maria Farran, COO (chief operating officer) of IDIADA, and Wang Feng, vice president of Linglong Group, marking the start of this strategic cooperation.