A name still unfamiliar to many, The Smart Tire Company (STC) is commercialising NASA’s non-pneumatic tyre technology. It is working with vehicle manufacturers to produce shape memory alloy tyres for cars and has launched a second generation of its airless bicycle tyre. In addition to developing products for use here on Earth, STC intends to send tyres to the Moon as part of NASA’s Project Artemis.
Kumho Tyre (UK) supported the Max Adventure team as it beat its original time target on the Driven To Extremes Euro EV Marathon. The team covered its 3,174 mile-route from Oslo to Portugal in just 3.75 days in the fully electric Kia EV6 ‘Air’ fitted with Kumho’s Ecsta PS71 EV tyre. The team knocked 47 minutes off the time set by Sir Stirling Moss in 1952, adding an extra country to the list of those visited. The challenge was designed to show that a standard EV and current charging infrastructure can now allow drivers to cover vast distances in a short time. The Kumho Ecsta PS71 EV is an original fitment on the Kia EV6, with the 235/55R19 size used by the challenge car throughout the trial.
Recreating a historic motoring exploit, the 3,600-mile challenge will visit 15 countries in just 120 hours. Kumho’s Ecsta PS71 EV tyre is an original fit on the Kia EV6 and it is this specialist product in 235/55R19 size that the challenge car will be equipped with throughout the trial.
Kia has selected Continental tyres as original equipment for its new Niro. In European, Middle East and African markets, it will deliver the fully-electric version of its SUV with Continental EcoContact 6 Q tyres in size 215/55 R17 94V. Plug-in hybrid models of the Niro will roll on the PremiumContact 6, which Kia will fit in size 225/45 R18 95V XL FR.
Continental is supplying two tyre models as original equipment for the Kia EV6, with customers able to choose between the PremiumContact 6 and CrossContact RX. UK customers preferring to equip their electric crossover with all-season or winter tyres can also do so, as dealers will offer a Kia-approved Continental AllSeasonContact and WinterContact TS 850.
In addition to sporting Nexen tyres, the new Kia EV6 will also be sold with Kumho tyres as original equipment. The tyre maker is supplying its Kumho Ecsta PS71 summer and Cruzen HP71 all-season tyres for fitment on cars sold in South Korea; Kumho Tire hasn’t yet confirmed whether it will also supply tyres for other markets. Both size 235/55R19 tyres feature Kumho’s 2014-developed K-Silent sound absorption technology.
The EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle. Based on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the EV6 offers a range of up to 316 miles and rapid charging – when using the State of Charge (SOC) mode, the car can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. Nexen Tire reports it is supplying two tyres as original equipment.
Hankook Tire will work together with Hyundai Motor and Kia to develop intelligent services for consumables management based on the three companies’ data and technologies. This collaboration will take place under a Memorandum of Understanding that the companies sealed through a virtual signing ceremony yesterday.
The Kia range recently grew with the arrival of the Seltos. The compact SUV officially debuted in India on 20 June, and in addition to spearheading Kia’s planned growth in that market, Seltos models will be exported around the world. The Seltos is heading our away soon and will reach Europe from September. It will be wearing Kumho tyres when it arrives in showrooms.
Alloy wheel manufacturer the Ronal Group has become the first European supplier to be admitted to the Hyundai Motor Group’s ‘5 Star Circle’. It received this award, bestowed only upon the vehicle manufacturer’s top suppliers, at the Kia Motors plant in Žilina, Slovakia on 16 April. The Ronal factory in Jelcz, Poland also gained a Quality Award.
Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have jointly invested 80M Euros in Rimac Automobili (Rimac) – the Croatian high-performance electric vehicle technology and sportscar company. The companies have announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on the development of two high-performance electric vehicles by 2020.
The growing strength of the automotive relationship between the UK and South Korea has been highlighted today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) during its trade mission to the country.
Sales of imported tyres in Korea increased by more than 40 per cent in the January to April period when compared with 2016 figures, according to the Korea Tire Manufacturers Association (KOTMA).
If this pace continues, imported tyres will set a record high this year. According to KOTMA, this is largely due to Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors introducing imported tyres on their models, media said.
With the number of new car registrations increasing and SUVs leading the way in new car sales, the desire for owning a 4×4/SUV has led to a surge in demand for tyres in this lucrative market, distributor Grouptyre confirms. SMMT figures for August 2016 bear this out – numbers seven to 10 on the bestselling new cars table are all crossover SUVs. With greater popularity, opportunity follows for tyre manufacturers, and the wholesaler states that its suppliers are continuing to develop product ranges to meet the demands of vehicle manufacturers and their expanding range of vehicles. All the evidence points to continuing growth for 4×4 tyre sales following on from 2015’s double-digit increases, as revealed in our March issue by market research specialists GfK Automotive.