The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market fell by -26.9 per cent to 17,566 registrations in the first month of 2022 compared with a bumper January last year, according to the latest figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Cooper Tire Europe has launched a new product for van drivers. Called the Cooper Evolution Van All Season, the tyre is approved for year-round usage in countries with seasonal tyre regulations and bears the 3PMSF snowflake within a three-peaked mountain logo on the sidewall as evidence of this.
Although radial tyres are increasing their share of India’s light commercial vehicle sector, Apollo Tyres points out that around 165,000 cross-ply/bias light commercial tyres are sold throughout India every month. The tyre maker states it is “looking to get a share of this market” and has thus introduced a new cross-ply range, Apollo Bhim. It is offering two SKUs and says these will cater to nearly 80 per cent of the market in this segment.
Davanti Tyres and automotive design house Sterling Automotive Design will mark their Commercial Vehicle Show debut on its return this year (Stand 5D95, Birmingham NEC, 31 August – 2 September) with the unveiling of Davanti’s new all-season van tyre. The Vantoura 4-Seasons will join Davanti’s Protoura Sport, which has sizes suitable for van conversions, the DX440 van tyre, and Terratoura A/T tyre for commercial pickups. It is the first time Davanti will exhibit its entire commercial vehicle tyre range together.
Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) has appointed a new senior management team for its tyre manufacturing plant in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). The appointment comes as Continental gears up to increase the site’s role as a supplier of light commercial vehicle tyres to global markets.
The UK light commercial vehicle tyre market had a relatively dynamic year in 2020, with value and volume changes in certain sub-segments driven by an increase in higher rim diameter tyre sizes, as well as increased demand for all-season – and even winter – performance. According to GfK panelmarket data, which tracks points of sale, comparing the calendar year 2020 to 2019, these growth subsegments supported a 2020 light commercial vehicle tyre market value change across all rim sizes of 0 per cent, while volume was down only -2 per cent. While LCV operators were not entirely immune to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, these figures show how the essential services supported by van operators, such as last mile delivery resulting from booming e-commerce, allowed LCV tyres to achieve results within touching distance of pre-pandemic norms.
SD International now offers four van and light commercial tyre patterns for the UK and European tyre market via its Pace and Toledo private brands. Three van patterns are available from the Pace brand – the PC18, Active Power 4S and Antartica 8 – representing the summer, all-season and winter segments respectively; the TL 5000 covers light commercial applications for the Toledo brand.
Courier vehicles are now ubiquitous in urban areas. This significant increase in city distribution traffic, with shorter distances driven to deliver smaller packages, has led to growth within the light commercial vehicle segment in the last few years. The opening of new hubs and the restrictions for bigger vehicles from entering some cities has provided the impetus to develop a more capillary delivery service, creating higher demand for light truck tyres.
SMMT figures show that the new light commercial vehicle market grew by 85.5 per cent in March with 56,122 vans joining UK roads with the ’21 new number plate. Usually one of the busiest months of the year, March saw the largest-ever increase since the switch to the two plate system in 1999, but one which still represented an -10.9 per cent decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 average, as prolonged nationwide lockdown continued to suppress business confidence in the first quarter of the year.
Giti Tyre’s GitiSynergyH2 has been selected for a second original equipment fitment on the VW Caddy 5. The tyre, currently supplied to the OE segment, is the company’s first to achieve an AA rating on the EU tyre label. The 205/60R16 XL 96H GitiSynergyH2 joins 215/55R17 XL 98H as a second size option on the production line of one of the best-selling commercial vehicles in Europe.
Goodyear has brought out a second generation of its summer van and light truck tyre. The first sizes in the new Goodyear EfficientGrip Cargo 2 range began arriving in December, and the full range of 23 SKUs for 14- to 17-inch rim diameters should be available by the end of October 2021.
The Maxxis Mecotra ME3+ has been selected as the original equipment tyre on the 2021 Volkswagen Caddy 5. The Mecotra ME3+ tyre is a new version of the economy focused Mecotra ME3 replacement market product. The tyre was developed by the manufacturer specially for the new VW Caddy in size 205/60 R16 96H XL.
Nexen Tire is introducing a new all-season tyre for light commercial vehicles. The Nexen N’Blue 4Season Van will be available in ten sizes and provide van drivers with a year-round option thanks to its 3PMSF certification.
Michelin has launched the Agilis 3, its latest summer tyre for light commercial vehicles. The manufacturer states that the new tyre is designed particularly for vans used on intense delivery schedules. It adds that the tyre features technology “not used within light commercial vehicle tyres previously.” These help the Agilis 3 to offer safety on wet roads and high fuel efficiency, exemplified by its tyre label scores, while remaining robust and durable. Michelin states that the tyre targets the optimisation of costs and environmental footprint without compromising on safety.
Continental is extending its ContiSeal technology to van tyre ranges. Production of ContiVanContact 100 tyres featuring the self-sealing puncture solution began this month and will initially be available for the popular dimensions 215/65 R 16C 106/104 T. Going forwards, Continental will introduce the solution in further sizes and also offer ContiSeal products in its all-season and winter van tyre ranges.