The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew by more than a quarter (+26.4 per cent) in September, according to the latest SMMT figures. In total, 52,096 vans, pickups and 4x4s were registered in the month, up some 10,880 units on a weak September 2019, when regulatory changes distorted the market.
Global sales of Global Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) are projected to reach 9.49 million units in 2020, with pickups contributing to 4.62 million units. According to research by Frost & Sullivan, the global economic impact of COVID-19 caused the market to decline by 19 per cent in global LCV sales from 11.72 million units in 2019. The European market is said to be worst hit, with countries such as Italy and Spain facing an average decline in LCV sales of 35 per cent to 50 per cent in 2020.
Firestone has released its first all-season tyre for European light trucks. The Vanhawk Multiseason offers winter-ready, fuel efficient performance for year-round use in all weather conditions, Firestone adds. It targets increased business efficiency for small-medium sized fleet operations and private van drivers. With the launch of the Vanhawk Multiseason, the Bridgestone group now has a multi-tier offer for the all-season van segment. It launched the Bridgestone Duravis All Season, a first for its eponymous brand too, last week.
Bridgestone has launched its first-ever all-season tyre for the light truck segment. The Duravis All Season has a robust and durable construction, for longevity and reduced downtime periods. It also has A-grade wet grip on the EU tyre label, alongside Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) and Mud and Snow (M+S) certification. Bridgestone says the tyre targets both small and large fleets looking to maximise business efficiency on the same tyres year-round.
Apollo Tyres has introduced the Endumaxx brand of tyres for light trucks in India. The company described light truck radial demand as having “a potential of 112,000 tyres per month in India, and it is growing at a much faster pace than any other segment”.
Giti Tire has launched the GT Radial Maxmiler AllSeason, a four-season tyre for the European van and light truck markets. Carrying the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol of its sidewall, the product is initially available in 13 SKUs with 15C-16C” rims, section widths from 195-235 and series sizes from 65-75. Load indices range from 104-115.
ATS Euromaster has Mark Lynch appointed as a new operations director to drive the company’s development in the light vehicle market, following the decision in October 2018 to merge its heavy vehicle business with Tructyre.
Goodyear has launched the Vector 4Seasons Cargo light truck tyre. The all-season product aims to offer increased fuel efficiency, improved performance and extended mileage compared to the previous model. In Goodyear testing, the Vector 4Seasons Cargo offers shorter stopping distances and improved stability and handling in wet and dry conditions. The tyre manufacturer is also emphasising the reduced cost to drivers and fleet managers due to no longer having the inconvenience or cost of switching tyres between seasons.
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company have will partner in the production of light commercial vehicles after announcing the first formal agreements in “a broad alliance”. The alliance does not involve cross-ownership between the two companies.
A glance at the archives of Tyres & Accessories’ global tyre manufacturer rankings reveals that the ‘Big Three’ are quite stable fixtures at the top of the table. However, new analysis from Astutus Research suggests that the perennial fourth-placed Continental Tire could be about to break the stranglehold of Bridgestone, Michelin, and Goodyear in the passenger car and light truck tyre segment (PCLT). According to Astutus’s latest report, the German manufacturer appears to have closed the gap on Goodyear, and is set to jump up a place in the rankings.
Goodyear has released a new light truck tyre that the company says can offer 10,000km more mileage than before. The successor to the Goodyear Cargo Marathon light truck tyre, Goodyear EfficientGrip Cargo reportedly enhances fleet mileage by up to 10,000km, improves fuel efficiency and offers enhanced grip, especially in wet conditions. 28 sizes will be available by May 2017, covering then 82 per cent of the market.
Today Hercules Tire introduced two new products to the firm’s Terra Trac family of light truck tyres. The new Terra Trac M/T mud terrain and the Terra Trac T/G Max commercial traction tyres are purpose-built for distinctly different but equally rugged applications, and both feature unmatched on-road Road Hazard protection up to two years or 50 per cent treadwear, and Hercules’ exclusive 30-day “Trust Our Ride” test drive.
Roughly a year after Tyres & Accessories met Bridgestone North Europe region managing director Robin Shaw, just a few weeks after he took on the role, progress at the Warwick, UK-based part of the global company is said to have been “really good”. More than 12 months after our last interview, Shaw’s perspective on the tyre industry – previously he led Bosch’s UK operations UK – has deepened significantly as has his influence in the industry.
“The direction is good, but we always want to be further on than we are,” Shaw told Tyres & Accessories. Of course when you ask how business is at multi-segmented, multinational like Bridgestone, there is no simple answer to that question. Rather there are multiple variables, the importance of which differs from segment to segment. However, the general synopsis is that all segments are doing well, with some doing particularly well.