In its annual winter tyre performance survey, German motoring publication AutoBild narrows a wide field of 49 winter tyres and two all-season tyres with wet and snow braking measurements before conducting a full test of a range of characteristics. 19 tyres made it through to the 2015/16 season test, conducted using the tyre size 185/60 R15.
The expansion of the four-wheel drive market has resulted in an increased choice of tyres, as manufacturers launch products to service the needs of retailers and consumers across the UK, wholesaler Stapleton’s states. This creates a window of opportunity as well as a challenge for the tyre retailer: a fast-growing market for high quality replacement tyres, and a wider breadth of stock required to cope with the specialist sector. This, Stapleton’s says, is where the wholesaler comes in.
Kings Road Tyres (KRT), one of the largest specialist distributors of truck tyres in the UK, has reported substantial growth in sales of its budget ranges of TBR fitments, with volumes up 20 per cent year-on-year. KRT sells a number of exclusive budget brands including Aeolus, Antyre, Fullrun and Blacklion.
Matador has released new steer and drive axle tyres for the European market. Both the F HR 4 steer tyre and the D HR 4 drive tyre are available in the popular size 315/80 R22.5, and Matador reports that these are merely the initial dimensions in a whole new Matador truck and bus tyre range; additional fitments will join the portfolio at a later date.
Few would disagree that the rapid growth of the 4×4/SUV tyre space represents a good retail opportunity. On the other hand, retailers are obliged to maintain an unprecedented breadth of stock to cope with the particular demands of this specialist sector, which can be quite a challenge. And it’s on this point that Stapleton’s believes […]
Stapleton’s says that availability, affordability, customer focus and safety remain at the top of the agenda in the passenger car tyre market, a philosophy that inspires its stable of exclusive brands, including Maxxis, Nexen, Matador, Primewell and Event. “It’s a matter of horses for courses really… and when the economic going’s tough as it has been for the last few years, our retailers tell us they need to offer hard-pressed drivers a choice of brands and products that covers all sizes, sectors and price points,” says Nigel O’Hara, Stapleton’s head of general wholesale. “If the retailer doesn’t have the right tyre for the customer at the right time and at the right price, chances are they’ll lose the sale. At the same time, neither we nor our retail partners are willing to sacrifice performance or safety just to stay competitive.”
While premium tyre manufacturers are notably providing more application-specific products to the coach and bus sector, the move to specialisation does not end in the higher-priced market segment. Kings Road Tyres (KRT), one of the UK’s leading wholesale suppliers of specialist tyres to the bus and coach sector, explains that its exclusive brands Matador and Aeolus both offer coach and bus tyres for use in urban environs with mid-range and budget price tags.
Russian tyre maker Cordiant, formerly Sibur-Russian Tyres, confirmed in late July plans to invest US$400 million in its Western Siberia tyre plants. This announcement was made following a plant visit undertaken by Omsk region governor Viktor Nazarov on 27 July.
On 29 December the Sibur petrochemical holding company completed the sale of 100 of its OAO SIBUR-Russian Tyres (SRT) business to a group of investors including the management of SRT and Vadim Gurinov, former CEO of the company. No financial details relating to the sale have yet been released.
The sale follows the restructuring of SRT with the sale of two of its non-core plants: OAO Sibur-Volzhskiy, a manufacturer of synthetic fibres, which was acquired by CJSC Gazprom Stroy TEK Salavat and OAO Volzhkiy Nitrogen and Oxygen Plant, which specialises in commercial grade gas production and was sold to the ROEL Group.
Continental Matador Rubber has reportedly asked Slovakia’s Ministry of Economy for tax relief measures worth 14.58 million euros. The tyre maker, who is said to be investing 130 million euros in its Puchov plant to, amongst other things, ready it for the production of low rolling resistance tyres, intends to hire 324 new workers and has asked for tax relief in the years up to 2015.
The key product in Matador’s 4×4 range continues to be the MP 85 Hectorra. On the market since early 2008, the tyre is targeted at the UHP end of the 4×4 tyre sector, and is recommended for 90 per cent on-road and 10 per cent off-road use.
The asymmetric tread of the MP 85 Hectorra features an outer zone with wider profile blocks and narrow lateral grooves. According to Matador, these ensure enhanced vehicle stability when turning. The inner zone contains narrower profile blocks and wider lateral grooves for improved wet weather safety and performance.
Matador is releasing a new high performance segment tyre for the 2009 summer season. Intended for medium size (D-segment) and large (E-segment) cars, the Matador MP 44 Elite 3 features an asymmetrical tread pattern that the manufacturer reports delivers improved handling, comfort, tread life and wet and dry safety compared with its predecessors, the MP 42 Elite 2 and MP 43 Aquilla Evo.
The MP 44 Elite 3 will be produced in 34 sizes for 15 and 16-inch rim diameters, with T, H, V and W speed rated products on offer.
Continental has increased its share in Continental Matador Rubber following a July 1 agreement to transfer an additional 15 per cent of Continental Matador shares. Following the transaction the Continental Group holds 66 per cent of shares in Continental Matador Rubber.
The Hectorra MP 45 and MP 46 Hectorra 2 continue to keep Matador well represented in the high performance tyre segment.
Available in W and Y speed ratings, aspect ratios from 55 series down to 30 series and for wheels from 16 to 18-inch, the MP 45’s asymmetric tread pattern gives the tyre a sporty look, as well as contributing to good handling in the wet and on dry roads. ‘W’ speed rated tyres are also available with an extra load capacity.
The MP 46 Hectorra 2 is the second generation summer high speed asymmetric tread tyres produced by the Slovakian manufacturer, and the final sizes to complete the Hectorra 2 range are expected to come to market during summer 2008. Like the MP 45, the Hectorra 2 features an asymmetric tread and Matador reports it delivers excellent braking properties and reliable manoeuvrability on wet as well as dry surfaces, along with high resistance to aquaplaning. The MP 46 Hectorra 2 is available in V and Y speed rated sizes for rim diameters between 16 and 20-inch.
Matador recently launched the MP85 Hectorra. Company representatives described the product an ultra-high performance SUV 4×4 tyre with a new high-speed summer asymmetric tread design. According to the company, the modern asymmetric tread brings optimum handling and safety on wet and dry surfaces. Asymmetric configuration of the tread blocks brings increased stability of the vehicle in curves during more aggressive driving styles, Matador representatives added. The new tyre is designated: 90 per cent road – 10 per cent terrain.