Toyo Tire & Rubber Co kicked off its year at the annual Tokyo Auto Salon in mid-January at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City. Exhibiting its eponymous and Nitto brands, the tyre manufacturer presented its motorsport pedigree with guests Ken Block and BJ Baldwin, while Toyo Tires president, Takashi Shimizu, and managing director, Tomoshige Mizutani, were on hand to talk about the company’s history and North American automobile culture.
Japanese rubber products manufacturer Nitta has is to acquire the chemical and chemical and industrial products businesses of Toyo Tire and Rubber for 3.7 billion yen. The purchase does not include the now infamous seismic isolation rubber business.
Back in March Toyo Tire and Rubber said it was planning to sell its non-automotive operations and use the funds to strengthen its tyre business. Toyo Tire is expected to use the money from the sale to expand its tyre plant in Malaysia and invest in a US design centre set to open in 2018.
Jose Angeles, marketing manager for Nitto Tyres Australia, reports that the Nitto brand will now be sold exclusively in Australia through the 136-outlet Bob Jane T-Marts tyre retail chain. Announcing the new distribution deal, Angeles commented that “this national retail partnership, along with the new dedicated website, will dramatically expand Nitto’s presence in Australia and make our tyres much more accessible to an already extensive fan base.”
To loosely paraphrase the 2012 Taylor Swift song, Sentury Tires America is never, ever getting back together with the CLV6 tyre. In a statement released 19 February, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. shared that Sentury has “agreed to never produce the original CLV6 tyre that was displayed at the 2012 SEMA Show or any tyre with a similar tread design” as part of the settlement it has reached with Toyo. The CLV6 was viewed by Toyo as an infringement of its United States design patent for the tread design used on its Nitto Motivo tyre.
It is believed that up to 175,000 Toyo and Nitto brand tyres are subject to a recall notice issued in the USA. The recalls, respectively announced by Nitto Tire USA and Toyo Tire USA on 25 and 26 November, cover particular tyre models produced at Toyo’s Sendai and Kuwana factories in Japan. The tyre are being recalled as “production variances in the belt package” have been detected in a small number of tyres, and this has the potential to lead to a separation of the tread and belt and/or a loss of inflation pressure.
Continental’s TrueContact has been voted a winner at the New Products Showcase Awards during this year’s SEMA show. The TrueContact took first place ahead of the Cooper Discoverer SRX and Nitto EXO Grappler AWT in the ‘Tire and Related Product’ category. The awards finalists in 16 categories were selected from nearly 2,000 new products.
In its final determination on the tyre design patent infringement complaint that was filed by Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. and Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas on 20 September 2013, the US International Trade Commission issued limited exclusion orders and cease-and-desist orders to the eight remaining respondents. These orders prohibit them from importing or selling any infringing tyres. Each respondent was found to be in default and in violation of the law prior to the 28 July determination.
As reported on 28 April, as of the start of May Toyo Tire Europe president Naoki Gonsui will also become president of Toyo Tire Deutschland. Toyo has announced a further personnel change taking effect 1 May: Kiyohito Hasumi, currently president of Toyo Tire Canada, will take on the additional role of president, Nitto Tire Canada.
It’s been less than a year since Nitto Tire reported gaining its three millionth Facebook fan, and now the company says it has five million fans on board. Nitto attributes this social media growth to its engagement strategies, including its Nitto Ambassador Program, live multi-player mobile games and a proprietary automotive interest blog, DrivingLine.com. Utilising such tools, Nitto says it has generated a loyal community with fan engagement that goes beyond the traditional likes, shares and comments that exist in the social network platform.
Want to promote a tyre brand? Not too fussed about being paid for your efforts? Nitto Tire U.S.A. may have just what you’ve been looking for. The tyre maker has launched its ‘Ambassador’ programme, a scheme aimed at its “most loyal enthusiasts” and described as being “the latest extension of its dynamic community building efforts.”
So you’ve accumulated a decent amount of ‘friends’ on Facebook, but how many fans do you have? Nitto Tire U.S.A. has more – in fact, the brand has hit the 3 million fan mark. Half a million of these signed on within the last two months.
Facebook has just announced that its membership has passed the one billion mark. A smaller, but nevertheless significant, milestone has also been reached by Nitto Tire – on 8 October the company announced that two million Facebook users are now fans of its facebook.com/nittotire page.
A safety recall covering a number of Toyo and Nitto brand products has been announced by Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. The tyre maker says approximately 4,891 tyres are subject to this recall, of which approximately 588 were produced using a rubber chemical mixture that does not meet the company's specification. “As a consequence, sections of the tread may become detached, potentially causing loss of vehicle control and a crash, which could result in death or injury,” Toyo states in a press release.
NHTSA has announced that Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas is recalling certain Nitto Terra Grappler All Terrain, Toyo Open Country A/T and Toyo Proxes ST II tyres, according to US trade news source Tire Review. All of the recalled tyres are in size 305/50R20. The exact number of tyres being recalled was not announced.