This week, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company achieved a further step towards its goal of fully replacing petroleum-derived oils by 2040. Selected products within the Goodyear Metro Miler range, a city transit tyre available to customers in North America, are now produced using a bio-based soybean oil compound that replaces a portion of the petroleum-based materials used.
Bridgestone Americas has commenced an exclusive partnership with carbon capture and transformation (CCT) specialist LanzaTech NZ, Inc. to address end-of-life tyre waste. The two companies will co-develop the first dedicated end-of-life tyre recycling process leveraging LanzaTech’s proprietary CCT technology.
It is the ‘MO’ label on the sidewall that Hankook Tire is particularly proud of. The two letters stand for ‘Mercedes Original’, and only tyres that match strict quality criteria are approved as original equipment for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. These letters appear on the sides of three Hankook tyre models that Mercedes-Benz fits on the S-Class, continuing a supply arrangement that began almost a decade ago.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has selected Continental tyres as an original equipment fitment for the fully electric RPV 500 and RPV 700 delivery vans it developed for online retailer Amazon. For the North American market, Rivian Prime Vans are equipped with size LT245/70 R16 VanContact A/S all-season tyres ex works.
The cyberattack on Bridgestone Americas resulted in the perpetrators gaining access to “a limited number of Bridgestone systems and threatening to make this information public.” However, the Bridgestone Americas statement released in answer to Tyres & Accessories questions on 15 March also explained that the company is: “…working around the clock with external security advisors, Accenture Security, to investigate and understand the full scope and nature of the incident.”
Bridgestone Americas is currently in the process of getting its systems “back online in a safe and secure manner” following what the company called an “information security incident that recently impacted operations” at the end of February. But tyre production is not yet back to normal.
A number of Bridgestone’s tyre factories in North and South America have been hit by cyberattacks resulting in production shutdowns. Some sources have even suggested that the actions are linked to the war in Ukraine.
North American aftermarket tyre distributor TBC Corporation (TBC) has promoted Geoff Doster to the position of president and chief operating officer for TBC Brands and TBC International. In his new role, Doster will oversee all TBC Brands and TBC International sales initiatives, including customer service, commercial tyre sales, equipment as well as non-tyre sales and operations.
Titan International, Inc. has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Kubota Tractor Corporation and Kubota Canada Limited, the Japanese agricultural machinery company’s businesses in North America. The agreement will see Titan Trac Loader II tyres fitted in selected sizes on Kubota products. These tyres will be branded with both the Titan and Kubota names on the sidewall.
On 14 January, Delticom AG signed a contract for the sale of its majority shareholding in Delticom North America Inc. with Tire Capital LLC. The Hannover, Germany-based online tyre company expects to receive between US$7.5 million and $8 million for its 75 per cent stake in the US subsidiary, the sales price being subject to customary market adjustment mechanisms. Delticom anticipates a finalisation of the contract in the second half of February.
Curtis Brison is the new president of Hankook Tire North America (formerly Hankook Tire America). He succeeds Sooil Lee, who remains chief executive officer of Hankook Tire & Technology. Additionally, Hankook Tire North America has promoted Robert Williams to senior vice president of Truck, Bus and Radial (TBR) sales and Jong Jin (JJ) Park to vice-president of marketing.
While tyre makers serving the UK and European markets typically cover replacement demand for electric vehicle tyres with energy-efficient products they also aim at ICE-powered cars, in North America Goodyear has introduced a replacement market tyre that’s specifically tuned for EVs. It has launched the Goodyear ElectricDrive GT in size 255/45R19 104W XL and intends to expand the line-up in 2022.
Giti Tire has responded to allegations of problematic employee relations at its Richburg plant in the USA. Following the publication of a joint letter penned by the United Steelworkers (USW) union and “more than 40 civic, faith and government leaders,” David Shelton, director of industry relations, Giti Tire Manufacturing (USA), states that the tyre maker “always welcomes sincere and legitimate input from our team members and other community members.” He adds that Giti Tire’s policy is to ensure it possesses “all the facts and accurate information” before taking action on such matters and calls upon others to do likewise.
Bridgestone is enhancing its tyre development capabilities in the USA with an expansion to its Americas Technology Center campus in Akron, Ohio. The project includes the construction of a new vehicle dynamics test track that will facilitate the development of future tyre technologies by allowing team members to drive prototypes first-hand and thus quickly ascertain which further enhancements are necessary. The track will also supplement tyre testing operations currently performed at Bridgestone’s Proving Grounds in Texas, Ohio, Mexico, and South America.