Nokian Tyres has shifted away from its Vianor retail franchise concept in Germany. The Finnish tyre manufacturer said that it is “continuing the close cooperation with our former Vianor dealers in a new, but similarly intensive way under our Nokian Authorised Dealers (NAD) marketing concept.” The move comes shortly after Nokian sold its US Vianor Tire Centers business to Point S, and signifies a move away from the Vianor branding outside the brand’s domestic-plus Nordic region, where Vianor is established with 186 Vianor Equity locations. Anna Hyvönen, SVP, Nordics & Vianor, told Tyres & Accessories that the company is enacting its plans to “optimise” its Central European and North American distribution network via NAD, “focusing on the quality of the partners and providing excellent support and benefits.”
Dutch tyre brand Vredestein, part of the Apollo Tyres family since 2009, is a name well-known amongst European motorists. This isn’t the case in the USA and Canada, where Vredestein’s only enjoyed a niche following in past years. Apollo Tyres now intends to change this – in September it launched a “comprehensive brand offensive” there backed by a full range of new tyre lines explicitly designed for and developed in North America.
Nokian Tyres has sold its Vianor US business to Oregon-based Point S member Gills Point S Tire. The transaction covers ten Vianor service centres, with all current Vianor US service centre employees will be taken on by Gills Point S Tire & Auto Service.
Establishing offices in Canada and the USA last year have helped Magna Tyres Group gain a foothold in the North American off-highway tyre market, and the company reports demand for its products “rising rapidly” since the US office opened its doors in September 2019. A new sales manager now joins this office. Ryan Cusick has come on board to help Magna Tyres “focus even more on the brand presence, the distribution network and relationship with current and new customers.”
A ceremony was held on 18 August to mark the start of work on Cooper Tire’s newest regional distribution centre in the USA. The 1 million square foot (92,900m²) facility in Whiteland, Indiana is located near the tyre maker’s Franklin distribution centre and will replace the existing site once it commences operations early next year.
Michelin is rolling out a new digital services platform for customers in the USA. The tyre maker is offering the cloud-based Maestro platform through its 2018-established Services and Solutions division with the aim of creating “a stronger, more effective working relationship between service providers, fleets and Michelin.”
AGCO has named Alliance Tire Group, Ltd North American Direct Materials Supplier of the Year during its 2020 online North America Supplier Event. Alliance was recognized by AGCO for “performance in cost, collaboration, innovation, account management, coordination and flexibility”. AGCO officials noted that Alliance – the only tyre supplier recognized during the event – exhibited strong coordination and alignment with AGCO and improved factory efficiency.
Hankook Tire has been named a GM Supplier of the Year at a virtual ceremony honoring for General Motors’ 28th annual Supplier of the Year awards. GM recognised 116 of its best suppliers from 15 countries. It said these suppliers have “consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value or introduced innovations to the company.” The ceremony, recognising supplier contributions in the calendar year, was delayed in March by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Durham City Transit Company (DCTC) and Tyrata, Inc., have completed a test and evaluation protocol trialling Tyrata’s Drive-Over System (DOS) and data analytics. The solid-state DOS automatically collects and analyzes tyre tread depth as buses drive over the low-profile, speedbump-like sensor.
Goodyear has landed a major fleet deal in North America, having been named Ryder System Inc.’s preferred supplier of new and retreaded tyres as well as tyre management solutions across the United States and Canada. This partnership will officially commence on 1 January 2021.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced on Friday that its tyre manufacturing plants in North America will remain shuttered for at least another two weeks. The company began closing down its Findlay, Clarksdale, Tupelo and Texarkana facilities in the USA and El Salto plant in Mexico on 21 March and intended to shut them down for two two three weeks. It says the production pause is being extended both to protect the health and safety of employees and as a response to decreased market demand. Cooper will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust timing as necessary.
Members of US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) have applauded the U.S. Senate’s “unprecedented work to pass the largest economic relief package in U.S. history”. Now, the group respectfully urges the U.S. House of Representatives and President Trump to “expeditiously ensure this becomes law to provide a much-needed financial boost to American workers, American businesses” and the nation’s struggling economy.
Titan International, Inc., manufacturer of the Titan tyre brands as well as the Goodyear agricultural tyre lines sold in the UK, Europe and North America, says its plants are operating as normal during the COVID-19 crisis. The company describes its decision to maintain production as a “commitment to keeping its US manufacturing facilities operating as normal in order to support the food and agriculture industry.”
Market demand for tyres in some parts of the world is declining parallel to the spread of the coronavirus, and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has responded by announcing a temporary shutdown of its tyre manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico. In a statement published on Saturday, the tyre maker said it is also “currently assessing plans” for its operations in Europe. Cooper Tires’ plants in China, which reopened several weeks ago and have continued to ramp up production since then, remain in operation.
Robert (Bob) Lee will take over as the new president of Continental North America. He succeeds Jeff Klei, who will retire after serving more than 30 years in the industry. Lee will be responsible for leading customer, governmental and other external relationships across the region.