Yokohama Corporation of North America (YCNA) has sold the assets of Missouri-based tyre wholesaler Friend Tire Company (FTC) to tyre dealer network and retreader Southern Tire Mart (STM). The agreement was finalised on 1 April 2023.
During March, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., “gradually” launched sales of the new Geolandar A/T XD all-terrain pickup truck tyre in North America and Australia. The Geolandar A/T XD is initially coming out in a range of 16, 17, 18 and 20-inch sizes.
Across the Atlantic, Yokohama Tire Corporation, the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has launched the Geolandar A/T XD. The Geolandar A/T XD is engineered for “full-size pickup trucks and commercial vans”. It is severe snow service-rated and moulded for optional studs purportedly offering “outstanding on- and off-road traction all year round”. The A/T XD is initially available in 21 sizes ranging from 16 to 20 inches, with more sizes coming later in the year.
Alongside an exclusive tour of Linglong Tire’s new European production base in Serbia, Tyres & Accessories sat down with chairman Wang Feng in a conversation that covered topics including the company’s plans for its latest factory in Serbia, the location of its next manufacturing investment and the fast-growing tyre manufacturer’s strategic goals.
10 years after Apollo Tyres’ bid to acquire Cooper Tire fell through, vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar says the company is putting its emphasis on back on North America and even hinted at the goal of building a tyre production facility there.
Linglong Tire will build its next tyre factory in the Americas region. Tyres & Accessories learnt the news during a recent interview with Linglong Tire chairman Wang Feng, which took place alongside an exclusive tour of the company’s new European tyre production facility in Serbia.
Tyre-related business profit at Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) stood at 67.9 billion yen in 2016 and was still a respectable 41.4 billion yen in 2021, but last year dropped to 12.3 billion yen (£76.2 million). It’s therefore no surprise that SRI believes it has been investing too much capital in unprofitable businesses, and the company intends to change this.
Yokohama is supplying its Geolandar M/T G003 tyres for SUVs and pickup trucks to more than 30 teams at the annual King of the Hammers off-road race in California (4–11 February). The manufacturer is providing a mix of its Geolandar M/T G003 and a special race version based on that tyre. The King of the Hammers is the Ultra4 National Series racing tour season-opener. The series combines desert racing and rock crawling and is considered the one of the toughest off-road races in the world. Yokohama tyres will be used in all four-wheel class races over the week-long event.
Nokian Tyres is investing approximately US$174 million to double tyre capacity at its factory in the USA and to expand warehousing capabilities at the Dayton, Tennessee site. This project will lead to the creation of 75 new jobs at the Dayton facility this year, and the expansion will also enable Nokian to add light truck tyres to the plant’s product mix in 2023.
Sales of Bandag retreaded tyres increased 9% in North America during 2022, with more than seven million units sold during the year. A US$60 million investment in capacities & debut of a new programme for small and mid-sized fleets should ensure continued growth in 2023.
Maxam has expanded its global original equipment supply commitment with the approval of the Agrixtra product line to select Case IH and New Holland brand equipment in North America. Maxam says the series has been helping it make inroads into the OEM supply sector since its launch almost a decade ago. Agrixtra tyres are building a reputation for performance in the value end of the global tyre market, assisted by the new deal with two leading global agricultural manufacturers.
In the United States, Pirelli has announced a price increase relating to car and light truck tyres. Effective 15 January 2023, the company will increase prices by 10 per cent, varying by line and tyre size.
The Vredestein tyre brand has been present in North America for two years now, and Apollo Tyres is expanding the range offered there with the USA launch of the Vredestein Pinza HT. This newest addition to the Pinza family is a highway all-season tyre designed for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
Nexen Tire has entered into a further sporting partnership, this time with US ice hockey team the Chicago Blackhawks. Beginning with the 2022–23 season, the tyre maker will feature on a variety of physical and digital marketing assets, including signage at the Blackhawk’s home rink, Fifth Third Arena.
TBC Brands, one of the largest distributors of proprietary brand tyres in North America, has promoted Brent Wolak to the role of Director of Sales. In this capacity he will lead all sales and growth efforts for TBC Brands’ business.