Passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyre production trends in Western Europe have been scaling down over the long-term. The move to larger production facilities in the comparatively low-cost labour markets in Eastern Europe, or greater reliance on imports from Asia, has seen a steady stream of plant closures and conversions to speciality, short-run production capacity – on in the case of Cooper Tire’s UK plant, for example, one followed by the other – in the region. A new assessment of the most recent three-year period by tyre industry analyst Astutus Research suggests that the overall picture has been of a decline similar to the period following the 2008 financial crisis, which was itself a catalyst for this trend. Yet digging a little deeper into the figures shows several dynamics at play in European PCLT tyre production, including supply chain disruption and spiralling energy costs. For comprehensive analysis of global tyre market trends, a series of reports by Astutus Research are available to buy now in the Tyrepress Reports Shop – click here for more details.
Micheldever Tyre Services and Giti Tire gave UK GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) dealers the opportunity to test the brand’s latest tyres to the limit during their recent Ride and Drive event in Portimão, Portugal. Held at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit at the start of September, dealers were able to drive on the celebrated race track on the GT Radial SportActive 2 ultra-high performance tyre, as well as testing the handling and off-road capabilities respectively of the brand’s FE2 and Savero SUV.
Kumho Tyre (UK) supported the Max Adventure team as it beat its original time target on the Driven To Extremes Euro EV Marathon. The team covered its 3,174 mile-route from Oslo to Portugal in just 3.75 days in the fully electric Kia EV6 ‘Air’ fitted with Kumho’s Ecsta PS71 EV tyre. The team knocked 47 minutes off the time set by Sir Stirling Moss in 1952, adding an extra country to the list of those visited. The challenge was designed to show that a standard EV and current charging infrastructure can now allow drivers to cover vast distances in a short time. The Kumho Ecsta PS71 EV is an original fitment on the Kia EV6, with the 235/55R19 size used by the challenge car throughout the trial.
Recreating a historic motoring exploit, the 3,600-mile challenge will visit 15 countries in just 120 hours. Kumho’s Ecsta PS71 EV tyre is an original fit on the Kia EV6 and it is this specialist product in 235/55R19 size that the challenge car will be equipped with throughout the trial.
Grupo Andrés Neumáticos will once again participate in The Tire Cologne when it runs from 24-26 May 2022. Grupo Andrés, which has invested in a significant-sized stand for the event, will be located at stand E038 Hall 8 at the Koelnmesse Exhibition Centre.
Bridgestone has confirmed a second year of partnership with the Hawkers European Talent Cup (HETC). As of this year, the tyre manufacturer is also official partner of the Federation Française de Motocyclisme (FFM) and sole supplier for the Objectif Grand Prix (OGP), the French national championship dedicated to promising young riders. Bridgestone says it shares the passion for competition and performance that are the basis of motorcycle racing.
When the Motortec aftermarket exhibition takes place in Madrid (from 20-23 April), Grupo Alves Bandeira will present its range of Matrax brand tyres. According to the company, this is the first time that Matrax Tires have been displayed in Europe. In addition, Grupo Alves Bandeira will also use its presence at the Madrid event to present its AB and Matrax branded lubricants and batteries.
The evolution of its International Department is behind the recent growth in exports from Iberian Peninsula-based tyre distributor Neumáticos Andrés. Exports accounted for 25 per cent of its 2021 sales, with deliveries reaching customers in more than 30 countries around the world.
Grupo Andrés recorded tyre-related sales of 219 million euros in 2021, despite the Covid-19-related complications of 2020. According to the company, the results confirm both Andrés Neumáticos’s position as “the undisputed leader in the tyre distribution sector in the Iberian Peninsula” and its ongoing strategy.
20 per cent of Spanish tyre distributor Grupo Andrés’s sales are made outside Spain. And, with the company positioned as market leader in the Iberian peninsula along with investments in systems and infrastructure, sales are projected to grow.
Kenda Tire Europe has appointed Safame Comercial SL as a tyre distribution partner in Iberia. Effective immediately, “Kenda’s complete tyre portfolio will be available to purchase through Safame’s distribution network of more than 7,000 outlets across Spain and Portugal.”
LMP2 driver Antonio Felix da Costa is now a Goodyear Brand Ambassador. The tyre maker announced da Costa’s new engagement prior to the weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 8 Hours of Portimao event; the Portuguese driver called the announcement of his ambassadorship on the weekend that WEC arrived in his homeland an “added bonus”.
At the start of 2021 Grupo Andrés, started work on the construction its new headquarters. According to the company the new facilities will result in “a significant improvement in distribution” due to the “robotization of the logistics process and a notable streamlining of work and the flow of orders”.
Pirelli has paid tribute to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after he became the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time. Hamilton registered his 92nd career grand prix win with a one-stop medium-hard strategy in Portimao, Portugal. Mario Isola – head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli said the sport was “privileged to witness history being made.” Hamilton completed 45 consistent laps (40 in race plus five in Q2) on the P Zero Yellow C2 compound before completing the race on the harder P Zero White.