This year the well-known Finland-based tyre testing centre Test World turns 30. What better way to celebrate than to redouble its efforts to become a comprehensive test centre for summer, winter and all-season tyres? Following the acquisition of Test World’s parent company Millbrook by UTAC CERAM, which was completed at the start of February 2021, key developments towards this goal include: the purchase of the world’s first all-electric winter tyre traction testing light truck and the addition of a new soon-to-be opened proving ground in Morocco. Tyres & Accessories me up Jukka Antila, Technical Director at Test World as well as Millbrook business development manager Andrew Kern in order to find out more.
5 November saw the inaugural virtual Tyre Industry Conference, with Tyres & Accessories bringing the traditional annual conference into the virtual arena due to Covid-19 restrictions. Produced in association with the NTDA and supported by Cam Systems, our expert panel was comprised of James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, sales general manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear. The wide-ranging 45-minute conversation covered a lot of bases, but the first session, which was designed to focus on the new tyre market’s recent trends and statistics began with a presentation from James Ward.
For the fourth year in a row, Michelin can be found at the top of Tyres & Accessories’ 2020 UK social media ranking. Indeed, such is Michelin’s dominance in the annual table, only Goodyear (in 2012) and Dunlop (in 2016) have done enough to overtake the UK arm of the French tyre brand since our research began in 2011. In both cases, Michelin still managed to take second place.
The UK’s largest tyre retailer, Kwik Fit, is being prepared for a sale. The Japanese Itochu group, which owns the European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) holding company that controls both Kwik Fit and its wholesale counterpart Stapleton’s Tyre Services, has appointed investment bankers Nomura to advise on strategic options for the company, according to Sky News, with insiders suggesting a sale is very likely.
Having received approval back in June, Qingdao Sentury Tire has successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is now listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (China) as of 11 September 2020. 11 per cent of the company’s shares were valued at 1.31 billion yuan (162 million euros; £149.859 million) by investors, resulting in a theoretical total valuation of 1.47 billion euros. The offered shares offered were oversubscribed 2887 times over. But what is the company planning to do with its newly-raised funds?
Continuing our series investigating UK Police fleet tyre demand, we looked a little closer at the differences between the various regional forces tyre preferences. Despite the fact that, as we have seen, tyre purchasing is based on a national framework agreement, there was a surprising amount of variety in both tyre policy and what actually happened when the rubber hit the road, so to speak.
It’s not just the car that’s grown. This August Mini officially began celebrating the iconic marque’s 60th anniversary. We at Tyres & Accessories wanted to join in with the celebrations by sharing a couple of interesting points about how the Mini’s tyres have evolved over the last 60 years.
67 per cent of drivers don’t think winter tyres are worth the investment, according to an online poll conducted by Co-op Insurance on 25 January 2019. The Twitter-based poll received votes from 4,084 individuals and a stream of interesting comments on the subject followed.
Global motorsport tyre brand Dmack has announced that it will “open its own tyre manufacturing facility” in Italy, following a deal to use part of Marangoni’s Rovereto plant in northern Italy. The Carlisle-based brand said it would be “capable of producing up to 250,000 tyres per year” at Rovereto, with the “flexibility to tailor short production runs for very specific applications and to meet demands for control tyre championships.” The company adds that it wants to transfer its technical capability into racing by producing world-class products for the circuit racing and track markets. Most famous for supplying tyres to the FIA World Rally Championship since 2011, Dmack tyres were previously produced by Chinese manufacturer, Shandong Yongtai, which recently went into administration, before shifting to Cooper Tires’ UK factory in Melksham, which itself is set to reduce production by a half when it halts production of road-going light vehicle tyres next year.