Three Japanese firms are jointly conducting pilot testing that involves joining data gained from an internet-capable tyre with a road surface sensing system to map data. The trio – tyre maker The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.; map and navigation technology specialist Zenrin Co., Ltd.; and technology company Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. – have now also begun studying ways to monetise this technology.
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?
Linglong Tire signed a cooperation agreement with the Jinan Municipal People’s Government on 17 July 2020. As a result, Linglong Tire will settle its research and development and technological innovation base in the central district of Jinan. According to the agreement, the two parties will cooperate in terms of science and technology as well as personnel matters. The relevant leaders of Jinan and Linglong’s chairman and president Wang Feng attended the signing ceremony.
Led by Senior Electronics Development Engineer, Michael Crookes, the introduction of the new electronic testing facility and role will “enable PCL to test and develop electronic products in-house at its state-of-the-art Sheffield HQ”, according to the company.
Financial analysts from Jefferies described Continental AG’s plan for fiscal improvements during the corona-crisis “encouraging”, according to an analyst report published 15 May 2020. That Conti’s management highlighted “positive data points in China and the European replacement tyre market”, would seem to be positive indications for the whole tyre business. Specifically, replacement tyre demand was described as “strong” in Germany. However, R&D budgets are likely to be cut and there was even the suggestion that European tyre factory numbers could also be cut back.
Goodyear has purchased new VI-grade driving simulators, including a dynamic model, to enhance its product development. The tyre manufacturer has selected a Compact Simulator recently delivered to the company’s innovation centre in Luxembourg and a Dynamic Driving Simulator DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion) to be installed in Akron, Ohio, in the coming months.
Michelin is installing a new Ansible Motion Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator at its North America Research & Development centre in Greenville, South Carolina, USA. The Theta C simulator offers virtual test driving and evaluation of tyre-road-vehicle interactions in advance and in parallel with physical testing, with detailed simulation environments. Michelin is the first company to take delivery of the Theta C simulator since the product was formally launched.
Yokohama Rubber has teamed up with Alps Alpine to conduct research and development into CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric) compliant sensors for passenger car tyres. The tyre maker chose to partner with the Japanese electronics specialist as, in addition to experience in sensor development, Alps Alpine possesses system design and software development capabilities that Yokohama anticipates will deliver synergies to its new tyre business model.
In just a few months’ time, Toyo Tire Corporation will begin research and development work at a new site in Europe. The tyre maker is setting up an R&D centre in Willich, Germany to support its future factory in Serbia, and intends to start operations there in the autumn. Having a local R&D presence in the vicinity of vehicle manufacturers and related companies will, says Toyo, be beneficial in terms of the quality and freshness of the information gained.
Nexen Tire has a new R&D hub – the Nexen Central Research Institute, or Nexen univerCITY. Located in the Magok Industrial Complex in Seoul, South Korea, the 57,000 square metre facility will act as a research and development hub for Nexen Tire’s centres in the USA, Europe and China. More than 300 people attended an official opening ceremony for the Nexen univerCITY late last month.
According to Nokian Tyres, global demand for premium heavy tyres is rising and new, larger tyres for bulkier machinery need to be developed. To meet this demand, the tyre maker’s Nokian Heavy Tyres unit will erect a new research and development centre in Nokia, Finland next year.
An inauguration ceremony was held yesterday for Michelin’s new R&D centre in India. Alexandre Ziegler, France’s Ambassador to India, formally inaugurated the Michelin India Research and Development Laboratory in Manesar, Haryana state. The 3,800-square metre centre provides support to the Michelin Technology Center in Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon), a facility that focuses on commercial vehicle tyre R&D and provides technical support to the company’s manufacturing facilities in India, China and Thailand.
After a ten-month construction period and with surprisingly little fanfare, on 16 September Michelin opened ‘Urbalad’, its new RDI (Research, Development, Innovation) Campus in the presence of group employees, partners and French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. Urbalad was built with an investment of €270 million and is expected to, the tyre maker states, “open up a new era for the company.”
Last week, Apollo Tyres formally inaugurated a second Global R&D Centre to complement its existing global research and development facility in the Netherlands, which opened in 2013. The new centre is located just outside the city of Chennai, in Southern India, and was inaugurated by company chairman Onkar S Kanwar and vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar in the presence of members of the company’s Supervisory Board and Management Board on 9 November.
Apollo Tyres is planning to re-enter the US market, following the failed takeover of Cooper a few years ago and group brand Vredestein’s bid to enter the US when it was owned by now-defunct Russia firm Amtel a few years earlier.