The coronavirus pandemic has put many visits to dream destinations on hold, but Falken Tyres is using its social media feeds to provide some vicarious thrills. The Sumitomo tyre brand’s new ‘Pass the Wheel’ campaign comprises three beautifully shot videos to provide a virtual road trip along some of Europe’s most beautiful roads and passes. The videos show the drive from Zell am See in Austria, across Switzerland, Italy and France, and into Monaco. The campaign trailer has already clocked up 1.7 million views on Falken’s YouTube Channel.
Tyrepress has published its 2020 ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers. Our ranking lists the top 20 tyre makers ordered by turnover from tyres in the previous calendar year. For example, Continental turned over nearly 45 billion euros in 2019, but 26.4 per cent of this was from its tyre divisions, making it the fourth largest tyre manufacturer in the world with 11.7 billion euros. The ranking presents a baseline for discussing the relative positions of the largest global players in tyre production. In 2019, we noted that Bridgestone had opened up a gap at the top of our ranking, around 2.65 billion euros ahead of second-placed Michelin in tyre turnover. This year, the French giant has reduced this gap to just over half a billion euros, reflecting its most recent acquisitions.
European lockdowns have caused sever interruptions to many in the tyre industry. But as the continent’s businesses enter a new phase of reopening, it is important to understand how this can be achieved while minimising the associated risks. Due to the different national timelines involved in this process, UK businesses may look to mainland countries a little further along this journey to see how they are proceeding. Tyres & Accessories spoke to the COO and president of Falken Tyre Europe, Markus Bögner, about how the Offenbach, Germany based company – part of Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) – has weathered lockdown, and is now beginning to “see positive changes” in key European markets.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the manufacturer of the global Falken tyre brand has temporarily shut down its factory in South Africa on government orders. All of its other tyre manufacturing facilities are currently operational, though staff at the Falken Tyre Europe headquarters in Germany are working remotely where possible, or following social distancing guidelines.
Anyone who’s spent time in a garage or tyre shop knows that the smell of rubber is an acquired love. And there’s good news for those who never acquire this love – Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has, after identifying the factors that cause natural rubber to emit an odour, developed ‘Reduced Odor Natural Rubber,’ a new type of natural rubber that emits significantly less odour.
A new technique to observe and analyse individual materials within tyre rubber offers “enormous potential” for the development of high-performance tyres with unprecedented levels of efficiency and wear resistance, engineers at Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) and Ibaraki University claim.
Another tyre maker contributing to coronavirus relief efforts is Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. The Japanese tyre maker shared yesterday that it has donated RMB 2 million (£220,000) to non-governmental organisation the China Charity Federation. The donation supports the charitable organisation’s ongoing efforts to provide relief to those who are suffering from pneumonia and other ailments caused by the strain of coronavirus that continues to spread in China’s Hubei Province and beyond.
Micheldever Tyre Service (MTS) states that it offers “the most comprehensive car mid-range tyre brand availability across the current market.” The wholesaler is exclusive distributor, or has preferred supplier arrangements, for some of the worlds’ leading manufacturers of mid-range brands, including Falken, General Tire, GT Radial, Sumitomo and Kormoran.
Figures recently published by the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) show that its members produced almost 242 million tyres in all segments of the replacement market in 2019, two to three per cent fewer than the 248 million tyres produced a year earlier.
Falken will launch its new Sincera SN110 car tyre in the UK from mid-March 2020 in 49 sizes for 14-16” wheels. The manufacturer said that it aims to “bring the wear and wet grip benefits normally found in top-of-the-range tyres to cost-conscious customers driving mass market cars.” The tyre has achieved A rated wet grip performance on the EU tyre label. Falken says this shows the tyre has not compromised on safety to achieve the tyre’s increased longevity.
Working together with a Japanese university, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) has established a new technique for observing materials contained within tyre rubber. This process differs from existing methods as it enables an evaluation of the actual rubber used in mass-produced tyres rather than relying upon processed test samples. The company behind the Falken tyre brand foresees the technique facilitating the development of tyres with superior performance characteristics.
After considering a number of factors, such as a changing business environment as well as growing awareness of human rights and environmental considerations, Sumitomo Rubber Group has established its own local organisation for procuring natural rubber. It has done so via its member company Sumitomo Rubber Industries, which this month set up Sumitomo Rubber Singapore Pte. Ltd. This entity, located in the world’s largest natural rubber trading hub, will commence operations in April.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), the company behind the Falken tyre brand, has developed a solution to remotely monitor the tyre pressure of unoccupied vehicles such as self-driving cars. In a step towards ensuring the safety of Level 4 and above autonomous vehicles, SRI has successfully linked its tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) with an Autonomous Driving Control Centre.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has developed a new technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to estimate the properties of the rubber used in its tyres and also detect the structural changes that occur during use. It calls this technology ‘Tyre Leap AI Analysis’.