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.
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.
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.
Falken has showcased its latest technology to support alternatively fuelled vehicles, led by its new Ecorun AA tyre for hybrids, at the inaugural E-Mobility Days Munich event (3-4 May 2019). The two-day programme of activities included specialist lectures on electric mobility, the opportunity to test drive electric vehicles and visit the laboratories of Bundeswehr University, where alternative drive technologies are being researched. Falken also sponsored the event.
After years of expansion amongst the top 20 UK tyre retailers, the latest data shows that this trend peaked in 2017/2018 when the top 20 accounted for 2014 branches. The same 20 tyre retailers had 1980 branches between them in 2018/2019. And what’s more, the reorganisation of one retailer alone accounted for a 40-centre decline in branch count, with the overall figure remaining positive due to growth at other chains. Here Tyres & Accessories analyses the branch count data in the context of 10 years of comparable research.
Michelin has defended its title as the world’s most valuable tyre brand despite a 9 per cent decrease in brand value to US$7.2 billion, according to the latest report by leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy, Brand Finance.
An additional investment is being made in the Sumitomo Rubber do Brasil factory in Fazenda Rio Grande, Brazil, which is scheduled to begin producing truck and bus tyres next March. This investment of BRL 153 million (£28.7 million, US$37.6 million) builds upon the BRL 312 million investment Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) announced in July 2016 for setting up bus and truck tyre production equipment in Fazenda Rio Grande. The extra investment will double the original starting capacity of 500 truck and bus tyres a day – SRI now plans for a daily capacity of 1,000 truck and bus tyres by October 2019.
Falken Tyre will launch three new tyre models for three distinct applications from its stand (Hall 7, Area A) at The Tire Cologne (29 May – 1 June). The new tyres are the Euroall Season AS210 car tyre, the Euroall Season VAN11 for light trucks and vans, and the Wildpeak M/T01 4×4 tyre for off-road use.
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) has begun 2018 with the launch of new tyre products into its distribution line-up, with plans to grow the product lines throughout the year. As well as a new Falken tyre, the wholesaler will commence the distribution of the Sumitomo brand, as discussed with Tyres & Accessories in December, with the BC100 pattern.
Further to news from Micheldever wholesale director Alan Baldwin that the Sumitomo tyre brand is coming to the UK and Europe and will be positioned as an entry-level mid-range brand beneath the Falken brand, the sales director for Falken Tyre Europe’s replacement market business in Germany has shared details on the range heading our way.
As we go to print on the December issue of Tyres & Accessories, Micheldever Group is marking a year since Sumitomo Rubber Industries, manufacturer of Falken Tyres for which MTS is UK distributor, bought the UK tyre distributor from previous owner Graphite Capital Management. While the sale was not unexpected, the identity of the new owner may have been somewhat surprising, though SRI’s investment in Falken Tyre Europe following the late-2015 dissolution of its alliance agreement with Goodyear makes the acquisition of a leading distributor a logical move. For Micheldever’s board, SRI was said to be an attractive new owner, with the presumption that it would offer offering longevity, stability, and consistency; as a large, well-established, high quality top-six tyre manufacturer seeking to broaden its knowledge of UK distribution with an already successful business.
Looking back on one of the major events in its calendar, Falken has posted a video reviewing its participation in the 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours. The Sumitomo Rubber Industries brand expanded its entry at this year’s event with a new BMW M6 joining the Falken Motorsports Porsche 911.