Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) says it now has stocks of the General Tire Grabber AT3. MTS is the exclusive UK distributor for the range, which it also supplies as an original equipment fitment for versions of the Isuzu D-MAX Huntsman Edition equipped with 18-inch tyres.
SUV and 4×4 tyres have stood out as a high growth, high margin sales opportunity for several years. Latterly, the growth of both all-season and EV-specific fitments has only served to strengthen the niche value of the segment. As we look forward into 2024, Tyres & Accessories takes a look at the latest data from market research specialists GfK in a bid to reflect on what has happened in the last year as well as to prepare for what might come in the next 12 months.
Not only is Goodyear expanding its Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 range to better cover growing demand from SUV drivers in the premium tyre segment, the company also aims to meet budget segment SUV demand with its Sava brand. From January 2024, 15 additional sizes join the Sava Intensa SUV 2 range.
The UK is nearing half a decade removed from general economic conditions resembling normality, four years since Brexit was (arguably) completed, nearly the same amount of time since the start of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, heralding the world’s descent into an age of militarisation, and the continual flux of UK politics. Tyres & Accessories’ regular February Car Tyre feature has presented an overview charting the progress of the car tyre market over these years – readers can now access the preceding years’ issues in the T&A digital archive, hosted by Tyrepress. While change has remained reassuringly slow compared to the economic and political context, the latest panelmarket data from market analyst GfK – which uses point of sales tracking of sell-out tyres to produce an overall picture of the whole replacement market in the calendar year 2023 – demonstrates the ship-like progress of various trends since the relatively major disruption of 2020.
Pirelli has supplied tyres to every generation of the Porsche Cayenne since it was introduced in 2002, a partnership that is continuing with the latest facelift model. Pirelli is supplying the P Zero ultra-high performance summer tyre, the sports performance P Zero Corsa, and the Scorpion Winter 2 cold weather tyre in special bespoke versions. Pirelli will also offer the Scorpion Zero All Season in some markets. The tyres cover every size option on the new model, which features rim sizes between 20 and 22 inches.
Tesla’s Cybertruck is back in the headlines. Elon Musk’s decision to repeat the now infamous Cybertruck armoured glass demonstration paired with the Cybertruck’s infinitely more impressive drag race win against a Porsche 911 – while towing a 911 – has ensured that much. But which tyres are carrying all that load and handling all that torque? Back in 2019, we broke the news that Goodyear was supplying tyres for the Tesla Cybertruck, but is that still the case and if so, which factory is supplying some of the highest of high-torque-high-load tyres?
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has begun supplying Falken Ziex ZE001 A/S all-season tyres to Subaru as factory standard tyres on the Levorg Layback, which was unveiled in September 2023. The latest Levorg Layback has been developed for the Japanese market by Subaru to stand out within the brands’ SUV lineup.
Yokohama has unveiled the new Geolandar CV 4S, a comprehensive all-season tyre for crossover SUVs. The demands on tyres for SUVs are varied and challenging, as they need to be able to take on all road types and all-weather conditions, such as arid dryness, rainy spells and challenging snow. Yokohama states that the new tyre recognises this demand for versatility and practicality in its development of the “innovative” Geolandar CV 4S. Following its launch in October, the Geolandar CV 4S will make its debut in the UK and Europe. Yokohama will roll out the tyre in a range of 32 sizes, for rim sizes between 17” and 20”.
Kumho’s recent development of its SUV and 4×4 tyre range have focused on satisfying the increasing requirement for more car-like on-road performance from such vehicles. The Korean company’s line-up offers more than just on-road SUV fitments, though, with two all-terrain models and the mud-terrain MT51 offering performance away from smooth tarmac.
Hankook has tailored a family of tyres for the expanding 4×4 market with its Dynapro range. The brand covers all-terrain, mud-terrain, and highway applications respectively with the Dynapro AT2, the Dynapro MT2, and the Dynapro HP2.
With the manufacturer’s latest Dueler all-terrain tyre coming into the market in 2023, Bridgestone’s consumer sales director Brett Emerson has given some insight into how Bridgestone is developing its 4×4 tyre range with consumers and the wide variety of application mixes within this segment. Starting from the point of view that “no two 4×4 enthusiasts are the same,” Emerson explains the importance of “factoring in how much all-terrain driving” drivers will do and “how much is mud related.” The manufacturer, alongside the First Stop retail network, wants to help fit the tyre with the right performance characteristics to customers’ vehicles, Emerson continues.
Following a launch in “many demanding global markets” such as Australia, the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac RT has arrived in the UK and European markets. Additional sizes of this evolution of the Wrangler DuraTrac 4×4 arrive in Q4 2023.
In the preamble to its 2023 winter tyre test, SUV and 4×4 specialist publication Auto Bild Allrad argues that tyres play an even more important role than all-wheel drive when piloting a vehicle in wintry conditions. While employing four driving wheels instead of two undoubtedly improves traction, this only represents one aspect of vehicle safety – when it comes to braking and negotiating curves, tyres are decisive.
Maserati has selected Continental tyres as original equipment on its Grecale SUV. 19-inch Continental CrossContact LX Sport tyres as well as 21-inch CrossContact RX tyres have received worldwide approval for the model. 20-inch Continental EcoContact 6 tyres have also been approved. The latter tyre is designed for energy-saving and noise-optimised driving, making it especially suitable for the hybrid version of the SUV, according to Continental.
Pirelli has claimed leadership in supplying tyres for premium and prestige electric cars at the IAA Mobility car show in Munich. Pirelli equipped almost 25 per cent of the BEV cars and 30 per cent of the plug-in hybrids among the new electric cars on display. The cars were fitted with a mix of Pirelli’s products, such as its P Zero performance and its Scorpion SUV ranges, all featuring the company’s “Elect” marking that signifies that the models have been developed with EV-specific technologies. The Italian brand said that its original equipment homologations for EVs have grown at a rate more than double that on the previous year.