A groundbreaking ceremony held today marked the start of construction work on a new testing and technology centre being set up by Nokian Tyres in Spain. Festivities to celebrate the occasion were held at the site in Santa Cruz de la Zarza. Nokian Tyres anticipates the completion of the first test tracks next year ahead of the technology centre attaining full operational status in 2020.
At the beginning of November Sailun Jinyu International (SJI) appointed Gareth Passmore as its president for Europe. He replaced Martin West, who has been appointed global president of the SJI Speciality Tire Group. Passmore, who started on 1 December 2016, is now responsible for all operations throughout Europe across all of the Sailun Jinyu Group brand portfolio – Sailun, Jinyu, Black Lion and Rovelo. Passmore brings with him over 25 years of tyre industry experience, including time with Continental, Apollo (in South Africa) and latterly with Sumitomo Rubber Industries where he headed up the Falken brand’s European export operations. During a recent brand and winter tyre product demonstration event in Sweden, Tyres & Accessories caught up with Passmore and at the same time we were introduced to Sailun’s ambitious goal of becoming a top 10 tyre manufacturer in the years to come.
With a decisive snip, more than a year’s work was officially complete. Four representatives from Hankook Tire’s global and European operations, suitably rugged up for the occasion, were on hand to open a facility that extends the tyre maker’s aim of self-contained development and manufacture of tyres for European markets. The inauguration of the ‘Technotrac’ facility gives Hankook Tire a permanent home alongside one of the world’s best-known winter test grounds, something that Ho-Youl Pae is very proud of.
Since gaining a much greater degree of freedom to conduct business in North America and Europe with the dissolution of its global alliance with Goodyear in October 2015, the Sumitomo Rubber Group has striven to enhance its R&D, production and sales infrastructure to better serve these markets. As part of these efforts, the tyre maker has built a new, 3,500 square metre USA Technical Center on the grounds of its Tonawanda factory in New York State. Sumitomo Rubber Industries reports that this facility will become fully operational in January 2017. The company is also moving forward with the preparations for a Europe Technical Center, which it expects to be fully operational as of September 2017.
Camber Ridge LLC has announced its financial partnership with Teton Capital LLC of Jackson, Wyoming, to launch a new state-of-the-art facility for vehicle tyre characterisation, which will begin operations in 2016. The facility aims to offer all the advantages of testing real tyres on real surfaces, but with the precision, environmental control and repeatability of a laboratory environment.
Following the announcement that Linglong is building a new tyre proving ground in China, the company has released a number of further details relating to the investment in the site and its location. First off, in answer to Tyres & Accessories’ questions, Linglong representatives confirmed that the company is investing 1.13 billion yuan in the new tyre test track (£106.3 million; 133.6 million euros; 182.099 million euros).