Imagine technology that literally reads tyre sidewalls for you. Not barcodes. Not RFID chips, but the actual sidewall. Did I mention that it can read driving licences, number plates and VIN numbers as well? A system like this could help with every part of the distribution chain: from manufacturing to distribution and especially in retail and with fleets. That’s exactly what the Anyline system does. Tyres & Accessories experienced an in-person demonstration of the system at May’s Tire Cologne exhibition in Germany.
Midlands-based wholesaler GB Tyres has grown rapidly despite the challenges of lockdown and logistics during the last couple of years. Indeed, GB Tyre’s annual turnover has skyrocketed from £3 million in 2016 to full-year 2022 predictions of £50 million. Considering the company was only established in 2013, it is fair to say the business has grown to become one of the fastest growing importers and exporters of commercial vehicle tyres in Europe. Tyres & Accessories met up with commercial director Graham Hutchinson to find out more.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the name Kabat Tyre, chances are that you’ve owned or used products that have a Kabat connection. This is because the Polish company isn’t just the largest manufacturer of inner tubes in Europe and a manufacturer of tyres for the off-highway segment – it also supplies rubber compound to big-name tyre makers.
With its sizeable exhibition presence at The Tire Cologne, Netherlands-based wholesaler Van den Ban not only had space to display products from its broad selection of private and exclusive brands, it was also well equipped to reforge face-to-face bonds with its many international contacts following the recent two-year pause. Speaking with Tyrepress.com on the trade fair’s final day, commercial director Cyril Versteeg stressed the importance of events such as this as a meeting point for existing and potential customers.
Netherlands based, family-owned OTR tyre manufacturer Magna Tyres returned to the Tire Cologne show last month with a determined agenda to meet once more with their growing worldwide customer base.
Stephan van Leeuwen, Magna’s sales director (Original Equipment), with additional responsibility for the Italian, UK and Eire markets commented: “We have always considered international tyre shows as a strong priority to meet new companies and obtain new sales leads so being at a ‘live’ show’ once more is a very positive move forward again.”
Wholesaler Inter-Sprint has added a new truck tyre brand to its portfolio. Manufactured by Sentury Tire in its 4.0 smart factory in Thailand, Groundspeed debuted at The Tire Cologne and is available in a launch range that includes steer, drive and trailer dimensions, 13 SKUs in total.
When Nexen Tire first threw its hat into the ring of Europe’s all-season tyre market a decade ago, most motorists – and most tyre makers – considered these products best suited to smaller cars with just a handful of horses under the bonnet. Product development has brought all-season tyres a long way since then, and attitudes have changed too. So it was that when Nexen recently launched its latest tyre for this segment, there wasn’t a single dimension for runabouts or city cars to be seen.
Visitors to The Tire Cologne had the opportunity to see to Giti Tire’s growing product portfolio. Highlights included Giti Radial’s latest UHP tyre, the SportActive 2, as well as extensions to the GT Radial FE2 performance range. The Giti brand was well represented, too, with the Giti4x4 AT71 heralding a return to the all-terrain segment in the UK.
Prinx Chengshan is rolling out a new range of European market truck tyres under the Austone and Fortune brand names, and its efforts recently gained a boost when TÜV SÜD awarded the DR606 drive axle pattern its test mark. The tyre maker officially received this distinction during The Tire Cologne, when the head of the TÜV SÜD tyre testing team presented Prinx Chengshan its certification.
It doesn’t suffice for a product to be sustainable. The processes used to manufacture this product must be sustainable, too. This is the thinking behind EcoPoint³, the innovation in compounding technology that Sailun Group highlighted during The Tire Cologne. Arriving soon in tyres sold in the UK and Europe, EcoPoint³ results from more than a decade of development.
We’re familiar with the Nordexx brand, which NDI Group A/S first launched as a car tyre range in 1998 and extended over the years. Truck tyres have been available for a while too. But a visit to The Tire Cologne this week confirmed that the Nordexx portfolio is still growing.
Following its acquisition by KW automotive in June 2021, wheel manufacturer BBS is making a comeback with an innovation that ensures its wheels are compatible with a broad range of vehicles. Unveiling this addition to the BBS portfolio at The Tire Cologne, managing director Klaus Wohlfarth stated that BBS Unlimited represents a “very large promise.”
After its cancellation in 2020, The Tire Cologne has made a long-awaited return. The trade fair took place in its namesake city this week, and organiser Koelnmesse says the strength of the 2022 event confirms its position as the “leading international platform of the global tyre and wheel industries.”
Pirelli has doubled the total number of tyre approvals on electric and plug-in hybrid cars in 2021. According to the company, car manufacturers are increasingly choosing this technology and have allowed Pirelli to expand the homologation portfolio to more than 250 total homologations on ‘green’ cars since the launch of the ‘Elect’ EV-specific marking in 2019. For example, the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept, exhibited in the Pirelli stand at the “Tire Cologne”.
Trade fairs can be corona-safe. This is the message from Koelnmesse, organiser of The Tire Cologne, and to prove this it set up a model exhibition bristling with measures for keeping exhibitors and visitors healthy.