Aeolus has launched its third generation of truck and bus radial tyres in a large dealer event on the shores – and water – of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Readers of Tyres & Accessories will know that this location is highly appropriate for the Chinese company; the introduction of the new, extensive product range comes at a moment when the ChemChina produced brand is preparing for its future positioning as a second-line sister range to Pirelli in the commercial segment. While the exact relationship of Pirelli and Aeolus continues to be fluidly complex, the Italian brand’s recent separation of its commercial tyre operations under the Prometeon Tyre Group banner give a good indication of where Aeolus commercial tyres are heading.
Bridgestone’s approach to marketing Firestone has seen the world’s largest tyre manufacturer’s second-line brand rise in prominence in European markets, while a rapidly overhauled product range has helped to solidify confidence in both quality and availability. The self-professed youthfulness of the marketing approach to Firestone has seen the brand featured in various live music venues around the continent, while the summer “Firestone Music Tour” of festivals has increased to sponsorship deals with nine premier events in key markets, including Download in the UK. The introduction of the latest tyre in the Firestone range, the Roadhawk for touring and family cars, was timed to coincide with the first festival of the tour, Primavera Sound 2017 in Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum, and the company hosted dealers, automotive journalists, and a cadre of lifestyle writers and bloggers, demonstrating the sustained, relatively novel approach Bridgestone has brought to the brand since what might be termed its reinvigoration in 2014.
Pirelli has launched its new tyre line for commercial vehicles, the R:01 Triathlon, at Reifen 2016. Designed as third generation products, the tyres provide performance characteristics not only to replace the existing R:01 II, but also to overlap the winter W:01 and long-haul H:01 ranges. While the new tyres are “not designed to replace” Pirelli’s specialist models, the manufacturer’s CEO Europe, Renato Zilli told Tyrepress that the R:01 Triathlon range represents its recognition of users’ “variable needs” and the evolution of European goods transportation; in 2010 the ratio between regional, long-haul and winter applications was 76:20:4, while in 2015 this has changed to 81:15:4. Commercial tyres featuring all-round performance are naturally attractive to dealers as an aftermarket solution, but European fleets also require adaptability between the more popular regional applications and long-haul routes, taking in different climates.
Goodyear Dunlop has launched its new range of Dunlop brand on road commercial vehicle tyres. The truck tyres have been designed to provide increased mobility: mileage has been increased by ”up to 10 per cent”; winter performance has been enhanced, with the steer and drive fitments receiving Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) certification; and fuel efficiency has also been improved, according to Laurent Colantonio, Goodyear Dunlop director of commercial tyre technology in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Falken has launched a new studded winter tyre for the Nordic and Baltic markets, featuring a new tungsten carbide stud design and pressure-optimised sipes for increased levels of extreme winter weather performance. With temperatures as low as 50 degrees Celsius and between 250-300 cm of snow covering the landscape for up to six months of the year, the Nordic and Baltic regions place exceptionally high performance demands on winter tyres.
Sailun Tyres has launched two new passenger car tyres developed particularly for the European market in an event held in the Brittany village of Lohéac, France. The tyres both appear in the company’s Atrezzo PCR line; the Atrezzo Elite asymmetrical high performance tread and the Atrezzo Eco, designed as a more eco-friendly alternative to sit below the Elite in terms of size profile. Compared to their predecessor, the 90-size SH-402, the tyres both have patterns in keeping with current market trends. During the presentation of the two new tyres, Sailun also gave details of its first all-season tyre, the Atrezo 4 Seasons, which has also been launched in five sizes. The event follows Sailun’s collaborative events in Lohéac and Val d’Isère with its French distributor DistriCash, though this time the manufacturer was “standing alone,” in the words of Sailun Jinyu (Europe) managing director Martin West, with guests attending from across Europe.
Giti Tire has launched its latest product, the GT Radial Savero SUV, which arrives in Europe to meet the growing demand in the SUV and CUV segments. The tyre was launched at an event in Barcelona, demonstrating the product’s suitability for fitment on a wide range of vehicles at the compact to medium end of the market.
Dunlop will launch the latest iteration of its winter tyre series, the Winter Sport 5, with a full range of sizes available by September 2015. The tyre, which is designed to build on the award-winning success of its latest Winter Sport 4D, is the fifth addition to the line that offers the grip and performance to combat a variety of winter surfaces, including wet, icy and snow-covered roads.
Every summer, thousands of Land Rover enthusiasts throughout France make their way to the Auvergne region and pay homage to the esteemed off-road brand. Over a three-day period they test their vehicles’ mettle on a series of rugged courses, and when not traversing rocks, steep slopes and mud they can be found shooting the breeze with other like-minded devotees. Tyres & Accessories was present at the 2015 edition of ‘Landrauvergne’ during the first weekend in July, and in addition to being treated to the rare sight of our French neighbours flying the union flag and celebrating all things British (and least when it comes to off-road motoring), we gained the opportunity to experience the successor to BFGoodrich’s pioneering All-Terrain T/A KO in action.
The Tuscan hills south of Montepulciano during an unusually warm and sunny spring are an idyllic setting for most occasions. Yet the choice of location for the official launch of GT Radial’s Champiro FE1 passenger car tyre was more significant than just as one of the world’s most picturesque places. The tyre is designed to tackle what Fabio Pecci-Boriani (senior product marketing manager – PCR, Giti Tire) described as “one of the most important market sectors – 15-17”, H-W speed rated, 50-65 series.” Positioned as an all-round premium passenger car tyre for C and D vehicles (including such bestsellers as the Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 308 and Kia Cee’d) the tyre now has more than 95 per cent coverage of its target sector, following the introduction of nine new sizes (the FE1 was first (soft) launched in 2014).
The Z tyre brand has held a co-ordinated countrywide launch in South Africa in association with Tyrecor, its distribution partner. Taking place in three different locations showcasing the country’s diversity to accommodate the maximum number of tyre dealers, the main event was held at the Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg, hosted by Harjeev Kandhari, CEO of Tyrecor and Zenises, global distributor of the Z brand. The two supplementary official launch events were also hosted by Tyrecor at the Oyster Box in Durban and the Taj Hotel in Cape Town.
It’s never easy to follow up a smash hit – just ask Gotye – but with more than seven million UltraGrip 8s shipped in Europe since 2011, Goodyear’s ninth generation winter tyre is following an all-time great. Travelling to Goodyear’s Innovation Centre Luxembourg earlier this year with dealers from across Europe, Tyres & Accessories got an exclusive preview of the new tyre, in addition to some insights from Xavier Fraipont, director technology consumer tyres EMEA, about the development process that has led to the UG 9.
Michelin has developed the world’s first 900mm wide and 2.32m tall radial agricultural tyre. The new AxioBib IF900/65R46, developed alongside machinery manufacturers New Holland, Same & Deutz-Fahr and Krone, will be launched on Tuesday 22 October in a live webcast available to watch worldwide. A panel including Michelin’s Emmanuel Ladent, president strategic business unit – Agricultural Tyre, and Jean-Paul Gauthier, director of Agricultural Tyre research and development will take questions from the farming and engineering communities.
A point of difference between the introduction of Goodyear’s new Kmax and Fuelmax truck tyre lines and that of previous generation tyres is that retreaded versions of the Kmax and Fuelmax will be available from day one. “In the past we made a clear division,” notes Rupert Kohaupt, Goodyear Dunlop’s commercial vehicle tyre sales director for emerging markets. “We introduced a new product and took the approach that the demand for retread versions of the range would first come when the tyres were worn. We would wait a year or 18 months before introducing the retread version into the market.”
Uniroyal has launched the latest generation of its wet weather-orientated RainSport line. However as much as this launch is a definite upgrade and refresh of its classic wet product after more than a decade in service, the move also represents a renewal of attention on the very well established brand. As well as bringing the RainSport range into the labelling age (every single fitment in the wide 185/55 R14 to 305/30 R19 range has scored an A in wet grip), the RainSport 3 seeks to extend its “best in wet” reputation further with a few percentage points of improvements in virtually every other respect as well. The exceptions are wear and noise, which remain relatively static compared with the predecessor product.