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.
When viewing current regulatory and competitive trends, few fleet operators harbour the illusion that life will get easier in future. Fleet operators in the UK and Western Europe must contend with rising costs and ever-stricter regulations, along with increasing competition from markets further east and a need to maximise payloads. Generally speaking, any measure that offers a cost-saving advantage is now being taken very seriously, including when it comes to tyres. But while this drive towards cost effectiveness is occurring industry-wide, fleet priorities differ depending on the routes driven and the cargoes hauled. While some consider total mileage of utmost importance, others place fuel efficiency at the top of their list.
Continental has much to talk about having recently begun a series of planned third generation commercial tyre launches with three coach and bus tyres. The third generation is being marked by an increased level of application specialisation in the commercial segment, the details of which can be found on pp. 52-53 of April’s Tyres & Accessories. The Conti Coach, for long distance travel, the Conti CityPlus, for regional, or intercity use, and the Conti Urban, which has been optimised for typical city-based usage. All three tyres are grouped under the more traditionally Conti-style product number, HA3, though increased branding is one of the focal points for Conti’s third generation.
A Hankook-commissioned fuel consumption test comparing the Korean tyre maker’s e-cube truck range with the Michelin X Energy and its own standard truck tyre range has delivered favourable results for the e-cube. The test, carried out by DEKRA’s Automobil Test Center in Klettwitz, Germany, pitted identical Scania G420 4×2’ tractor units and Schmitz Cargobull trailers against each other; these were respectively fitted with Hankook e-cube AL10, Michelin XZA 2 and Hankook AL02 on the steering axle, e-cube DL10, XDA 2+ and DL02 on the drive axle – all size 315/80 R 22 – and e-cube TL10, XTA 2+ and TH02 in size 385/65 R 22.5 on the trailer.
At this year’s Reifen trade fair in Essen Germany, Kraiburg Austria will be demonstrating in what company representatives call “galactic style” that the firm has the right patterns, the right compounds and the best service for all retreading material requirements and applications.
Infinity has announced that it will hold the European launch of its new tyre range at Reifen 2012. The tyres will be unveiled to a select international audience of dealers and journalists in May during Infinity’s Partners Day celebrations, taking place in Beijing, China, before Infinity takes its new tyres – details of which have yet to be revealed – at Europe’s largest tyre expo, held at Messe Essen in early June.
Pirelli’s new Diablo Supercorsa SP (Sport Production) will be fitted to Ducati’s 195hp 1199 Panigale in 120/70 ZR17 (front) and the new 200/55 ZR17 rear size. Pirelli says the tyre’s SC – “Special Compound” – version will be used by Superstock 1000 FIM Cup riders this season. The announcement was made at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, the scene of the company’s recent 2012 season Formula One tyre launch.
Hankook reports that it has received “positive feedback from many blue chip fleets” following the introduction of the e-cube fuel efficiency orientated commercial vehicle tyre range. The e-cube, which was launched in the UK at the end of 2009, is designed to offer low rolling resistance, long mileage and good retreading capability. According to the company, the e-cube also boasts green credentials courtesy of “lower hazardous materials and low rolling noise.” Since its launch it has been trialled by many of the company’s customers and has successfully built a solid reputation for superior quality and value for money.
“In today’s market fleets are constantly looking to lower their transport costs. Hankook appreciates the emphasis placed on this and the need to invest in the development of quality products that also incorporate essential environmental credentials. This led to the introduction of the e-cube commercial vehicle tyre range which we are proud to report is proving popular amongst our customers,” said Tony Lee, managing director of Hankook UK.
With one of the largest tyre-related stands at this year's CV show (along with Bridgestone, Giti, Michelin, etc), Hankook was seeking to raise the profile of its latest commercial vehicle tyre technology amongst UK. As it happened the company got more than it bargained for when government transport minister, Mike Penning MP, dropped in to see the firm’s e-cube (truck) and Kinergy (car) fuel saving technology.
As previously published on Tyrepress.com, Continental has launched a new range of commercial vehicle tyres, representing four new design features. The tyres feature entirely new inner liner technology, dubbed “AirKeep” for its ability to stay inflated for longer, in addition to modifications to the belt, bead and contour design. The tyre will be manufactured primarily at the company’s plant in Puchov, Slovakia. It comes onto the market at a tricky time, with EU and UK new truck tyre sales down 34 and 20 per cent respectively, according to figures quoted at the launch.
Conti is backing up its new range with a “Technology Truck” tour throughout Europe and the ContiCostCalculator, a new electronic tool based on research conducted by Continental and certified by DEKRA, which calculates the economic and ecological benefits of fitting the new range to customers’ fleets. These initiatives form part of the company’s response to the belief that, in these trying economic times, “you have to understand the pressures on customers and…be a business consultant,” as Conti’s general sales manager – truck replacement Barry Guildford said at the tyre launch in London. He also told Tyres & Accessories that the company was “heavily investing in training [its] salespeople”, in order to impress upon customers the long-term cost benefits of fitting the new Continentals. “It’s about educating the fleet,” he concluded.
Following the first indications that the company would launch a new brand earlier this year, the Sibur Corporation has now officially launched the new “Cordiant” line. The launch took place at a media event on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where journalists had the opportunity to get some first impressions of what is supposed to be Sibur’s new flagship brand. Sibur expects Cordiant to lay the foundation stone for the future success of the new tyre holding company which is due to be founded by the end of this year. Sibur also plans to use its modified brand strategy to focus more closely on the European markets, with the first successful step having already been taken in Eastern Europe.
(Akron/Tire Review) Yokohama Tire Co. has launched its new Advan Neova tyre, available in 14 sizes, in the US. In conjunction with the tyre launch, the company also introduced a new Web site – at www.advan.com/USA – that contains information exclusive to the Advan brand in the US.