Hankook’s comprehensive range of winter and all-season car and van tyres have been scooping up plenty of awards and recommendations over the past few years. This has been reflected in commendations for both the Kinergy 4S and 4S2 all-season models by Tyres & Accessories’ sister independent tyre comparison website WhatTyre, which considers tyres’ performance in a range of quality tyre tests, original equipment fitments, and several other metrics. In addition to the Kinergy 4S2, the manufacturer’s core all-season range includes the Vantra ST AS 2 for vans, and the Kinergy 4S2 X for SUVs, while its winter collection, including the Winter i*cept evo 3, Winter i*cept evo 3 X, Winter i*cept LV, and Winter i*cept RS 2 has also received its share of plaudits.
Continental has launched the Matador Hectorra Van, and this successor to the MPS330 Maxilla 2 is distributed exclusively through Stapleton’s (Tyre Services) Ltd. retailers. Nine popular UK sizes are available.
Kumho has launched a new winter tyre for the medium to large car and SUV market, the Wintercraft WP52. The new tyre follows the introduction of a new all-season van tyre from the Korean manufacturer, the PorTran 4S CX11, which added features from the lauded Solus 4S HA32 all-season car tyre to its existing winter van range. Kumho has established itself as a tyre supplier to Europe’s biggest winter tyre markets in the Nordic and Central Europe regions with a comprehensive range of well-regarded products, and is strengthening its position in the region’s growing all-season market.
Arguably best known in the UK through its agricultural range, Ceat also produces a full line of passenger and commercial tyres. The well-known Indian brand is now offering a comprehensive range in Europe and the UK, including products developed with the assistance of the CEAT European Technical Centre (CETC) in Germany. We will look at the truck range at a later date, and here focus on the eight lines Ceat is offering for the passenger vehicle and light commercial segments.
Whether a van is powered by internal combustion or electricity, the demands placed on its tyres remain consistent. Therefore rather than developing specific electric light commercial tyres, Falken is improving the efficiency and durability of its van tyres to enable its range to support ongoing ICE vehicle utilisation and the transition to electric-powered models alike. Andreas Giese, senior manager, corporate and product planning, Falken Tyre Europe answered Tyres & Accessories’ questions about tyres and the electrification of the fleet.
Tradition-rich tyre brand with an American heritage, General Tire is extending its range of tyres suitable for light commercial on and off-road use. Vans are used in a variety of scenarios and terrains, General says, which is why it is important to choose the right tyre for the job. Leading the brand’s range for this segment in the newly introduced size 235/65R16C 121/119R Grabber AT3, which it calls “the first true all-terrain tyre available for vans.” General Tire 4×4 tyres are available exclusively through Micheldever Tyre Services in the UK.
Whether you drive a single van, or manage a whole fleet, having the correct tyres is essential for ensuring safety and performance. Tyre manufacturer Hankook acknowledges that the tyres fitted to UK vans need to be able to cope with the additional weight and withstand the strain of stop-start urban trips as well as longer journeys. Its portfolio for the van and light truck category includes the Vantra LT, an energy efficient, safe and exceptionally durable summer tyre and the Vantra ST AS 2, the most recent addition to the range, a durable, multi-performance, all-season tyre.
SD-International’s private Zeta brand offers a comprehensive range of van tyres in the UK and European tyre market sectors. Its four patterns targeting the segment are the ZTR18, ZTR08, Active Power 4S and Antartica 8.
For light commercial vehicle fleet operators, self-employed van drivers and small businesses, getting from one job to another in confidence is crucial. Durability and longevity are therefore a significant factor when choosing the right tyres for their vehicle. Acknowledging this, Yokohama has designed a its van tyre range to address the varying needs of operators in the segment.
Continental has launched its new specialist summer van tyre developed to meet the needs of delivery services and tradespeople. The VanContact Ultra, which entered production in March 2022, has been developed for economical and heard-wearing urban driving, responding to the sustained growth in home deliveries. The summer tyre follows the December 2021 introduction of Conti’s latest all-season van tyre.
Point S Tyre & Autocare is exhibiting alongside its truck tyre distribution partner, International Tyres, at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show. The stand will showcase the Fortune truck tyre range, alongside Point S’ range of high-quality car and van tyres.
Lack of vehicle availability is extending commercial vehicle replacement cycles, which results in greater service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs in line with increased maintenance requirements, according to ATS Euromaster.
Commenting on the latest UK registration figures for vans, Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said; “Registrations of light commercial vehicles declined in March as supply constraints and subsequent product shortages continue to have a detrimental impact on the market; these issues are not only affecting automotive, but also other economy sectors, such as the construction industry, whose stability is vital to the van market.”
As of this month, BFGoodrich is offering a new all-season tyre for vans and light commercial vehicles, the BFGoodrich Activans 4S. It describes this as a tyre that “responds perfectly to the expectations of professionals seeking safety and simplicity” by ensuring safety on the road all year round.
The 2021 recovery of the UK car, SUV and van tyre (Light Vehicle) replacement market may not have been the desired quick return to pre-pandemic numbers, but GfK data supplied exclusively to Tyres & Accessories gives us some idea of how 2019 market growth areas have preserved continuity through the last two Covid-afflicted years. Tyres designed for the larger rims of higher performance and newer car models, SUV and light commercial vehicle tyres, and tyres offering performance in all seasons continued to grow at quicker rates than the whole UK replacement tyre market. These overall figures, shown in the top left-hand corner of the infographic, show that unit sales increased by three per cent within the panelmarket – similar figures comparing 2020 with 2019 published in February 2021 showed that unit sales contracted by 14 per cent for comparison. Meanwhile, the value of the UK’s Light Vehicle tyre market rose by seven per cent according to the panelmarket. GfK’s panelmarket data tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends – the data used for this article compares January-December 2021 to full-year 2020.