Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAYZ) announced that its Commercial Highway Division received a multi-product agreement with Hyundai Translead. Hayes Lemmerz will supply all standard wheel-end components for all of Hyundai Translead’s dry freight vans, refrigerated trailers, chassis and converter dollies for the agreement term. The agreement includes CentruMount(R) steel wheels, and Cast Hub and Drums and Centrifuse(R) Drums. This announcement continues to support the Commercial Highway Division’s goal of providing high quality, lightweight wheel-end systems to the truck and trailer industry, improving fuel economy and increasing revenue producing payload.
Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. has announced that its Commercial Highway Division reached an agreement with Strick Corporation to supply 100 per cent of all standard, non-specified, wheel end components for Strick in 2004 and 2005. This includes CentruMount(R) Steel Wheels, Cast Hub and Drums and Centrifuse(R) Brake Drums. This agreement continues to support the Division’s goal of providing major trailer manufacturers with innovative and quality components. Strick Corporation produces custom dry freight vans.
Bridgestone plans to set up a plant in India that will make truck radials and help it establish a firm foothold in the country, the world’s fifth biggest tyre market. The tyre manufacturer’s local unit, Bridgestone ACC India, currently manufactures radial tyres for passenger cars and small vans at a factory located near Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Sources said Bridgestone officials are preparing a project report on the size of production capacity and investments required to set up the plant, which will take around 18-24 months to build.
Pirelli has introduced a sophisticated tyre pressure monitoring system for the aftermarket, aimed at cars, light vans, SUVs and light trucks. Called “X-Pressure”, the system is easy to install, says Pirelli, and is approved for use in the USA and Europe. It uses wireless technology to transmit inflation pressure and temperature data from transmitters in each wheel to an in-cabin receiver/display module. The system has implications for both safety and tyre life, plus it offers a simple solution for those motorists wishing to fit run-flat tyres, where a pressure monitoring system is essential.
Kumho UK has been awarded a contract to supply tyres as original equipment to specialist van manager LDV. 70 per cent of LDV’s annual production of Pilot and Convoy vans will be equipped with Kumho’s radial 857 commercial van tyres in sizes 185 R14 and 205 R14. The contract follows a rigorous quality audit at Kumho’s Kwangju plant and tyre testing at the MIRA proving ground in the UK, resulting in the Korean manufacturer being awarded Approved Supplier status.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will voluntarily replace up to 200,000 size LT245/75R16 tyres on passenger vans and ambulances, starting in March, as a preliminary investigation of the tires by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concludes. NHTSA believes tread separations in the four-ply tyres may have led to 11 fatal accidents and numerous injuries. The program involves 16-inch Load Range E tyres made between 1996 and 2000 and encompasses 51 different lines. Goodyear says the tyres are not defective. NHTSA began investigating Load Range E tyres in November 2000. Goodyear is contacting registered tyre owners through direct mail and other methods. It will replace the tyres with same size, six-ply units. “This is a proactive tyre replacement program,” say Goodyear officials.
In an attempt to reduce vehicle stocks, Ford and General Motors have announced the temporary closure of seven factories in North America. GM is to close five plants (sited in Oklahoma City, Ontario, Michigan and Ohio) for a week, affecting over 14,000 workers. The two plants which Ford is to close temporarily manufacture vans and are situated in Ohio, employing 4,150 hourly workers.
Despite reports suggesting that under-inflation of Firestone tyres was a contributory factor in Explorer rollovers, a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that US drivers are not taking the message on board. The pressure of over 11,500 tyres was measured over a two week period and 27 per cent of cars and 32 per cent of vans, SUVs etc. had at least one under-inflated tyre (8 p.s.i. or more below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure). Vehicles made after November 2003 will have to incorporate a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard, according to NHTSA rules being drafted at the moment. The survey shows how badly such a system is needed, says the agency.
Paul Harrell, the MD of Dunlop-owned retail chain Motorway, has been appointed General Manager, Retail operations UK by the Goodyear group. In his new role he will be responsible for the operations of both Motorway and Goodyear’s Hi-Q retail chain.
Ford has announced that car production will end at its Dagenham plant by 2002, with the loss of 1,900 jobs. Dagenham is Ford’s largest UK factory, where the Fiesta and Courier vans are built. Ford also announced that 500 new jobs would be created at Dagenham over an unspecified period in the engine manufacturing operations.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber has taken a minority interest in the Cycloid Company, of Pennsylvania. Cycloid markets ACS (Air Compressor System) which uses a compressor mounted at the centre of the wheel to maintain air pressure in truck tyres. The companies are looking to develop similar systems for cars, vans and light trucks.
Opinions differ: In many of their components American and European cars – as can be seen at the Detroit Motor Show – seem to be becoming more like each other. The advance in pick-ups and vans in the USA and the boom in the small(est) cars in Europe, but much more in Japan, however, leaves room for doubt that the recurring theme of the “global car” is a real possibility mid-term.
For the launch of its two new winter tyre models, the “ContiWinterContact TS 780” and the transporter and van tyre “VancoWinter” at the beginning of October the Continental AG management chose a very special venue: Iceland. However, a blizzard that raged for days prevented practical tests of the new tyres on the selected glacier. Developers of winter tyres are always faced with the classic dilemma: Do they design for optimum grip on snow or on dry roads? The development of the TS 780 for vehicles of the compact and lower medium classes aimed at reducing the discrepancy between the two objectives. An important innovation is a sipe construction which tries to emulate the architecture of beehives with its honeycomb shape. According to the manufacturer, the honeycomb sipe has clear safety advantages when cornering on snow. A directional tread pattern and the latest silica compound technology are additional features responsible for the new tyre’s good driving characteristics in wintry conditions as well as on dry and wet roads. It is available in all European markets needing winter tyres, initially in 13 sizes from 145/80 R 13 75Q to 185/60 R 14 82T. The “VancoWinter” was specially developed for medium and heavy vans. Traction on ice and snow is provided by sipes which are incorporated in the tread blocks. To achieve a significant improvement over its predecessor, the “LMS 70”, the VancoWinter’s sipes and blocks are twice as high. Its behaviour on icy roads is to be improved by distributing the pressure on the ground more evenly. The van tyre is immediately available, at first in nine sizes (from 185 R 14C to 195/65 R 16C).