Tyres already play a key role in effective vehicle braking, but a marriage of tyres and technology can enhance this. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Dutch research organisation TNO are working towards this end and are collaborating on a demonstration vehicle that will test the implications of connected tyres talking to the vehicle’s control system, specifically the anti-lock brake system (ABS).
At the start of 2021 Grupo Andrés, started work on the construction its new headquarters. According to the company the new facilities will result in “a significant improvement in distribution” due to the “robotization of the logistics process and a notable streamlining of work and the flow of orders”.
When Michelin launched its e.Primacy range in mid-November 2020, the French tyre manufacturer did so in the context of a goal to make all Michelin tyre 100 per cent sustainable by 2050. So how does Michelin plan to achieve this? One answer is the company’s expanding partnership with Scandinavian Enviro Systems (Enviro), details of which were recently released (see separate article). But there are other parts of this plan.
Explaining the rationale behind Goodyear’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Cooper Tire, executives said the combination offers “compelling strategic and financial benefits”. Specifically, they suggested the transaction “further strengthens Goodyear’s leading position in the US, while significantly growing its position in other North American markets.” With just two home-grown domestic tyremakers in the US (Goodyear and Cooper), that much is clear. However, the benefits of the announced merger are not limited to North America. In China, the combination will almost double Goodyear’s presence. According to Goodyear, it will also increase the Akron, Ohio-based tyremaker’s OE tyre supply position, while creating broader distribution for Cooper replacement tyres through Goodyear’s network of 2,500 branded retail stores.
Pirelli claims a world first with its original equipment tyre supply to the new McLaren Artura hybrid supercar. The Italian firm isn’t shipping any old bespoke P Zero tyres, rather tyres that will ‘talk’ to the Artura via Pirelli’s Cyber Tyre system. Each of the 235/35Z R19 front and 295/35 R20 rear tyres contain a sensor that loquaciously provides vital data to the car’s onboard computer.
As we have all witnessed during the last 12 months, the recycled tyre business is experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment. And the abilities of wondering molecule graphene are well-documented. But what happened when you combine the two? The answer, according to one Greater Manchester-based startup is SpaceMat.
In the US The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and ConMet announced a strategic collaboration to create combined digital solutions that will “better connect commercial truck fleets to the health of their tyres and wheel ends”. Billed as leveraging big data and utilising predict analytics, ConMet’s existing SmartHub is positioned as a stepping stone en route to autonomous vehicle technology.
The effects of the coronavirus and Brexit have led to an increasingly severe shipping bottleneck. The inevitable result of all of these factors is price increases. Tyres & Accessories spoke with Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) wholesale director Graham Mitchell in order to find out more about what this means for the tyre retail sector.
Getting right to the point, are prices going to go up in 2021? “Undoubtedly,” was Mitchell’s immediate and definite response, with the wholesale director pointing to the three main factors behind the current and forthcoming price hikes as well as the different variables associated with each: “Containerised cost of product coming out of the far east…that’s not doubled, that’s quadrupled…a significant on-cost not to be underplayed…and then you’ve got a currency element that’s forcing manufacturing costs up as well.” The good news is that wholesale sources are confident that the containerised element is temporary, but the same cannot be said about other factors.
Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM and Continental Motorcycle Tires have announced a new cooperation for the new year: Upon its launch in 2021, the KTM 890 Duke will come equipped with ContiRoad tyres as standard equipment.
A couple of weeks after the end of the UK’s second lockdown, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Micheldever Tyre Services wholesale director Graham Mitchell. Since Mitchell was part of the panel in our inaugural “Kickstarting your tyre business” webinar in May 2020 at the end of the first lockdown, we thought it would be good to catch up at the end of the year and compare the differences between the first and second lockdowns. In short, while many shops closed during the first lockdown, the vast majority were open for business during the second. We also discussed 2020 as a whole and looked forward to 2021.
Giti Tire is showcasing its 2020 motorsport achievements in a new video. Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the manufacturer still set tyres on the tarmac in the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race and Endurance Series, the F3 Asian Championship, the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC), and VW Fun Cup UK, among others. Its longstanding partnerships were joined by a growing Esports team, with 40 international drivers driving 30 different cars in online events around the world.
Michelin has announced pioneering plans to equip all its new car tyres with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips by 2023. Continuing its long history in the development of tyre-orientated RFID technology (including the global launch of a truck tyre RFID solution in 2012) Michelin says up to 1.5 million RFID-equipped car tyres will be delivered as early as 2020.
Stapleton’s and Nexen have combined with Harry Redknapp to produce a fun Christmas video. With the likes of McDonald’s, Walkers crisps and much-revered John Lewis adverts launching in early November, Stapleton’s and Nexen along with brand ambassador Harry Redknapp have joined them to bring some light relief at the end of a tough year.
It has been nearly two years since the Goodyear brand’s reintroduction to motorsport in Europe, and it is fair to say that operating in a pandemic was not part of the plan when this brand strategy was set out. Tyres & Accessories spoke to Ben Crawley, Goodyear motorsport director EMEA, about his experiences of the 2020 season. Goodyear re-entered European motorsport almost two years ago. While the brand on a global level has “never really been out of motorsport,” bearing in mind its six continuous decades of NASCAR in the USA, Crawley tells T&A that the thinking behind Goodyear’s reentry in more global series “fits into a wider brand rejuvenation” strategy. “We know we have this fantastic legacy and history in racing, and we want to be able to use that to reengage and provide some excitement for the brand and how we communicate the brand with consumers.” The motorsport strategy also coincided with Goodyear’s introduction of ultra-ultra-high performance (UUHP) Eagle F1 Supersport tyres, and “the natural synergies that come with high performance tyres for the road and racing.” Beyond the new product range, the “brand rejuvenation strategy includes the Blimp, racing, and broader advertising and marketing partnerships,” Crawley adds. Subscribers can view the video of this interview in the full version of this article.
Hankook Tire has released a video that explains its work on pre-emptive road risk detection technology in collaboration with data and technology company SK Planet. The result of this joint effort is the Road Hazard Prediction & Detection Solution.