A rare and valuable Toyota Supra Mk4 TRD 3000GT featured in a hit YouTube video has been fitted with Yokohama’s high performance Advan A052 tyres. With a view count over 900,000 in a few weeks, motoring journalist Mat Watson gives the striking Advan-liveried car and its tyres a thorough workout in a series of tests which showcase the car’s capabilities.
April’s launch of Bridgestone’s quietest bus and coach tyre ever made followed 18 months of internal testing with its biggest fleet customer. The tyre is in part a product of a lengthy development project with Stagecoach, whose Manchester city centre fleet of green vehicles became the first in Europe to operate on the product. The U-AP 002 reduces rolling resistance, extends mileage, and reduces fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and total cost of ownership according to Bridgestone’s testing against its predecessor in size 275/70 R22.5. The tyre was developed to fulfil the requirements of an electric and hybrid bus fleet, a quickly growing target market.
Goodyear’s inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaign in 2020 was the prelude to a new era for the brand in the series. Goodyear is an official championship partner supplying every car in the LMP2 prototype category this season, which begins at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, on Saturday 1 May with a six-hour race. In its comeback season to top-level motorsport, its first action at this level in two decades, Goodyear’s tyres were victorious in Shanghai and Bahrain, and achieved a memorable double podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Automated vehicle inspection company ProovStation is adopting a Michelin technology in order to enhance its artificial intelligence-based car inspection solution. The addition of Michelin QuickScan will enable ProovStation to “check tyre wear automatically and instantaneously with millimetre precision.”
Groupe Michelin’s Capital Markets Day presentation, conducted via webcast on 8 April, set out its agenda for the next decade, putting its plans in front of leading global banks and financial firms. Circling around a central theme of sustainability, the group executive committee, led by managing chairman Florent Menegaux and general manager and chief financial officer Yves Chapot, showed how Michelin intends to “diversify while strengthening” in order to achieve its key economic and ecological targets. Chapot and Menegaux stated that expanding “non-tyre revenue” up to more than one-fifth of the group’s turnover by 2030 would make the group more agile and robust in the face of future crises. The current global health crisis has been instructive in this regard; the committee credited the development of the group’s non-tyre portfolio with assisting in its resilience over the difficulties of 2020, and now intends to continue the acceleration of its diversification. Its digital and materials innovations will simultaneously “deliver new growth,” while contributing to the overall strength of the group: a leitmotif of the committee’s presentation.
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.