For years the rise in prominence and market share of high-value and high-margin SUV and 4×4 tyres has continued unabated. During that time the boundaries between cross-over vehicles (CUV), sports utility vehicles (SUV) and 4x4s have been well and truly blurred. Now, with electric drivetrain technology coming to the fore as well, and with some tyre manufacturers making the case for specific electric vehicle-orientated tyres, is a new ultra-high value combined niche emerging? And if so, what does such intersectionality, or perhaps more appropriately since we are talking about tyres cross-sectionality, mean for the wider tyres business?
Banffshire-based haulage contractor, Ian S Roger, marked the company’s 50th anniversary in style with a new gold liveried Volvo FH 540 6×2 tractor unit, fitted with Michelin X Multi Z and X Works D tyres as original equipment. The eye-catching FH joins a mix of MAN, Renault, Scania and Volvo trucks as part of a 32-strong fleet of vehicles used for a variety of agricultural-based haulage work. Almost the entire fleet now runs on Michelin tyres.
Volvo Car UK is offering a free repair service covering both windscreen and tyre damage. Volvo reports that the service is the first of its kind in the UK car industry to cover both tyres and windscreens. Where “viable”, Volvo retailers will the service on Volvo cars “of any age” and work will be carried out by “qualified Volvo technicians”.
Skip hire, recycling and aggregates business PSH Environmental has specified Michelin’s X Mine D2 Pro tyres across its fleet of Volvo wheeled loaders. As a result, the company says it has eliminated all instances of punctures. Nigel Parker, who runs PSH Environmental alongside his brother Martyn, says: “We fit the Michelin product because it is by far the best option for our wheeled loaders. The Volvos are fantastic machines, working in a very tough environment and we use a premium tyre to ensure we get the best out of them and avoid costly downtime.
In 2015, Michelin disrupted the all-season tyre market with the launch of the CrossClimate – a tyre that approached year-round performance from a different direction. Now, following the launch its successor (the CrossClimate 2) in the US at the end of 2020, the world’s largest tyremaker has released a new European market-orientated version which builds on the already impressive performance of the first generation and tunes the concept demonstrated by the US edition for the European market. For example, according to Michelin, the Cross Climate 2 “delivers a 10% reduction in rolling resistance when compared to its best-selling predecessor thanks to a Cool Running Sidewall designed to improve fuel efficiency or electric vehicle battery range…” amongst other enhancements.
Shandong Linglong Tire has signed a strategic cooperation with Shandong Lingong, and no, this isn’t a typo. The Shandong, China-based tyre maker more commonly known as Linglong Tire entered into this arrangement with Volvo Group company Shandong Lingong Construction Machinery (SDLG) on 29 June. Wang Feng signed the cooperation on behalf of Linglong Tire, with Wen Degang, SDLG general manager, performing the honours for the construction equipment company.
Volvo Cars has announced that the fully electric cars it sells in Northern and Central Europe – but not the UK – will come with all-season ‘Recharge’ tyres as standard. Original equipment Recharge tyres are specifically developed for Volvo’s Recharge product line, and according to the car maker are the first tyres for year-round use to achieve an EU tyre label ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency.
A subsidiary of Volvo- and Lotus-owner Geely, London Electric Vehicle Company has awarded Davanti Tyres its first OE approval. Davanti’s DX440 light commercial van tyre has earned 100 per cent OE approval for the company’s VN5 electric van, which has now entered full production.
Volvo has announced that drivers and buyers of any new Volvo plug-in hybrid model (PHEV) will benefit from a year’s free electricity to charge their car. The offer is open to both private and business customers. Volvo says this is because its “intention is to encourage drivers to get into the habit of keeping their car’s hybrid battery charged, it’s the company car driver who will receive the refund at the end of the year rather than their employer.”
Cooper Tire Europe will support Wiltshire Air Ambulance emergency medical service by supplying Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport tyres to the charity’s XC90 rapid response vehicle (RRV) and Honda CR-V support car.
Michelin is introducing a new generation of tyre for the earthmover market optimised for loaders, graders and articulated dump trucks. The new Michelin Xtra FlexLife range will be launched in July 2019 in 29.5 R25 and 875/65 R29 sizes for the original equipment and replacement markets, with an additional five sizes joining the line-up in 2020. The manufacturer states the tyre has been designed to extend tyre life, improve traction and deliver better comfort and stability versus the generation of products they replace.
As the motor industry shifts towards a connected, electrified future, many roles within the sector have evolved beyond recognition. Jason Ratcliffe, level four master technician at Rybrook Volvo in Warrington, puts the spotlight on how the role of a vehicle technician has transformed significantly in the short time since he embarked on Volvo Car UK’s apprentice scheme aged 16.
The latest design from alloy wheel manufacturer Borbet is aimed at Volvo XC60 drivers. The five-spoke Borbet DY is available in brilliant silver or dark grey polished matt finishes. Sized at 8×18-inches and with a 45 offset, Borbet says the “rather glamorous” DY brings elegance to the Swedish SUV.
Volvo Buses has secured an order of 23 fully electric buses from public transport company Arriva in the Netherlands. The buses will operate in the city of Leiden in the province of South Holland. The order was signed June 28 at a ceremony in conjunction with the Volvo Ocean Race, which finished in the Hague this week. Deliveries will take place between Q1 and Q3 in 2019.
Volvo has confirmed it will begin sales of electric trucks in Europe in 2019, with the first units being put into operation with selected reference customers later this year. As well as reducing CO2 emissions, Volvo sees the introduction of electric vehicles as an opportunity to reduce the number of trucks operating in peak hours.