Michelin signed a three-year agreement to supply Volvo Group with truck tires as original equipment on Renault and Volvo trucks assembled in Europe. The agreement confirms Michelin’s position as a major supplier of tires to the Volvo Group in Europe. The deal comes at a time when global radial truck tire production capacity is saturated, even as demand is expected to experience growth in the future. It is in line with Michelin’s commitment to balancing its operations in the original and replacement equipment markets in order to deliver optimal service quality across all markets, while maintaining its profitability.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced that it has reached global supply agreements to become a major tyre supplier to the Volvo Group in Europe and Brazil. Last month, Goodyear was named standard equipment tyre supplier for the Volvo Group’s Volvo and Mack truck operations in North America. Goodyear, with the three-year contracts, will now be a key supplier to the Volvo Group’s three major truck brands – Mack, Renault and Volvo – on three continents. “Reaching this global agreement with a world-class customer such as Volvo is a major accomplishment and a testament to Goodyear’s product quality, technology and customer service – not only on one continent, but on three,” said Robert J. Keegan, Goodyear’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Goodyear has won global agreements to supply OE tyres to the Volvo Group in Europe and Brazil, following the recent award of a North American supply contract. The three-year contracts mean that Goodyear will be a key supplier to Volvo’s three major truck brands – Mack, Renault and Volvo. The tyres will be produced at Goodyear’s factories in Danville (Kansas), Colmar Berg (Luxembourg), Wittlich (Germany), Kranj (Slovenia) and Sao Paulo (Brazil).
Michelin North America has announced a three-year supply agreement Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks. As a result of this continuing relationship, Michelin fleet customers will be able to specify the Michelin line-haul products they value on every Mack line-haul truck and Volvo VN highway tractors.
Goodyear has signed an agreement whereby its tyres will be fitted as standard on all Volvo trucks sold in North America over the next three years. The tyres will be manufactured at Goodyear’s plants at Danville and Topeka and products will include the new generation G395 LHS plus Goodyear’s complete commercial portfolio of application-specific tyres. The tyre manufacturer says it is delighted to be associated with a prestigious brand such as Volvo and expects considerable benefits in sales of replacement tyres.
Lithium Technology Corporation, has announced that together with its German lithium polymer battery company partner, GAIA, the two companies have completed and shipped their first prototype 42-Volt automotive battery to BMW under the auspices of the European Union-sponsored “Astor” program (Assessments and testing of advanced storage systems for propulsion and other electrical systems in passenger cars). The Astor consortium consists of seven European auto companies: VW, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Opel, Fiat, Volvo, and Peugeot. The prototype lithium battery, which is now undergoing testing in Europe, delivers 7-8 kiloWatts of power at ambient temperatures, with a capacity of 27 Amp-hours, a pulse power capability of up to 6 kiloWatts for starting at an operating temperature of -25 degrees C, and an estimated life of 8 years. The battery is designed to meet the 42-Volt battery specifications of the Astor project.
North American Truck sales have plummeted, down by as much as 50 per cent since the 1999 peak. There are signs that the downturn may spread to Europe. European truck manufacturers expect sales to fall by 15-20 per cent in 2002. Volvo has declared US deliveries of trucks down 40 per cent and a 21 per cent decline in Europe. Daf also expect to see the European market fall by 20-25 per cent this year.
Korean tyre manufacturer Hankook has received an order from Volvo to supply the spare tyre (size T 125/80 R17) for the models V70, S60 and S80, from 1st July this year. It is said that Michelin, who produced these tyres up till now, has delivery problems due to a reduction of production in Great Britain. The order from Volvo is worth around 5 million Euros and for Hankook, it is another foot in the Ford door after the company won its first OE order from Ford last year.
Hankook is to deliver spare tyres, size 125/80-17, for the Volvo models S 60, S 80, C 70 (Cabriolet) and V 70. The order volume is approx. 200,000 units and the profit margin is described as “satisfactory”. Hankook is also entering the OE business in China. The manufacturer is to deliver tyre sizes 195/65-15 (H and V-rated) as well as 205/60-15 (V-rated) for the VW models Passat and Bora.
This year alloy wheel producer BBS celebrates its 30th birthday. BBS is not one of the biggest producers of aluminium wheels but intends to grow significantly: from 2003 BBS plans to build up capacities of more than 4 million pieces a year at its headquarters in Germany’s Black Forest town Schiltach, at Italy’s Ruina factory near Ferrara and at a new plant in Herbolzheim near Freiburg. BBS is an oe supplier for car brands like BMW, Mercedes (AMG), Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, Saab, Volvo, Peugeot and Volkswagen and specialises in highly sophisticated wheels which means that the wheels are in extreme sizes or modular or have additional other special features. The history of BBS includes a lot of success in motorsport. BBS has been producing wheels for motorsport since 1974, and in 1991 the cooperation with Ferrari began. High-end products are the forged magnesium wheels for Formula 1 which are also flow-formed. Not only Ferrari with top driver Michael Schumacher, but also Benetton, Jaguar, Arrows, Prost, and hundreds of racing teams in other series all over the world trust in racing wheels by BBS – one of the main reasons that BBS is also the image leader in the alloy wheel aftermarkets of the world. Learn more about BBS in NEUE REIFENZEITUNG’s October issue.
As soon as the merger between Volvo and Renault has received final approval from the US competition authority, Volvo will cut down the number of suppliers. It is said that one of the big three (Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear), which are suppliers of truck tyres, could lose the business.