Vredestein has introduced further Traxion Optimall sizes. It says these additions to its 2018-launched Very High Flexion range are “ideal for ploughing” thanks to their maximum width of 65 centimetres. This enables the VF650/85R42 and VF650/85R38 tyres to “fit perfectly in the furrow.” The manufacturer adds that the Traxion Optimall’s traction and self-cleaning properties also make the tyre “very suitable for plough activities. In addition to these rear wheel fitments, Vredestein has released a new VF600/70R34 front wheel size.
One way or another 2020 has been an eventful year for all of us. The same is true at Apollo Tyres where, at a global level, the company has had to navigate pandemic-related production pauses and restarts along with new factory openings and the decision to enter the two-wheel segment. At the same time as continuing to develop the Apollo brand, the company has also given the Vredestein brand a big push during the last month or so. First, with the launch of a new all-season range, then with the introduction of a new North American tyre line-up and – in order to support both – a pitch-side advertising partnership with Manchester United football club. Tyres & Accessories recently interviewed Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and MD, Apollo Tyres Ltd in order to find out more.
Vredestein has expanded its Traxion 65 tractor tyre series. First introduced at Agritechnica 2019, Vredestein has added 15 sizes, covering a complete range from 16 to 42 inches. All 19 tyres are available for the aftermarket and various tractor brands are offering them factory fitted. The Traxion 65 series is Vredestein’s follow-up to the popular Traxion+. It was redesigned to incorporate the latest technologies developed for the Vredestein Traxion Optimall VF. Proven features, including the curved lugs and the large contact area in the middle of the tread, have been retained, with comfort and traction characteristics improved.
Continuing its long association with Manchester United, Apollo Tyres recently extended ‘Official Global Tyre Partner’ status with a parallel association with the company’s Vredestein tyre brand. The move is part of a wider growth strategy for the Vredestein brand across the Europe and North American markets.
Dutch tyre brand Vredestein, part of the Apollo Tyres family since 2009, is a name well-known amongst European motorists. This isn’t the case in the USA and Canada, where Vredestein’s only enjoyed a niche following in past years. Apollo Tyres now intends to change this – in September it launched a “comprehensive brand offensive” there backed by a full range of new tyre lines explicitly designed for and developed in North America.
There is no doubt that the all-season tyre segment is one of the fastest-growing in the European market, and it is not difficult to see why; while some countries routinely experience extreme weather conditions in the winter months, much of the continent does not suffer to the same extent. As such, many countries – such as the UK, for example – have never developed a strong winter tyre market.
Apollo Vredestein tells Tyres & Accessories that it has focused strongly on the agricultural sector of the market during the Covid-19 lockdown. Although some of the wider company’s employees were “placed on furlough leave,” its agricultural team was kept functional with some home working facilities provided by the company. Just prior to UK entering lock down, Apollo Vredestein’s UK team, anticipating what had already happened in other European countries, doubled UK stock levels of agricultural products, as reported by Tyres & Accessories. This was also supported by transfer of resources in manufacturing and administration to allow continued agricultural tyre production in the factories.
Vredestein has launched an upgraded winter car tyre, rebranding its Snowtrac range for the cold weather segment. The new tyre, the Vredestein Wintrac, was scheduled to be launched at The Tire Cologne. Due to that event’s cancellation, the new tyre is also entering the market as the brand’s first ever virtual launch. Vredestein says the tyre is “more suitable for current European winters.” Accordingly its engineers have improved the winter range’s performance in all types of wet conditions. It also continues to drive well on snow, it adds.
Lay-off talks between Vredestein and employees at its Enschede factory in The Netherlands have not resulted in an agreement. The talks were prompted by the management’s announcement in early March that the firm is moving much of its production to Hungary. Since this will result in laying off around 750 of the 1,200 employees, a works council was developed in order to formulate an alternative proposal. However, according to various local news reports, the proposal was not received positively by the company management.
Apollo Vredestein says it has increased its stock holding of Vredestein agricultural tyres in the UK in order to meet strong demand. The company’s sales functions remain in operation and its distribution channel, ATL, continues to deliver the agricultural tyres which are considered an essential element for the country’s food chain supply.
Apollo Vredestein is scaling back production at its European plants in Hungary and the Netherlands in addition to “taking measures to protect our workforce in line with government health advisory and measures” against coronavirus/Covid-19.
According to the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), Apollo Vredestein will stop employing temp workers hired through agencies at its Enschede plant from April 2020. This means that almost 150 temporary jobs will disappear in addition to the approximately 750 permanent jobs that the tyre maker plans to shed.
Auto Zeitung’s 2020 summer tyre test is one of the largest it has ever published. The German motoring magazine has looked at 20 brands of size 225/50 R17 94/98 W/Y tyres in an evaluation that covers premium to budget. The cheapest of the tyres on test can be had for around 230 euros (£200) a set; the most expensive cost more than twice as much. As you’d expect, the winners’ podium was dominated by premium products priced well above the average. The fourth-placed tyre is a different story.
A meeting between the management of Apollo Vredestein BV (AVBV) and employees took place today to discuss the future of the company’s tyre factory in Enschede, the Netherlands. The workforce was told that Apollo Tyres intends to “specialise” production at the site in order to ensure profitability. Measures related to this realignment include reducing AVBV’s personnel by approximately 750 full-time employees over a period of 24 months.