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.
Three Vredestein models have gained approval as original equipment tyres for the latest generation of Volkswagen’s perennially popular Golf. The Golf 8 will be available with the Vredestein Sportrac 5 in size 195/65R15. Buyers opting for winter tyres can receive their Golf equipped with the Vredestein Wintrac Pro in the same dimension or the Snowtrac 5 in size 205/55R16.
Apollo Vredestein recently announced that it is working with Traxx Tyres to distribute the Vredestein brand in the UK, and Vredestein has supported its new partnership with its participation in this year’s Independent Tyre Dealer Conference, which was hosted by Traxx Tyres late last month.
Vredestein has chosen the largest British farm machinery, equipment and service show, LAMMA 2020 (NEC Birmingham, 7/8 January) to introduce the newest addition to its agricultural range, the Traxion 65 tyre, to the UK market.
Vredestein will also show the Traxion XXL tested by independent German test institute DGL (and the test results) together with LAMMA 2019 Innovation Awards ‘Driven Innovation’ winner, the Traxion Optimall.
UK tyre wholesaler Traxx Tyres has announced a new partnership with Apollo Vredestein. Traxx will initially stock and distribute Vredestein brand tyres, with the possibility of adding the Apollo tyre range in the future.