MWheels, the European market supplier of Wheels India’s Xlite range of aluminium wheels, has rebranded as The Wheel Hub in the UK and Wheel HUB GmbH at its Cologne, Germany based European operation. The move follows a 12-month review, during which the commercial vehicle wheel distributor decided the name change more clearly identifies its approach to the respective regions. The Wheel Hub is positioning itself in the UK as “a better way to buy CV wheels.” Across the continent, the company’s strapline will be “the home of Xlite”, reflecting its synonymous position with the range of quality forged aluminium wheels. Available in 17.5, 19.5 and 22.5 inch sizes, Xlite and Xbrite+ wheels are designed to be five times stronger and 40 per cent lighter than standard steel equivalents.
Look out for Tyres & Accessories’ interview with Matt Mardle, chief executive officer for The Wheel Hub and Wheel HUB GmbH in our March issue, and next month on Tyrepress.com.
At the start of this year the Borbet Group became a member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). The alloy wheel manufacturer shares that its decision to join the ASI as of 1 January 2021 reflects an intention to actively address ecological challenges in the field of sustainable wheel production.
The world’s first carbon neutral wheel comes to market at the end of this month. This is the Ronal R70-blue, and the Ronal Group says it manufactures this passenger car rim using 100 per cent renewable energy and primarily from reused aluminium, a material that’s 100 per cent recyclable.
In December 2020 Dicastal’s forged and flow-formed magnesium wheel programme was honoured at the IMA Annual Award Ceremony. The wheel programme, jointly developed by CITIC Dicastal Co. Ltd. and General Motors, was awarded the 2020 Award of Excellence Process Category.
Aluminium casting and automotive parts specialist, Citic Dicastal kicked off production at its second aluminium wheel factory in Morocco at the end of December 2020. With a budget of 350 million euros, the Chinese wheelmaker aims to double its capacity in Morocco to 6 million wheels and create a total of 1,250 jobs. According to local news reports, the Dicastal-made wheels are destined for vehicles made by the French OEM PSA Group as well as exports.
The rise of diamond turned alloy wheels, which have overtaken traditional painted alloys as the most common product on the market, presents an opportunity for garages and fast-fit operations to diversify, Portsmouth-based innovator, Diamond Cut Refinishing (DCR) says. The refurbishment of these wheels is often reallocated, with significant lead times. However, DCR’s latest machinery for the automotive aftermarket enables depots to offer the restoration service themselves. It says the technology “saves hours of time in repair work” and “opens up a significant new revenue stream worth hundreds of pounds per day.”
The Acorus wheel, which Michelin and Maxion Wheels first presented as a prototype at the IAA 2017 motor show in Frankfurt, is coming to market next year. Michelin announced the flexible wheel solution’s commercial launch at the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which opened in Shanghai on 4 November.
Zalloys International Limited, manufacturer of WHEELUV Alloy Protection, has launched to the aftermarket a “patented, OEM quality and impact-resistant” wheel protection system that “offers technicians and installers a unique profit opportunity.” Built to withstand the elements, WHEELUV Alloy Protection has undergone rigorous testing and is industry approved, used by vehicle manufacturers and tested by HORIBA MIRA and Intertek to offer total quality assurance. Intertek has subjected WHEELUV to up to five year accelerated ageing tests.
German asset management firm Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA is acquiring the GKN Wheels & Structures business from GKN. The transaction is expected to complete in November and is conditional on receiving anti-trust approval. Following the deal’s completion, GKN Wheels & Structures will gain an as-yet-undisclosed new name.
Accuride Corporation reported this week that three of its facilities, including two of its wheel plants, have received 2019 Masters of Quality awards from Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA). The awarded plants are the Accuride de México facility in Monterrey, which supplies DTNA with aluminium and steel wheels and is a seven-time awardee; the Henderson plants in Kentucky, USA, which supplies DTNA with steel wheels and is a three-time award recipient; the Rockford factory in Illinois, USA, which supplies Gunite wheel hub, drums, and brake rotors and is a fifth-time awardee.
While the challenges of the pandemic to the light vehicle markets are familiar due to the day-to-day experiences of people around Europe, commercial, industrial and agricultural markets experienced different levels of lockdown, as many companies in these sectors worked hard to reinforce supply chains. In the tyre wholesale sector, this meant distributors of products and services to these segments needed to stay strong to supply the rubber that kept countries rolling. Michael Rosenthal, marketing director of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive distributor of off-highway tyre and wheel solutions, Kirkby Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories about the latest news from the Speke-based wholesaler.
GKN Wheels’ multi-million-pound investment programme at its Telford factory has resulted in the achievement of record targets. Despite a number of obstacles, not least the impact Coronavirus pandemic has had on the plant’s operational capabilities, the new manufacturing plant is now producing more than three times as many wheels as the old plant, with 55 high-quality off-highway wheels now being manufactured every hour. With the new line now fully operational, the old lines and assembly cells have now been decommissioned and disposed of.
ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components GmbH has become the first and only carbon rim manufacturer to receive global road approval. The Kesselsdorf, Germany company received European road approval the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) last year. In addition to a general operating permit (ABE) marked by a KBA number, the rims now also have an approval from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) according to DOT E and from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism or according to the so-called Japan Light Alloy Wheel Standard (JWL). All approvals are noted on the rims and should document the corresponding quality standards.
BBS’s provisional administrator, Thomas Oberle, as provisional insolvency administrator, has clarified that there are not “structural problems” at the firms two plants in Schiltach and Herbolzheim. And therefore, that was not the reason for the well-known wheel brand’s recent insolvency our German group publication Reifenpresse.de reported.