Wheel manufacturer BBS Japan has signed a four-year contract with Formula 1 to become the exclusive supplier of new standard rims. The company, part of the Maedakosen Group, has also signed up to supply rims to NASCAR for the next three years.
The WoollyWormit wheel brush has had over 1,900 reviews on Amazon, garnering a 4.5 positive rating. But is it the best in the world?
Here’s what the WoollyWormit’s creators had to say: “Like pretty much everyone, we always said the worst part about washing a car is cleaning the wheels…We were tired of spending 50 per cent of the time cleaning 5 per cent of the surface area of the car, so we designed and invented a brush that cleans wheels better, faster and more effectively than other brushes on the market.”
In order to optimise the efficiency of its aluminium wheel production facility in Limeira, Brazil, Maxion Wheels has created a virtual replica of the plant’s production processes. By employing ‘Digital Twin’ technology, the world’s largest wheel manufacturer can anticipate how the actual plant performs under specific conditions, thereby ensuring it achieves the highest levels of efficiency and efficacy. Maxion now intends to roll out the technology at other facilities around the world.
While almost every automotive business has been affected by current world events, for wheel manufacturers, a ‘perfect storm’ of global trading conditions has created a challenging trading period. Tyres & Accessories recently heard from Dave McMillan, sales director for Wheelwright, one of Britain’s longest standing manufacturer and retail names, who gave us an insight into how the company is coping with a new raft of logistical and financial travails.
Ireland’s Modern Tyres invested £5.6 million in the establishment of a new division, Modern Wheel Solutions division back in May. The new business will be situated at a 81,000 square foot purpose-built factory in Carnbane Business Park in Newry.
In October 2020 GKN Wheels & Structures was acquired by Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA. The new owners announced that the acquisition was completed on 26 November 2020 and since then, the company has been “planning for our future”. This means “listening to [its] teams internally as well as our external stakeholders-working to look at how we can work better and smarter together as we move forward”. But in practice the most noticeable immediate development is the decision to rename the business as Moveero.
The Association of European Wheel Manufacturers (EUWA) reports that Trelleborg Wheel Systems has signed up as a member. In a statement, the association says it is “very happy to welcome” Trelleborg Wheel Systems.
Wheelwright Limited’s management team recently acquired the company from previous managing director Kevin Greer through a management buyout process. According to the company, “this means that Wheelwright Limited is now owned and operated by the same team of experienced enthusiasts that helped the Kent-based company achieve its existing position as the country’s leading supplier of aftermarket wheels and chassis-related products.”
The Ronal Group is launching the R68 multi-spoke wheel to complement its aftermarket range. The new wheel features “20 opposing yet interrelated spokes” which “merge into a single technical and visual unit”. The R68 is available with two different surface finishes – jet-black as well “hyper grey”, which is a new Ronal colour.
Wheel manufacturer BBS intends to gradually withdraw from the original equipment segment and concentrate on aftermarket business. This decision was announced by Stefan Prutscher, regional secretary of the IG Metall trade union. According to the union, BBS will cut 160 jobs at its Schiltach and Herbolzheim sites in Germany. The wheel manufacturer, which filed for bankruptcy for the third time in summer 2020, will retain 280 jobs.
Netherlands-based tyre wholesaler Heuver is now a European distributor for the Xlite range of aluminium truck wheels. These wrought aluminium truck wheels, produced in accordance with TÜV and ISO9001 norms, are stronger yet 40 per cent lighter than a standard steel equivalent.
KW automotive GmbH intends to acquire wheel manufacturer BBS, and signed a contract to this end late last year. The deal is still subject to a number of contractual conditions that should be met in the near future. The company anticipates taking over the BBS brand in June 2021 together with a minority shareholder, entrepreneur Mathias R. Albert. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
Maxion Wheels reports that construction and infrastructure work for its new Maxion Jantaş commercial vehicle (CV) steel wheel plant in Manisa, Turkey is now complete. The wheel manufacturer and local partner Inci Holding anticipate that the 21,000 square metre facility will be complete in the first quarter of 2022 and will increase Maxion Jantaş’ total production capacity to up to three million CV steel wheels a year.
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.