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.
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.