Urban planners anticipate a decline in individual car ownership and commensurate increase in use of infrastructure-type vehicles to move people and goods in years to come, and Yokohama Rubber is now planning for this in its newly-announced medium-term management plan, Yokohama Transformation 2023. The company intends this successor to the 2018-launched Grand Design 2020 (GD2020) three-year plan to “serve as the platform” for its growth over the next three years.
Common sense seems to dictate that when you tell the majority of the population to stay home, vehicle utilisation – and therefore tyre consumption – should be down across the board. And in a blunt sense the latest full-year panelmarket data from GfK, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, does show that this happened. However, the latest infographic from the automotive market data analyst also reveals a few more subtle patterns to consumer behaviour in the difficult 12 months of 2020, compared with the previous period. This article is available in Tyres & Accessories’ February issue.
A ski holiday may be out of the question at the moment, but it’s business as usual for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. They’re taking place right now at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, with Pirelli as a Main Sponsor. Pirelli winter tyres are also abundantly present in Cortina, with the Italian brand’s winter range fitted to the vehicle fleet supplied by fellow Main Sponsor Audi.
Continental has completed its Scandinavia range of winter truck tyres with the addition of a 22.5-inch tyre line. The Conti Scandinavia HS3 steer axle tyre and Conti Scandinavia HD3 drive axle tyres are now available and will be joined by the Conti Scandinavia HT3 trailer tyre in June.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has inaugurated a winter tyre test facility at its Nayoro Tire Proving Ground on the northern island of Hokkaido, one of its main development sites for winter tyres. The 3,000 square metre Nayoro Indoor ICE Field – NICE for short – is one of the largest indoor on-ice tyre testing facilities in Japan.
Finnish manufacturer Nokian Tyres says it wants to develop and present a concept tyre entirely produced from renewable and recycled tyres by 2025. It hasn’t yet shared specific project details, but it appears this 100 per cent eco-friendly concept may well be a winter tyre. Nokian’s announcement creates this impression, at any rate.
Its market launch was actually planned for last autumn, but Continental postponed the introduction of its new WinterContact TS 870 until 2021 for corona-related reasons. The wait is now almost over, as a company representative has confirmed that “preparations to bring the WinterContact TS 870 to market are on schedule” with a launch range that consists of almost 20 SKUs in 14- to 17- rim diameter sizes. And this winter tyre isn’t the only new product that Continental is bringing out – a number of online retailers have already made space for a successor to the SportContact 6.
Pirelli’s new rally tyre for snow and ice, which has studs longer than 8mm, will make its first appearance this weekend. Fitted to R5 cars on the Arctic Rally from 15-16 January, the Sottozero Ice WJ debuts at the opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship. Its long titanium-tipped studs are locked into place using Pirelli’s patented vulcanisation process for retention. A new tread pattern design helps the tyre to capitalise on the increased grip supplied by the studs. Pirelli says the new tyre will be available commercially for national championships run in extreme winter conditions, such as those run in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. It is suitable for R5, R2 and historic rally vehicles.
Winter is the season when Nokian Tyres comes into its own, which is fitting for the world’s northernmost tyre manufacturer, and the company is renewing its comprehensive and versatile range of studded winter tyres. At the beginning of 2021, Nokian is introducing its new flagship products: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 studded tyre for passenger cars and SUVs. A special new addition to this product family is a dedicated version for electric vehicles and hybrids. For the first time, Nokian Tyres is also introducing a model especially tailored for the Russian market: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10p studded tyre.
Test World has converted its ‘Indoor 3’ facility to pure ice, adding to the site’s capacity for indoor ice testing. With updates to the EU Tyre Label and the new ‘Ice Mark’ due next year, Test World has noted a significant increase in enquiries related to ice testing at the Ivalo-based tyre testing facility. Indoor 3 builds on Test World’s existing indoor ice offering, giving its customers unrivalled access to accurate and reliable tyre testing all year round.
In addition to taking the honours in the Auto Express all-season tyre test here in the UK, the Continental AllSeasonContact is the top-performing all-season tyre in the latest tyre test from Slovakian car magazine Autozurnal. The publication rated the AllSeasonContact ‘very good’ in its joint test of winter and all-season tyres. The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 gave the strongest winter tyre performance and Autozurnal also rewarded it with a ‘very good’ rating.
Pirelli launched the Elect marking at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show which is designed to be available as original equipment for “the most modern cars on the road”. Now Pirelli is highlighting that the Porsche Taycan is the first car to use Pirelli Elect-marked tyres.
We don’t usually cover bicycle tyres on Tyrepress.com but have made an exception this time as Pirelli’s utilised its experience with car winter tyres to develop the first winter tyre for pedal-powered and electric bikes. Called the Pirelli CYCL-e Winter, the tyre aims to provide mobility to those who want to keep on riding during the colder months.
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.
The Autozeitung winter tyre test has revealed “extreme differences” between the best and worst winter tyres, according to its testing panel. The first and last-placed tyres in the product comparison were ultimately no less than 43 percentage points apart in the overall rating. This is, in part, because Autozeitung has changed its evaluation scheme compared to previous years. A percentage value is now given for the performance shown in the three performance categories of snow, wet, and dry – previously points were awarded – with a mean average percentage calculated to define final placements. 14 tyres in size 205/55 R16 were mounted on a VW Golf 1.5 TSI for the test.