Vehicle manufacturers’ accelerated development of battery and hybrid technology to significantly reduce vehicle emissions is being supported by tyre manufacturers. Tyres influence fundamental characteristics, such as the efficiency, the range, and the low running noise of electric vehicles, so tyre-makers are innovating quickly to address these key performance characteristics, while not compromising on the tyre’s core safety functions. Yokohama states that it has played a key role in developing its range of tyres to meet the requirements of this next generation of vehicles.
The latest in our ‘Torque from the Top’ series of interviews with leading tyre industry executives features David Seward, MD of Yokohama’s UK distributor, Yokohama HPT. As you will read later, the company was established in 1988 and Seward has been with the company from the beginning, which must make him one of (if not the) longest-serving MD of any UK-based international tyre company. But first, a brief look at the history of the parent company.
Yokohama has announced that it will launch a new all-season tyre for European and Russian vans, the BluEarth-Van All Season RY61, in spring 2021. The tyre will be available in 23 sizes, from 225/55R17C 104/102H to 195/70R15C 104/102T. The manufacturer joins the trend of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers introducing new products in the segment, an intersection of two growth markets in Europe.
Yokohama Rubber has long been one of the most significant firms within the tyre industry to exhibit at the Geneva International Motor Show. Although this year’s event was cancelled, the tyre maker has proceeded with the virtual launch of no less than five products destined for European markets. The new additions to the Yokohama range are the BluEarth-GT AE51, BluEarth-XT AE61 and Geolandar CV G058, as well as the BluEarth Winter V906 and IceGuard Studless IG53 winter patterns.
Introduced earlier in the year at the Geneva International Motor Show, the BluEarth-air EF21 represents the very latest from Yokohama in environmentally-friendly tyre design. The tyre comes with a coveted ‘AA’ label rating for rolling resistance and wet grip.
A window into the future of tyres, Yokohama-style, awaits visitors to the Tokyo Motor Show. The Yokohama Rubber stand will feature a “future technologies corner”, at which Yokohama will introduce its CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services) technologies.
Gridlocked motorways, empty restaurants and a host of other travel related problems were just some of the impacts of the freezing conditions last winter, which were estimated to have cost the UK economy £1bn per day. Given this financial impact, many large fleets and commercial vehicle operators have developed a series of contingency plans designed to mitigate against these losses and keep their operations mobile. But it’s not just big businesses that need to keep moving when the worst of the weather hits. Many families, small and medium sized business owners and their workers require to maintain their full mobility. Whether it’s visiting elderly relatives, trying to keep their company running or not missing out on important work shifts, it is vital for many that harsh weather does not affect their day-to-day lives. Yokohama says its extensive range of all-season and winter tyre products offer a solution, designed for a wide range of passenger car applications.
Yokohama Rubber will participate in the Tokyo Auto Salon 2019 between 11 and 13 January at Makuhari Messe. The company will showcase its tyre and aluminium wheel products. Yokohama adds that it will have a special focus on its “hobby tyres” – those for motorsport or classic car applications. The booth will also introduce its motorsport activities, which it states make important contributions to its technology development for consumer tyres.
Buckinghamshire-based distributor Tomato Tyres has entered into an agreement to supply specialist aviation logistics company Comet Car Hire (CCH) with the new for 2018 Yokohama BluEarth-Van RY55 tyre for its fleet of Mercedes vans, minibuses and people carriers.
Yokohama’s extensive offering of 4×4 tyres caters for a broad range of manufacturers and applications, from SUVs to crossover SUVs and minivans, CUVs and sports cars, already boasting a host of OE fitments.
A statement published by Yokohama Rubber expresses the tyre maker’s satisfaction in gaining TÜV SÜD certification for its first European all-season tyre. The Yokohama BluEarth-4S AW21 achieved this distinction after being subjected to benchmark tests by the German technical service organisation.
The increasing popularity of all-season tyres in Europe has led to an increase in product development in the segment as manufacturers, especially premium manufacturers, move to launch products offering less of a compromise of characteristics than ever before in the segment. Yokohama, a global brand that has arguably done more than any other tyre manufacturer not already part of the big seven to make a convincing case for being categorised as a premium brand, is the latest to launch a next generation all-season product, the BluEarth 4Seasons.
A new member of the Yokohama BluEarth tyre range specifically aimed at vans will be available from March 2018. The BluEarth-Van RY55 will be produced in a total of 30 sizes for 14- to 17-inch rim diameters. In addition to being sold in European markets, the BluEarth-Van RY55 will be available in Asia (excluding Japan), Oceania, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Some companies celebrate their centenary with a giant birthday cake; Yokohama Rubber has done so by developing a tyre. Although described as a concept, the tyre will come to market this year – albeit just in Japan, in one size (205/55R16 91V) and only on a limited basis. The anniversary tyre is called the BluEarth-air EF21. Yokohama Rubber reports that it is based on the “most advanced technologies and the latest design technique for reducing tyres’ weight and environmental impact.” The BluEarth-air EF21 will be introduced to the world at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017, which opens to the press tomorrow and to the public from 28 October.
Yokohama’s newest winter tyre, the BluEarth W*drive V905 has been designed to meet Europe’s increasingly stringent environmental regulations. The first Yokohama-brand winter tyre to use the advanced BluEarth fuel-efficient technologies, it also features a directional pattern with wide grooves and a new compound offering superior stability and performance on snow, ice and wet roads. Ideal for drivers of performance cars, medium sized cars and SUVs, the BluEarth W*drive V905 is available in sizes from 15”–22”.