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.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has expanded Hiroyuki Shioiri’s responsibilities for companies across Europe including Yokohama HPT in the UK. Effective 1 July 2020, is now Hiroyuki Shioiri Officer, President of Yokohama Europe GmbH, Chairman of Yokohama Reifen GmbH, Chairman of Yokohama Scandinavia AB, Chairman of Yokohama H.P.T. Ltd., Chairman of Yokohama Iberia, S.A., Chairman of Yokohama France S.A.S., President of Yokohama Austria GmbH, President of Yokohama Danmark A/S, President of Yokohama Suisse SA, President of N.V. Yokohama Belgium S.A. Prior to this appointment Hiroyuki Shioiri was Officer, Head of Corporate Planning Div., Chairman of Yokohama Europe GmbH.
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 will present a host of high-octane entertainment in its debut as the official tyre partner of the Silverstone Classic this weekend. The event will also mark the celebration of Yokohama’s UK distributor, Yokohama HPT’s, 30th anniversary in the UK.
Yokohama has become the Official Tyre Partner for the Silverstone Classic festival for the first time in its 100-year history in an association the tyre manufacturer says reflects its rich motorsport heritage. In its new role, Yokohama becomes the title sponsor for several highlights, including the Yokohama Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars and the Yokohama Silverstone Classic Supercar Track Parade and Paddock Display. The company will present the Yokohama Silverstone Classic Club Car of the Show Award.
Yokohama will display its latest competition tyres, its road tyres recently approved by major new original equipment manufacturers, its driver and championship partnerships for 2018, and the Premier League trophy at the NEC Birmingham’s Autosport International show (11-14 January 2018). The manufacturer extended its invitation to see new products, the Premier League trophy and discuss tyre needs for the season ahead on stand 2750 in Hall 20.
Yokohama Rubber has expressed its pride in two awards its UK sales and marketing subsidiary, Yokohama H.P.T. Ltd. (YHPT), has gained this year – the Tyre Manufacturer of the Year award presented by TyreSafe in July and the Industry Marketing Campaign of the Year award gained at the 2017 NTDA Tyre Industry Awards ceremony in October.
Yokohama will host the Premier League trophy on its Automechanika Birmingham stand (stand 20D80, Birmingham NEC) as part of its continuing shirt sponsorship of 2016/17 champions Chelsea FC. Visitors to the show on Tuesday 6 June and Wednesday 7 June will have the opportunity to have their photo taken alongside the official Premier League trophy, which appears courtesy of the tyre manufacturer’s partnership with the club.
Announced to mark the 20th anniversary of the manufacturer’s 4×4 tyre brand in 2016, the new Yokohama all-terrain Geolandar A/T G015 has made its first appearance in the UK. Available in sizes ranging from 15–20 inches, the G015 was developed for the latest generation of SUVs, featuring the three peak snowflake mark. Yokohama says it is the flagship tyre in its Geolandar range due a number of technical innovations, which deliver better wear performance, better traction and improved ride comfort.
Yokohama HPT says it has stocked one of its most comprehensive winter tyre ranges ever ahead of a season that weather forecasters predict will be the coldest UK winter for 35 years. Available for next day delivery from its central UK distribution centre, the range is suited for drivers of all cars and light commercial vehicles, and is targeted in particular at those who need to guarantee their mobility in the harshest of conditions, such as emergency services, utility companies, community nurses and doctors.
Yokohama has added a further initiative to its shirt sponsorship link with Chelsea FC; the manufacturer is fitting its tyre to the team bus. Chelsea will roll into Watford FC’s Vicarage Road ground for the squad’s first away fixture of the 2016/17 season on Yokohama 104ZR coach and bus tyres. The company has also fitted its high-performance, premium car tyres to a number of the players’ own cars.
The UK distributor for Yokohama tyres, YHPT, has said it is encouraged by the pace shown by Next Big Step runner Aaron McClure in this year’s BTRDA rally series. A graduate of the Formula 1000 Junior championship and competing as part of a ‘ladder of opportunity’ which is supported at all levels by Yokohama, McClure demonstrated excellent pace in his Group N Mitsubishi Lancer rally car on numerous occasions throughout the season.
Top Gear Live is dead; long live Clarkson, Hammond and May Live! The deal struck this week following Jeremy Clarkson’s ignominious departure from Top Gear to salvage the extensive 2015 Top Gear Live schedule has underlined the ending of Clarkson’s association with the brand and the BBC. While a decision on the fate of the programme – and presenters Richard Hammond and James May – remains in discussions, the deal guarantees ticket holders to see most of the show for which they bought tickets. But are the show’s principle corporate supporters happy with the new arrangement?
Now that Jeremy Clarkson must be considered an ex-Top Gear presenter, the future of the planned Top Gear Live arena tour also been called into question. Four shows due to take place in Norway were postponed with replacement dates yet to be announced while the BBC’s investigation into Clarkson’s behaviour was completed. Having reported its findings that Clarkson made “an unprovoked physical and verbal attack” on his producer on 25 March, it appears the shows, and the rest of the ambitious Top Gear Live arena tour, remain in jeopardy – a potential marketing headache for the UK tour’s title sponsor Gocompare, and tyre supplier, Yokohama.