Japan looks to put automated truck convoys on road in 3 years- Nikkei Asian Review


TOKYO — The Japanese government aims to have columns of synchronized driverless vehicles following a human-operated one on a major highway in fiscal 2020 — an innovation expected to relieve shortages of truck drivers. The concept is known as platooning. The autonomous vehicles in the convoy keep in contact wirelessly with the lead vehicle, applying acceleration and brakes as needed to maintain appropriate distances.

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Tire sales increase across Europe in 2016

BRUSSELS—All tire segments except replacement agricultural tires saw increased sales for the full year of 2016, according to the latest figures from the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association.

Replacement consumer tire sales rose 2 percent between 2015 and 2016, from 202.8 million to 206.7 million, ETRMA said in a Jan. 23 press release.

Original equipment consumer tire sales were up 3 percent from 83.6 million in 2015 to 86.1 percent in 2016, the association said.


Replacement truck tire sales increased 3 percent, to 9.8 million from 9.5 million, according to ETRMA. Meanwhile, OE truck tire sales inched up 1 percent, to 5.7 million from 5.6 million.

Replacement agricultural tires saw a 6 percent decrease in sales, to 1.4 million from 1.5 million, but motorcycle and scooter tire sales rose 4 percent to 9 million from 8.6 million.

ETRMA did not release figures for OE agricultural, motorcycle and scooter tires.


Although tire import figures weren’t complete for 2016, the first 11 months showed a major increase over 2015, ETRMA said.

As of the end of November 2016, passenger tire imports to Europe totaled 143.4 million, including 65.5 from China. This was up 16 percent from the 123.6 million imported tires in 2015, including 57.8 million from China, the association said.

Truck tire imports to Europe increased 13 percent between 2015 and the end of November 2016, ETRMA said. Imports through November 2016 totaled 7 million, including 4.4 million from China. In 2015, truck tire imports stood at 6.2 million, including 3.8 million from China.

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Downside of weight reduction


The most recent round of anti-dumping duties on the Chinese truck tyres by the US has put the Chinese producers into a difficult and costly technical challenge. When they try to re-direct their tyres away from N. America to the European markets, they need to remain competitive by taking weight out of the product while maintaining its structural and performance integrity.

When it comes to tyre manufacturing, tonnage throughput is quite critical to the economics of any production unit given the high capital cost of tyre manufacturing. Reduce throughput and the economics of the operation quickly look rather sick. Traditionally, the Asian countries have tended to produce tyres that are considered overly heavy by the European and N. American standards and for a good reason. In their domestic markets, often poor road surfaces and severe over loading make ‘over design’ essential; but with that comes significant extra-cost.

Read the source article at Rubber Asia

Want winter tires on your rental car? Good luck


Alberta is in the grips of winter, but consumers looking to rent a vehicle outfitted with winter tires to navigate the ice, slush and snow are largely out of luck. Rental companies in Alberta rarely install winter tires on their fleets, and the few companies that do often charge hefty fees. Of nine companies with locations in Edmonton contacted by CBC News this month, four operations had a small selection of vehicles outfitted with winter tires. The rest didn’t have any at all.

Read the source article at CBC.ca

Goodyear partners in autonomous vehicle study


AKRON (Jan. 6, 2017) — Goodyear is teaming up with an innovative California ride-sharing company to glean information about tire wear and performance by studying data the firm gathers on its fleet of semi-autonomous Tesla sedans.

Goodyear is partnering with California’s Tesloop Inc., which operates a fleet of semi-autonomous electric-motor-powered Teslas, to rack up the miles and data it needs.

The two companies have inked an agreement to study and model tire performance based on data generated by Tesloop’s city-to-city mobility service. That service, which provides shared transportation services for trips of between 50 and 300 miles, racks up about 20,000 miles per month on each of its vehicles. Tesloop did not say how many vehicles it has on the road, only that its fleet is expanding.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Europe Tire Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2021

According to “Europe Tire Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2021”, tire market in Europe is projected to cross $49 billion by 2021 on account of anticipated stabilization of crude oil price, expected rise in the vehicle sales and expanding vehicle fleet. The vehicle fleet in the region is dominated by the passenger car segment, followed by the commercial vehicle segment. Consequently, the passenger car tire segment held the largest share in Europe’s tire market in 2015, and its dominance is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Growing per capita income and anticipated increase in the launch of new vehicle models are few of the key factors expected to drive demand for passenger car tires in Europe over the next five years. Though traditional retail stores are the most preferred mode of selling tires in Europe but with the increasing internet penetration & advantages offered by online tire selling websites, car owners in the region are increasingly inclining toward online channels for purchasing tires. In 2015, Germany, The United KingdomFranceSpain and Italy were the largest tire markets in Europe but in terms of market growth rates the countries are different which is making it consequently more important to monitor the market to identify right opportunities. 

Read the source article at cbs8.com

Camso believes that understanding forklift application intensity is key to maximizing tire life | Lectura Press


Camso launches its usage intensity calculator that facilitates tire selection in forklift applications and helps to reduce operating costs.

“As off-the-road mobility niche specialists, we believe that to ensure the lowest operating cost solution (LOCS) of a forklift, you need to have the right tire for the application you’re running,” says Erick Bellefleur, Product Line Director Material Handling.

Read the source article at Lectura Press

Automakers overhaul product plans to bet more on SUVs


Global automakers are reworking their product strategies and investments for the United States to bring more sport utility vehicles to showrooms amid a sharp turn away from small- and medium-sized cars, executives at Detroit’s auto show say.

Carmakers from Toyota to General Motors to Volkswagen are adding more SUVs to their product plans, amid forecasts that SUVs and pickup trucks could soon make up two-thirds of U.S. light vehicle sales, up from 56 percent in 2015 and just under 60 percent last year.

“The shift to trucks is profound,” said Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, the largest U.S. auto dealership chain.

Sedans are not only losing sales volume, but automakers and dealers are offering bigger discounts to move them out of showrooms, industry executives said. Profit margins on SUVs and trucks are fatter.

The average incentive for a midsize car in September was 14.1 percent, according to Kelley Blue Book, compared with 7.4 percent for a midsize crossover.

The shift has forced some automakers to slash production capacity dedicated just a few years ago to small cars, and put a new emphasis on designing vehicles and assembly plants that can switch quickly from building cars to SUVs.

Read the source article at cnbc.com

Looking forward to level playing field – Titan International testifies in duty hearing


Titan International’s final injury hearing before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) took place on 4 January, and today the company will file a post hearing brief. The off-road tyre specialist says it “remains optimistic” that the ITC will issue a final affirmative determination in these cases.

If the ITC makes an affirmative determination, countervailing duty orders will be issued by the US Department of Commerce (DOC), and importers going forward will have to post cash deposits equal to the countervailing duty margins found or listed in the DOC final determinations.

“Neutralising unfair trade practices that harm domestic industry is what the US antidumping and countervailing duty laws are about,” wrote Titan International in a statement.

The DOC also made a final affirmative determination in both the Indian and Sri Lankan countervailing duty cases on 4 January. “We are pleased that the US Department of Commerce made a final affirmative determination in both the Indian and Sri Lankan countervailing duty cases,” stated Paul Reitz, president and chief executive officer of Titan International. “Titan and the United Steelworkers Union petitioned the ITC in January 2016 for relief from unfair trade practices. The rates are in the five per cent range for Indian imported tyres and 2.2 per cent for Sri Lankan imports. Titan will review options once the final ITC outcome is known, which includes a chance to comment on any perceived errors, if identified, in the materials as released by the DOC.”

“President Elect Trump has made it clear that we need to protect US companies from the damage caused by imported products priced at uncompetitive levels and bring manufacturing jobs back to the US,” added Maurice Taylor. The Titan International chairman, a man whose strong views on unionised workforces caused a stir during negotiations on the potential acquisition of a Goodyear operation in France, then confirmed his company’s unity with the position held by the United Steelworkers union on import duties: “Leo Gerard, president USW International, when interviewed recently on Fox News, said it well when he stated President Elect Trump ran on the USW agenda. If President Elect Trump wants to add duties on imported goods, the USW will support and work with the incoming President. We are in agreement with his position on that and look forward to competing on a level playing field.”

Read the source article at Tyrepress

Michelin Cgde : Movin’on – The Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2017 edition


Since 1992 and the release of the first fuel-efficient tire, Michelin has reaffirmed its vision of effective, sustainable mobility with the goal of helping people and goods to move about more efficiently. At the COP21 conference in November 2015, Michelin pledged to reduce the carbon footprint of its tires 20% by 2030. In addition to Company-level initiatives, Michelin also wants to pursue the dialogue with other stakeholders in order to reinvent a form of mobility that is safe, connected and responsible.

In 2017, we want to launch a new, even more open dynamic that will permit large and small companies as well as start-ups, scientific institutions and NGOs to offer sustainable mobility solutions, in particular to cities, which will be home to the vast majority of the world’s population.

Powered by this vision, we have chosen Montreal as a partner and host city for the next Movin’on, the global sustainable mobility summit, which will thus open up to a new ecosystem of public and private players that want to be part of the adventure. Michelin is leading this new phase, whose success will depend on the collective federated around the project.

Read the source article at Stock Market Quotes and News