Auto Industry ‘Where It’s At,’ Executives Say

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DETROIT – The automobile industry these days increasingly prefers the open collar to a necktie and it is not just fashion statement, leading executives say, but a cultural shift steadily making engineering jobs in Detroit and Stuttgart more attractive to young talent previously drawn to the laidback lure of Silicon Valley.

“It’s on the way back,” says General Motors Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Jon Lauckner, who also heads the automaker’s venture-capital arm where he has an umpire’s view of startup and investment activity. “People are rediscovering the auto industry.”

Lauckner recalls launching GM Ventures nearly seven ago and “counting on one hand” the number of startups relevant to automotive, whereas today there is a hum of activity in highly germane fields such as artificial intelligence, microprocessors and materials science.

Read the source article at WardsAuto

Michelin CrossClimate: A New Type of Tire

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The majority of automobiles in the U.S. carry all-season tires. Enthusiasts sometimes refer to them by another name — no-season tires — as most don’t perform particularly well in either the summer or the winter, sacrificing top-level performance in order to work marginally well in all conditions. In Europe, it’s all about summer tires. If you live where it gets cold and snowy, you buy a second set of dedicated winter tires.

Many European drivers wouldn’t put up with the typical U.S-spec all-season tire’s braking and handling characteristics in warmer weather but still need a proper winter-rated tire. Michelin claims to have the answer with their latest European-market CrossClimate (and the updated CrossClimate+). I hit up the Michelin North America (NA) communications team for further information and to see if this new tire has a place on our side of the Atlantic.

Read the source article at Claire Magazine

Continental to expand its R&D footprint in North America with Advanced Indoor Evaluation Center

UVALDE, TexasApril 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Continental has announced the investment of approximately $10 million in a new indoor tire test center located in Uvalde, Texas, at the company’s U.S. proving grounds.

“The new test center will support our vision of being the preferred technology partner for Continental’s Original Equipment customers for tires, as well as increasing our speed in developing new technologies specifically designed for the Americas market,” said Dr. Boris Mergell, head of research and development for Passenger and Light Truck Tires at Continental.

 

Strategically located on Continental’s proving grounds for tires in Uvalde, the new test center is designed to provide indoor test capacity for all tires manufactured in Continental’s North and South American plants.

“Our developments for Original Equipment customers in the Americas will be positively impacted, as we will be able to increase our testing capacity in the region,” said Dr. Juan Botero, vice president of key account management for Original Equipment Passenger and Light Truck Tires for Continental Tire the Americas. The test facility is expected to be fully functional in April, 2019.

Read the source article at PR Newswire

Sumitomo seeks tax breaks for tire plant expansion

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As Sumitomo Rubber USA prepares for the first phase of a major expansion of its Tonawanda tire plant, company officials are asking for sales and property tax breaks to assist the costly project.

A subsidiary of the Japanese company has applied to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for an incentive package that includes $245,000 in sales tax breaks on materials purchase and a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan for the property, located on a vacant courtyard at 3333 River Rd. and 10 Sheridan Drive.

Sumitomo in October 2015 took full control of the former Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America plant, after buying out its longtime partner.

Now the tiremaker plans to double its consumer production capacity in Tonawanda from 5,000 per day to 10,000 by 2019, and eventually to 17,000. It wants to invest $87 million over the next three years, so it can make more of its tires locally for the North American market rather than importing them from its production facility in Thailand.

To do so, though, it needs additional facilities to increase its manufacturing footprint and add equipment for mixing, bead building, tire building, curing, finishing and extrusion. Plans call initially for the construction and equipping of a 35,000-square-foot building to meet that demand, since the current facilities are full. …

Read the source article at The Buffalo News

Here are Pirelli’s new OTR, truck and ag tire lines

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Pirelli has unveiled its new truck, agricultural and off-the-road tire lines at the Mid-American Trucking Show in Kentucky.

Pirelli announced last year it planned to enter the commercial truck tire market and gave the industry its first glimpse at their initial range at MATS, the world’s largest annual heavy duty trucking show. Here’s everything Pirelli has told us about their North American range.

  • PENTATHLON D — a premium long haul drive tire
  • G:85 SERIES FOR ON/OFF ROAD
  • FH:01 MOTOR COACH
  • FORMULA DRIVER II ALL POSITION RIB

Read the source article at Traction News

Falken will be Formula Drift ‘official’ tire

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Sumitomo Rubber North America’s Falken brand will be the “official” tire sponsor of Formula Drift this year, building on the brand’s winning the series’ tire manufacturers’ championship last year.

SRNA plans to support Falken’s sponsorship position throughout the season via dealer hospitality, spokesmodel meet and greets, driver autograph signings and a learning center display at its Falken rig at most of the series’ eight rounds.

SRNA also disclosed it’ll be sponsoring six drivers this year — 2011 Formula D Champion Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara in a Subaru BRZ, Justin Pawlak in a Ford Mustang, Aurimas Bakchis and Matt Field in Nissan 240SXs, and James Deane and Piot Wiek in Nissan Silvia S15s — who will be using an updated version of the Azenis RT615K+ drift tire.

“We’re fully committed to extending our brand and legacy through this great series,” said Nick Fousekis, director, motorsports marketing and events. “Formula Drift has continued to flourish, and Falken has grown with it.”

Read the source article at Tire Business

Jensen Tire to break ground on HQ complex

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OMAHA, Neb. — Jensen Tire & Auto Inc. will be breaking ground this week in Papillion, Neb., for a new corporate headquarters that also will house a warehouse and future training facility.

The new corporate office is being constructed on 4.5 acres the Omaha-based dealership purchased in Papillion, a community of about 18,000 residents just south of Omaha.

Company President Matthew Jensen said the dealership is investing more than $4 million in the 22,000-sq.-ft. complex, which is expected to be completed in November

The facility will include 8,200 square feet of corporate office space with 19 executive offices, two meeting rooms, an associate staff training room and a large reception area, as well as a 14,000-sq.-ft. warehouse equipped to hold 25,000 tires.

 

Read the source article at Tire Business

US tariffs ruling opens door for ZC Rubber growth

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Louisville, Kentucky – ZC Rubber Americas Inc. is gearing up for an expanded presence in North America for its Arisun truck tire line now that the US has determined it won’t impose elevated import duties on Chinese truck and bus tires.

“Arisun tire will play an important role on the U.S. market and more premium products and sizes will be launched for the local customers,” the Norwalk, California-based firm said at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in…

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Jeep Compass Rides On GEOLANDARs

The GEOLANDAR G055 boasts all-season performance and extended treadlife, thanks to Yokohama’s orange oil technology.

Yokohama says the GEOLANDAR G055  has been selected as one of the tires for the all-new Jeep Compass. The fitment will cover the North American market, including Canada, in size 225/55R18 98H.

Read the source article at Autosphere.ca

Kenda Partners with VORE Adrenaline Compound

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Kenda Tires has been named the Official Tire Sponsor of the off-road driving experience VORE Adrenaline Compound.

“We are happy to announce our partnership with the VORE Adrenaline Compound,” said Jimmy Yang, president of Kenda Tires. “VORE will be another platform for Kenda to prove the durability and performance of our light truck products as well as our ultra-high performance tires.”

Read the source article at Tire Review