Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2017

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 57 of 77

MTD April 2017 European notebook Falken said the Ecorun A-A tire is produced from ultra-refined natural "pure rubber," and incorporates Falken's advanced 4D Nano Design into the tire compound, giving it exceptional performance in fuel efficiency, wet grip and mileage. e compound also cuts heat build-up and rolling resistance to significantly extend tire life. e product is particularly recommended for hybrid vehicles, and Falken has an exclusive partnership with Toyota for the replacement market. Falken was also promoting the racing side of its business, and announced it will be lining up with two racing cars from premium German teams this season — Porsche and BMW. Happy birthday, Yokohama Yokohama Europe was using this year's show to primarily celebrate 100 years since the brand was formed in Japan by launching four tire paerns: BluEarth-Es ES32, BluEarth RV-02, BluEarth Winter V905 and the iceGuard iG65. In addition, the company re-introduced its popular Yokohama A008P paern. e BluEarth ES32 is a new fuel-efficient global standard tire that will be launched worldwide in a total of 73 size options in 17- and 18-inch rim diameters. e tire not only offers a quartet of benefits — wet grip, wear resistance, durability and fuel efficiency — but also features a unique tread paern with a wide, square and powerful profile for stable driving performance and safe handling. Also Yokohama's Nano Blend compound includes orange oil for an optimal balance of high fuel efficiency, superior wet grip and wear resistance. The BluEarth RV-02 will initially target the European crossover, SUV and minivan markets. It has an EU tire label rating of "A" in wet grip performance and "C" for rolling resistance. e tire's performance characteristics give drivers of crossovers and SUVs a greater sense of stability on rainy days. Also the BluEarth Winter 905 paern for cars and SUVs will be released for sale toward the end of this year in time for the forthcoming winter season in Europe. For the harsher winter months in Northern Europe, the new iceGuard iG65 studded tire for passenger cars has been specially manufactured to provide a studded tread that delivers the ultimate performance on challenging icy surfaces. An increased number of studs in the tread plus a new stud-hole allocation that places the studs at the center of the tire increase overall driving performance on snowy, wet and even hard, dry surfaces. Yokohama also added a touch of nostalgia to the show with the return of its popular A008P tire, a landmark paern for the company. It will be available in two special sizes – 205/55ZR16 91W for front tires and 245/45ZR16 94W for rear tires. e original A008P was launched in 1989, and a prototype of the new tire was on display fied to a classic Porsche 911 930 Turbo Cabriolet saloon. Finally, Yokohama's revealed it has an historic 100th anniversary micro-site that highlights the different milestones in the company's history and product range. e micro-site presents two distinctive timelines: a corporate history program and a product history version. No new products, but... I was also informed by Bridgestone Europe that at this year's event, the company was not introducing any products, instead concentrating on officially activating its Olympic Games Partnership within the EMEA region that will run through to 2024. Paolo Ferrari, Bridgestone EMEA's CEO and president, and Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Games Commiee's executive director, jointly made a presentation to confirm the sponsorship would be Bridgestone's main marketing promotion for the next seven years. Netherlands-based Apollo Vredestein also was not launch- ing any new products at the show. Managing Director Neeraj Kanwar informed me the company was using this year's event to further establish its growing presence in Europe as part of an international corporate growth plan for the immediate future. "ere is no doubt that for the future, North America will become another important market for Apollo Vredestein as we move even further in our plan for truly global coverage in due course," he said. It was obvious talking with the six tire manufacturers that all their imminent projects and expectations include the North American market, and in a way, this show was like "a voyage into the future" in terms of tire innovation. Also it is very clear there is a definite increase in the cooperation between car and tire manufacturers toward a point where tires will "talk" to a vehicle and driver... eventually. ■ John Stone has been working within the global tire industry for the last 26 years. In 2004, he launched his own consulting company, Sapphire Media Services, which caters to business media clients around the globe. Stone also writes for tire and automotive-related publications in Europe, South Aica and Asia. Yokohama Europe celebrated its 100th birthday with four new tires and the return of the A008P. Falken Tyre Europe exhibited for the first time at the Ge- neva Motor Show in Switzerland. 56

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