Page 1

Vol 23 • March 2017

F o c u s o n M A NU F A C T U R I N G

Meet the new face of Bridgestone SA – One-on-One with Gavin Young SA’s Manufacturers face off on pontential threats Bridgestone grows truck, bus footprint Davanti concludes exclusivity agreement with Tyremart Three new shows to co-locate with Automechanica Johannesburg

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Introduction • 1

Contents One-On-One with Gavin Young – Meet the new face of Bridgestone........................3

Focus on Manufacturing.......................................................................................9

Industry News Goodyear Unveils the Eagle 360 Urban, a Concept Tyre Powered by Artificial Intelligence ...................................................... 22 Continental Appoints New Non-Executive Director.......................... 23 Bridgestone Grows Truck, Bus Footprint........................................... 24 Tiger Wheel & Tyre Announces 2017 Formula One™ Broadcast Sponsorship...................................................................... 25 Davanti tyres a quick hit in South Africa............................................ 26 Lucky Tiger Wheel & Tyre Shopper Wins BMW Worth R800 000.... 26 Three new shows to co-locate with Automechanika Johannesburg in 2017.............................................. 28

World News Apollo Tyres Global R&D Centre, Asia wins the NDTV Design & Architecture award 2016........................................ 30 Bridgestone adds to its Combine Harvester range ........................... 30 Continental is Shaping the Digital Future of Mobility ........................ 30 Continental signs collaborative agreement with Caterpillar............... 31 Future of the tire industry is revealed................................................ 31 Sumitomo acquires UK based tyre retailer & wholesaler Micheldever..................................................... 31 Goodyear Recognised by Fortune as World’s Most Admired Tyremaker Again........................................... 31 Tire Technology International names Continental 2017 Tire Manufacturer of the Year................................ 32

Visit .com treads a s . w w w ur to see oues past iss Editor Reproduction Printing Advertising SA Advertising EU Distribution

Liana Shaw Diane van Noort TYPO – Colour Printing Specialists Liana Shaw – John Stone – Media Support Prosource

Publishers Sky Publications cc • PO Box 702, Douglasdale, 2165 Tel: 011 658 0011 • Fax: 011 658 0010 • Cell: 082 851 6777 E-mail: Website: •


note from



Research and market analysis firm Nomura is predicting a relatively quiet first half of the year for South Africa, but expects things to shake up in the second half of the year as the ANCs elective conference comes into view. This according to Business Tech, which went on to say that political instability should keep growth weak, albeit stronger than in 2016. And despite avoiding a cut to junk status in 2016, the risk remains in 2017, with a mid-and-end-year chance to be cut due to slower growth. However, should finance minister Pravin Gordhan to be booted for his position, chances are extremely high that would lead to an instant cut to junk, Nomura warned. Even more worrying, with manufacturing production in South Africa going down 2 percent year-on-year in December 2016, the local tyre manufacturing sector comes into the spotlight in this, our first edition of 2017. Three of the country’s local tyre producers face off on how the current political and economic climate is impacting their businesses and what the future potentially looks like for them if a number of serious issues are not tackled head on. This important story is featured on page 9. And with our sights firmly focussed on manufacturing, we bring you an exclusive interview with the new man at the helm of Bridgestone SA, Gavin Young. Bridgestone globally, has adjusted its business model which means that the face of Bridgestone as we know it, both domestically and abroad is changing. Read all about what this means for the company’s operations as well as its distribution network on page 3. And Bridgestone’s South African subsidiary has announced an addition to its Firestone FS404 range of heavy duty vehicle tyres in a bid to grow its truck and bus footprint, whilst newcomer Davanti Tyres, has just sold its first set of tyres in the country via its exclusive distribution partner, Tyremart. All this and more in this issue. Happy reading!


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he appointment of South African born and bred Gavin Young in July 2016 to CEO Bridgestone SA, marked a monumental shift in global giant Bridgestone’s business model, which until recently, was one of a foreign tyre maker with a global footprint. In the last two to three years, the Japanese tyre maker has begun adjusting this approach to one of a global tyre company with its headquarters in Japan, a subtle but significant shift in the way the company conducts its business worldwide. This ‘new understanding’ around world markets and their differing needs and requirements has ushered in a new era, a move that is widely being applauded by the copious number of markets in which Bridgestone operates, with South Africa being no exception. We caught up with Gavin Young, who hails from the automotive sector, for an exclusive interview at Bridgestone SA’s headquarters in Isando.



Welcome to the industry Gavin. Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your career thus far.

business model was a top down instruction structure which took away accountability and responsibility from our staff. This is slowly being replaced by an engagement process with our staff which ensures a greater understanding and knowledge of the framework of our business and affords them the autonomy to make swift decisions without having

My career in the automotive, project and construction industries has

to refer to top management.

been a fascinating journey, affording me a multitude of opportunities both locally and abroad. My nearly fifteen year stint with Johnson

Case in point: a customer comes to them with a query pertaining to

Matthey was particularly important as it exposed me to the systematic

product or service delivery, expecting a swift solution. Our staff do not

approach and disciplines required for dealing with the OE (Original

have the luxury of time to refer this query. They need to be suitably

Equipment) segment, experience which I was able to carry over to the

equipped to address the customer’s concern there and then. This is

project and construction industries.

ultimately what we are striving for.

In addition, my time spent in the automotive industry has led to a

I would imagine these new changes are being well received

good understanding of quality systems and procedures


associated with projects intended towards achieving

Suffice to say none of this came as a surprise to our

results in a short period of time, a skills set which I am fortunate enough to be able to carry through to my current position at Bridgestone. My career, which includes extensive work experience in the UK, USA and Canada has further enabled me to acquire and bring a global understanding to the

Our staff know

better than we do in some cases what needs to happen with respect to changing culture and

staff. In fact, some of the feedback points to ‘pity it took you so long to come to this realisation’. There is a degree of uncertainty in our whole supply chain, particularly given the overly complicated structure of our business which further needs to be addressed, but for the most part, our people are embracing the changes to our

developing capabilities and operating model. table which is why I have been tasked with identifying we are inviting them global management talent and incorporating it into our management pipeline here at Bridgestone. Having recognised that a strong brand and product alone

to work with us in this


within Bridgestone internationally to become more flexible and agile in its response to local market challenges and demands.

structure as being complicated. Would you say this extends to your commercial offering? The commercial segment of our business is a perfect

will not serve to preserve the company’s leadership status within the global tyre market, there is a new focus

You referred to certain elements in your business

example of the over-complicated structure I was referring to. Having put a team in place to meet with former customers as a way of ascertaining areas for improvement, it was revealed that their switch to alternative service suppliers was due purely to poor

This is an exciting development Gavin and one that I’m sure presents

service, as opposed to the product. We admit that we have disappointed

its fair share of challenges. What is your primary area of focus with

customers along the way and were fortunate that they were willing to

respect to Bridgestone SA?

talk to a failed supplier at all. Without that, we would not have become

With the mantra ‘ the customer is key’ to our business, our first port of

aware of the extent of the problem.

call was to generate our own set of data which regrettably showed that at this point in time, Bridgestone SA is not necessarily first choice with the customer. All indicators point to us not being responsive enough to local market requirements or with respect to delivering serviced tailored to these requirements. Thankfully, brand awareness remains strong which is a definite strength and in some ways, I would venture so far as to say that fixing a service delivery problem is easier than fixing a brand problem, which is not to say we don’t have our work cut out for us. How are you aiming to address this disparity between brand and service delivery?

A clear line of accountability coupled with an understanding of what falls inside or outside their mandate needs to be established within staff representing Bridgestone’s commercial sector of our business, and quickly. Our staff need to be furnished with the relevant tools that will ultimately translate into delivering a superior service, and this is not rocket science. It’s all about going back to basics. Luckily for us, our staff know better than we do in some cases what needs to change with respect to changing culture and developing capabilities and we are inviting them to work with us in this regard.

We have already begun to inject a greater level of flexibility into

With this in mind, we are busy putting a reasonable customer

our business which involves a huge culture shift. Previously, our

proposition together. We have been given a golden opportunity by our



customer base within the commercial, mining, construction, logistics

economic challenges and developments, ahead of them hearing it from

and agricultural markets to step up to the plate and to rectify the error

the press, goes a long way towards alleviating their concerns.

of our ways. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we would be remiss in passing it up, especially as our competitors whose approach to market is aggressive, are world class players. They are not resting on their laurels and are making every effort to retain and increase their market share.

So, is expansion and investment in Africa the next step for Bridgestone? I would say the next step would be to iron out service delivery issues on the home front first. This will involve a massive group/team effort as I am the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers.

What of your retail offering? What changes, if any, are likely to ensue? I am making myself accessible to the Supa Quick chain by way of personal visits in a bid to understand their business and challenges better. Injecting some clarity into our service provision to them and vice versa is vital from this point forward if we are to become fully aligned in our goals as opposed to talking past one another.

Our key focus is empowering people in order to change the culture that has pervaded the organisation over the last 10 years. Bridgestone has a strong brand presence as well as a large footprint in the country but delivering the desired service levels remains paramount if we are to succeed in the long run. This will be the driver of our business before forging ahead with plans beyond our borders. Having spoken with more than 100 leading national

More important, we are endeavouring to map out long term options for our franchisees by way of enhancing value to their businesses. That way, when the time is ripe, they will hopefully be in a position to realise improved market valuations for their operations. When do you see the new operating model taking

fleet customers, the feedback was uniform – pay



is a tough competitor


and we plan to leverage

With regards to route to market, is Bridgestone SA

this strength into

likely to adopt a more lenient policy when it comes


a better performing

We anticipate it will be running by mid-year, bearing in

Bridgestone SA.

mind that productivity improvements are also very much

attention to your service levels or risk further customer

shop floor staff are empowered to own their processes which ultimately impacts on performance. That said, typically, people want to be the best they can. All they need is to be given that opportunity and this is something I’ve learnt in my interactions with people over the years. It’s a journey! Speaking of your manufacturing plants, are there any investments in the pipeline? The manufacturing end of our business was reviewed and addressed almost immediately following my appointment as this is and remains the heart and core of our business, with roll out throughout the rest of the business expected to follow. So yes, we are certainly prepared to invest in our plants, whilst also expecting a commitment from our factory team in terms of operating to the best level they can with equipment they currently hold. So in short, this is not a given, we must perform to earn the opportunity for further investment. The plant must deliver on current investment before any

network? We will do whatever it takes to meet customer requirements, and our customer value proposition and route to market

on the agenda at plant level as the same culture has pervaded this spectrum as well. We do not believe our

to supplying product to dealers outside of its official

must be closely aligned to meeting customer needs. We need to listen to our customers and provide them with the flexibility they are seeking, including modifying our customer value proposition and route to market if we find this is not optimal in responding to their needs. We are very early in this process and so predicting an outcome is not possible at this stage, except to say that we will be working together with all of our stakeholders to improve our market offering. I have the authority to present market opportunities to Bridgestone Japan, provided they are in line with their vision to be a full-fledged global player. And bear in mind South Africa is not the only market advocating that they need to adopt a more localised response. I’m not suggesting that any of what we are proposing to accomplish will be easy, and the last thing I want to do is to ‘over promise and under deliver’, but listening to our customers and providing a complete service package is essential at this point, especially as our competitors are two steps ahead of us in some areas. Our challenge is to leap frog them.

further investment is made, having said this we do see potential further

Thankfully, Bridgestone, globally, is a tough competitor and we plan to

opportunities out there for us to tackle.

leverage this strength into a better performing Bridgestone SA.

We need to become proactive in our dealings with potential investors

In summary, outline for us the order of business for the next few

too. Engaging with them on a personal level on domestic political and







First and foremost Bridgestone SA needs to get its house in order, and by this, I mean the company’s manufacturing and management operations, before it can focus on the distribution arm of the business, both in SA and beyond our borders. We are excited over the process of empowering our people to assume greater responsibility in their respective positions, a move which we believe will ultimately translate into salvaging our reputation in the market. We are sure to encounter some setbacks along the way but thankfully, Bridgestone is a strong global player with a brand and


product to match. Suffice to say that a year from now, I am confident we will be having a

been married to my soul mate for 30 years (we celebrate our 30th

                                    Â   Â Â 

wedding anniversary this month) and am extremely lucky that she has


I’ve been blessed during the course of my career to have been exposed to a variety of assignments and overseas markets, Bridgestone SA being the latest. That said, I’m happy that my three boys grew up here, a country that is vibrant and rich by way of a multi-cultural society. I have

supported me in all of my business endeavours. Another passion of mine is soccer – I still play at club level. Keeping active keeps me on an even keel! Gavin Young, Bridgestone CEO & son Graeme Young supporting the Pink ODI

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Finally, how do you like to relax outside the office?

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different conversation.

Focus on Manufacturing



POTENTIAL THREATS HEAD ON According to the Smithers Rapra’s latest market report released on 2 February 2017, global tyre manufacturing is expected to grow nearly 4% per year through to 2022 as a result of increased demand, tyre innovations and continuing capital spending and capacity expansion by tyre suppliers. Simultaneously, in its new report, ‘The Future of Tyre Manufacturing to 2022’, Smithers identifies how environmental and tyre regulations, changes in materials, tyre designs and demands on tyres are impacting the tyre manufacturing market, adding significant pressure to innovate tyre manufacturing as a whole, as well individual process steps such as mixing, tyre building and curing.

SRSA’s Landysmith plant.


Focus on Manufacturing

“The tyre industry currently is in the middle of a boom cycle, both with respect to capital spending and net capacity additions,” stated Arthur Mayer, Author of the report.

interruptions and labour unrest, not to mention


is possible for South

African manufacturers

the influx of imported products which according to latest stats outweigh locally produced tyres by close on 60 percent.

across all industry Whilst this is good news for the global tyre

spectrums to be globally

Lest we forget, October 2009 marked the closure

manufacturing sector as a whole, but it does not

competitive, provided

of Australia’s last tyre manufacturing plant in a

necessarily mean that tyre makers are immune to the many serious challenges threatening their survival. This is particularly true of our local four tyre producers, who are facing their fair share

the trading environment remains stable and pressing issues such as labour

of challenges due to the current political and

unrest, power interruptions

economic climate.

and conflict at government

The latest report on vehicle sales (2017) by

level can be resolved.

move that was described as the death of one of that nation’s most important industries. The Japanese tyre giant Bridgestone announced that it would close its Australian and New Zealand factories, as they could no longer compete on the global market. Bridgestone had been making tyres in Australia for more than 45 years.

NAAMSA reveals that whilst exports declined

“It is possible for South African manufacturers

by 37.7%, overall vehicle sales grew by 3.7%

across all industry spectrums to be globally

year on year with passenger vehicles in particular increasing by 29.9%

competitive, provided the trading environment remains stable and

month on month. Again, this is good news for the automotive industry,

pressing issues such as labour unrest, power interruptions and conflict

but the question remains, can local tyre producers remain competitive

at government level can be resolved,” suggested Gavin Young, CEO of

in the face of rising raw material costs, a fluctuating currency, power

Bridgestone SA.


Focus on Manufacturing

“Luckily Bridgestone has an advantage in that

That said, foreign investment in our local tyre

our senior executives are locally ‘acclimatised’

plants continues to stream in. Bridgestone is

so to speak, having become used to dealing with risks and volatility in the market. This however means that we must recognise these risks and arrangements to mitigate them successfully in presenting investment plans that are consistent


South African tyre

manufacturing sector has recently been subjected to substantial increases

in the process of planning plant upgrades and investment as we write, whilst SRSA has also invested in expansions, upgrades and state of the art technology to the tune of R2billion in the past two years in its Ladysmith factory. The three key

and coherent to our overseas investors,” he

in labour and electricity


costs. To minimise the

safety standards, increasing its product range

cost impact, SRSA has

for the dynamic African market and improving

worked hard to improve

factory capability to produce global products in

According to Young, the types of questions typically being asked by their multi-national parent companies revolve around how their South African concerns plan to tackle mitigating factors such as labour unrest and power supply

the efficiencies and the productivity in its Ladysmith plant.


areas of this investment focused on improving

South Africa. The construction of the second phase of its investment and expansion is currently underway. Plus in March 2016, the local tyre maker further announced an investment of R910 million to set

“This necessitates including risk mitigation costs into an investment

up a Truck and Bus Radial tyre manufacturing facility to cater to demand

proposal which in turn, makes the hurdle rate of return so much harder

both within SA, as well as throughout the rest of Africa. This new wing to

to achieve,” he said.

its existing factory will turn out TBR product effectively from July 2018.

This machine has a rubber bladder inside which then expands and pushes from the sides to finally result in something resembling a tyre.

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Focus on Manufacturing

The company’s new product plans coupled with its sustained approached to improving productivity levels at the factory means that it remains in a continual phase of streamlining production in a bid to remain competitive. Goodyear SA has also invested and will continue to invest in South Africa where it employs over


SA has also invested

and will continue to invest in South Africa where it employs over 1 000 employees nationally.

1 000 employees nationally. In 2015, Goodyear

❞ Riaz Haffejee, CEO Sumitomo Rubber SA

invested R1 billion in the redevelopment of its plant in Uitenhage to produce more of consumer tyres which are in high demand by the market. The investment meant relocating the production of commercial tyres

And according to Goodyear, the new technology will further improve

to make capacity for the production of more consumer tyres and as

the plant’s capability and capacity to produce Low Rolling Resistance

such, the production of consumer tyres has risen quite significantly.

tyres that promote fuel economy in vehicles to meet the growing

Goodyear produces in excess of 80% of its local revenues in South

demand from vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market, as

Africa and imports are limited to product types where there is niche

well as meet the increase in market requirements for High Value Added

demand and volumes do not justify setting up local production lines.

4x4 tyres.

This development, which was done to drive profitable growth and meet market demands, entailed an investment of R670 million to increase

Of course, one of the major factors affecting local competitiveness

production of high-value-added consumer tyres increasing the plant’s

remains raw material cost increases which are severely impacting on


tyre manufacturers globally, affecting the cost of both imported and

Inspection of the tyre by a machine that does the balancing as well as checks for the roundness.

Focus on Manufacturing


Construction is currently under way at SRSA’s Landysmith plant.

finished goods as well as locally manufactured products.

carbon black, butadiene and styrene – essential raw materials used in tyre manufacture.

Said Riaz Haffejee, CEO Sumitomo Rubber SA: “The general recovery of the Chinese and US markets have led to a marked increase in the

“Furthermore, on a local level, the South African tyre manufacturing

demand for specific raw materials. In addition, since October 2016,

sector has recently been subjected to substantial increases in labour

price increases were effected on natural rubber,

and electricity costs. To minimise the cost impact, SRSA has worked hard to improve the efficiencies and the productivity in its Ladysmith plant,” he added.


general recovery

“And bear in mind as general index indicates,

of the Chinese and US

we are influenced by the price movement of

markets have led to a marked increase in the demand for specific raw materials.

crude oil and natural rubber as well,” offered Bridgestone’s Young. Compounding the dilemmas local tyre producers face further is the impact sub-standard, and used tyres, are having on the market.

Nobuzwe Mangcu of the SATMC

“Apart from compromising the integrity of


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Focus on Manufacturing

the tyre market and creating added barriers


to competitive pricing, the biggest and most


tyres are

Thankfully and according to the SATMC (South

widespread impact is the safety risk that second-

by far the biggest threat

African Tyre Manufacturers Conference), the

hand or sub-standard tyres places on the South African motorist,” cautioned Haffejee. “The negative impact of such products on SA and African roads is a broader societal concern that requires more awareness on the part of the consumer, who is often unknowingly investing

to safety on our roads. The SATMC is working closely with the NRCS to ensure that second-hand

tyres are regulated.

in tyres that he or she may view as costeffective, but which are in fact more of a risk to their lives and that of

concerns of the local manufacturing sector are being heard. “Enforcement remains the biggest challenge in SA. Nonetheless, we are engaging positively with the relative government authorities on the introduction of anti-dumping regulations which will not only protect the consumer, but local

manufacturing as well,” added Young.

other motorists,” he added. “Government understands the importance of keeping manufacturing Over the past 18 months, the SATMC together with the NRCS has been

alive. The SA tyre industry is a big employer so it is important for its

working on a standard for part-worn tyres that protects the interests

staff force to remain gainfully employed and to develop skills and career

of manufacturers and consumers alike. It is now up to the NRCS to

paths that stand them in good stead for the future,” he said.

implement the drive and changes to regulate the sale of second hand tyres.

Further progress also appears to have been made with respect to the hotly contested waste tyre levy. With effect from 01 February 2017, SARS

Echoed Ms Nobuzwe Mangcu of the SATMC: “Second-hand tyres are

is the authority through which collection of the Tyre Environmental Levy

by far the biggest threat to safety on our roads. The SATMC is working

takes place, a development that is strongly supported by the SATMC.

closely with the NRCS to ensure that second-hand tyres are regulated with the NRCS is drafting regulation based on the SATMC application for

“The collection of the tyre levy through this fiscus will make for greater

compulsory specifications to be put in place.

transparency for all industry players,” stated Mangcu.

Machinery pictured here is a frame type dual hydraulic vulcanising machine, used at the end of the manufacturing process.


Focus on Manufacturing

Aerial view of SRSA’s Landysmith plant.

By all accounts, the manufacturers, via their official channel to

support our stores, and ultimately, our end-using consumer.”

government, the SATMC, appear to be making serious headway in their quest to keep their manufacturing plants sustainable and in limiting the

Suffice to say that despite the obvious threats to their business, South

number of dubious tyres being sold. The current economic climate,

Africa’s three tyre manufacturers at least,* are committed to keeping

which has seen consumers fitting cheaper products to their vehicles,

their operations alive and well. Doing business on the African continent

often at the expense of tyre safety, is a dangerous trend, and one which

is not always easy but there is plenty of room for businesses to become

the local manufacturers are hoping to tackle head on.

creative by seizing on the opportunities an emerging market presents.

“Ongoing economic, pricing and market pressures are the new normal,

South Africa is often referred to as the gateway of Africa and as such,

regardless of sector,” concluded Haffejee. One of the biggest challenges

opportunities for expansion beyond our borders abound.

that SRSA has identified in the sector is that of rising consumer expectations, which place retailers under pressure to match or exceed

“2016 has been another strong year for our Export division SRSA,”

these expectations. We hope to proverbially


rise to the challenge by innovatively offering

considerably across the African continent in

superior service and consumer-centric elements to all our retail outlets. “Another hurdle in the industry is the


of the biggest

challenges that SRSA has identified in the sector

increasingly wide range of product sizes in the

is that of rising consumer

market which is also a challenge for stock and

expectations, which place

product holdings in-house, which is why we

retailers under pressure to

provide relief to such concerns by providing greater access to stock, faster delivery times and product support – all part of our aim to better

match or exceed these expectations.





comparison to 2015, which is largely due to a highly targeted strategy and our sales and technical teams who continue to make strides in supporting key markets and expanding our distributor network.

*Regrettably, Continental Tyre SA did not respond to our requests for comment to this article.

PPr roommoot ti ioonn • • 211

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Industry News

Goodyear Unveils the Eagle 360 Urban, a Concept Tyre Powered by Artificial Intelligence The tyre of the future will be able to sense, decide, transform and interact Goodyear has revealed its long-term vision for future smart, connected tyres. In an evolving mobility ecosystem defined by the transition to driverless vehicles and shared mobility in urban centers, Goodyear aims to revolutionize the interaction between tyres, vehicles and their surroundings. Goodyear unveiled the Eagle 360 Urban, its latest concept tyre, at the Geneva International Motor Show. This 3-D printed sphere is the first concept tyre to be powered by Artificial Intelligence and able to sense, decide, transform and interact. “A revolution will take place at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity. As this unfolds, tyre technology will be even more important than it is today. To safely navigate their surroundings, the autonomous vehicles of the future will need to learn to cope with the millions of possible

By combining these sources of information and processing them

unknowns we face in every day driving scenarios. To do so they will need

instantaneously using neural networks trained with deep learning algorithms,

access to data and the ability to learn and adapt,” said Jean-Claude Kihn,

the Eagle 360 Urban decides the most appropriate course of action. And,

president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa.

powered by Artificial Intelligence, the Eagle 360 Urban learns from previous actions how to optimize future responses.

Last year, with the Eagle 360 concept tyre, Goodyear presented a unique, multi-directional sphere to match the demands of autonomous driving

Made of super-elastic polymer, the tyre’s bionic skin has a flexibility similar

through increased levels of comfort, safety and maneuverability. The

to that of human skin, allowing it to expand and contract. This outer layer

positive feedback received encouraged the manufacturer to take this

covers a foam-like material that is strong enough to remain flexible despite

concept even further.

the weight of a vehicle. Thanks to this flexibility, actuator elements beneath the tyre’s surface, which are components that change shape with an electrical

This year, with the Eagle 360 Urban, Goodyear is pushing the boundaries

input, working like human muscles, can re-shape the individual sections of

again, aiming to illustrate a vision of how the future could look. Powered

the tyre’s tread design, adding ‘dimples’ for wet conditions or smoothing

by Artificial Intelligence, Goodyear is giving the concept tyre a ‘brain’.

the tread for dry conditions. A new tread with a safer contact patch is thus

Combined with a bionic skin and morphing tread, the Eagle 360 Urban


has the ability to put knowledge into practice. The tyre will become part of the vehicle’s ‘nervous system’ and the connected world of the Internet of

Using this morphing tread, the Eagle 360 Urban transforms and adapts to

Things. That way, it is ready to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances,

changing road and weather conditions. The concept tyre can then interact

as well as the evolving needs of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) for fleets and

to share the information it has captured, the related action and its success

their users.

with other vehicles and all of the elements making up the Internet of Things.

Goodyear’s Eagle 360 Urban features bionic skin with a sensor network that

When the tyre’s bionic skin is damaged, the sensors in the tread can locate

allows the concept tyre to check on its own status and gather information

the puncture. The tyre then rotates to create a different contact patch. This

on its environment, including the road surface. Via connectivity with other

reduces pressure on the puncture and allows the self-healing process to start.

vehicles as well as infrastructure, traffic and mobility management systems,

The self-healing works thanks to materials which are specifically designed to

the Eagle 360 Urban also captures information on its surroundings in real-

be able to flow towards the puncture. They react physically and chemically


with each other to form new molecular bonds, closing the puncture.

Industry News

This new generation of tyres will create added value for OEM partners and the evolving providers of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) by maximizing uptime and providing proactive maintenance. For the everyday commuter they will offer an improved experience by adding a new dimension to the safety performance and learning capabilities of autonomous driving.


to envision and develop a concept vehicle tailor-made for the Eagle 360


Urban concept tyre. Working closely together with Goodyear’s designers, the


students created Vision UMOD, a vehicle for future cities and adapted to the


needs of future mobility.

strengthening and




Continental Africa


Tyre is






with the appointment of Dr

• The Artificial Intelligence unit serves as the ‘brain’ of the tyre and enables

Ven Pillay to the company’s

• Continuously sense the road condition and the surrounding environment in real-time and check on its own status in real-time. • Process the information it captures using neural networks trained with deep


Continental Appoints New Non-Executive Director

This year Goodyear invited students from French design school ISD RUBIKA

the tyre to:

board of directors, serving as a non-executive director and chair of its Social and Ethics Committee.

learning algorithms to decide what to do and learn for the future. • Transform using its own morphing tread and tyre/vehicle interface.

Dr Pillay, who lives in Pretoria,

• Interact with other vehicles and all of the elements making up the Internet of








Things to share the information it has captured and lessons learned.

governance to strengthen business performance through improved • The bionic skin’s high-sensory capacity tread, with its sensor network, captures information on road and weather conditions and transmits

positive impacts of business on society, the natural environment and the broader economy, concomitant with the reduction in risk.

this input to: • the tyre to optimize the morphing of the tread.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Pillay to the Continental Tyre SA

• the vehicle’s ‘nervous system’ to improve the car’s braking, handling and

board, and look forward to benefitting from her wealth of knowledge

efficiency. • all of the elements making up the Internet of Things to inform other tyres and vehicles expected to take the same road.

and experience as an independent sustainability advisor to our Social and Ethics Committee,” said Shaun Uys, managing director of Continental Tyre SA.

• The intelligent morphing tread prepares the vehicle for the unexpected by

Dr Pillay has over 20 years of experience in sustainability and is

proactively providing safety under all conditions. Depending on the road and

currently an independent sustainability advisor to executives and

weather conditions, the most appropriate tread pattern appears autonomously

boards of various corporate clients. Previously she served as Vice

with the help of the bionic skin of the tyre.

President: Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti, lectured at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in sustainability for the MBA and

• The bionic skin allows self-healing repair. And, in combination with the Artificial

doctorate programme, and provided strategic support to clients such as

Intelligence unit, it measures current and predicts future tyre wear to allow

Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), Edcon, University of Pretoria, Human

automated tyre management, enabling predictive and proactive maintenance.

Science Research Council (HSRC), and University of South Africa

This maximizes uptime and safety, offering an improved mobility user

(UNISA), amongst others. Until recently she served as an Advisory

experience at all times for Mobility as a Service (MaaS) providers.

Committee member at the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in South Africa.

• The spherical shape moves in all directions and contributes to comfort, safety and maneuverability to match the demands of autonomous mobility

Currently she is a Trustee for the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT); a

and mobility as a service. The shape also copes with space limitations in

board member and chair of the Social and Ethics Committee of PLHMC

smart cities (smaller parking spaces, platoon driving, maneuvering, easy to

Medical Services; and is a member of the Institute of Directors (IoDSA)


having served on the Sustainable Development Forum.


Industry News

Bridgestone Grows Truck, Bus Footprint Bridgestone South Africa has announced a new addition to its Firestone FS404 range of heavy duty vehicle tyres. Initially available only in 315/80 R22.5 sizing, the FS404 is now also available in a 12 R22.5 option.

demanding operating conditions with their wide temperature ranges and challenging road surfaces.” Burns also said that with the production facility closer to the customer, quicker reaction to customer needs is possible than is the case when tyres must be imported with the resulting long lead times.

The FS404 is optimised for duty on steer, drive and trailer axles, and is

Bridgestone has two factories in

able to deliver exceptional mileage

South Africa, one in Port Elizabeth,

and durability, in original life and also

employing over 350 people, while

further retreading life.

the Brits factory in the North West Province employs over 850 people,

“As FS404 shows superior wear and


irregular wear resistances as well as



durability on 315/80R22.5, we have

operations contribute greatly to the

no doubt in the performance.” said

economic wellbeing, both directly to




Bridgestone Commercial General

our employees and their families, and

Manager Marketing, Tony Burns.

more broadly by releasing disposable

Now, with the new 12 R 22.5 option

Elizabeth and Brits areas, “Burns

available, the FS404 opens these wear


income into the economy of the Port

and durability benefits up to a wider Bridgestone’s TBRs are distributed

market of fleet owners and operators.”




Commercial which provides numerous

Some of the main contributors to the


FS404’s wear resistance are equaliser ribs




and monitoring systems. “A tyre like the

in the tread pattern which reduce the effects

FS404 will spend its initial service life on the

of irregular wear, and stone ejectors which

steering or drive axles and then be moved to a

give greater resistance against stone trapping,

trailer or kept on a drive axle once it is re-treaded,”

reducing damage to the tread surface and steel belt

Burns said. “Ongoing monitoring is essential to prevent

package. The sophisticated tread design provides better steering response and aquaplaning resistance.


shortened service life due to factors like under-inflation or lack of adequate maintenance,” he commented.

Burns said that the growth of the FS404 range would solidify the Bridgestone Group’s position in the truck and bus radial (TBR) market.

He said that South Africa was a growth market for Bridgestone internationally, and more TBR products were scheduled to be launched

“Bridgestone is currently the only tyre maker to manufacture TBRs in

in the early part of 2017. “Bridgestone’s local manufacturing capacity for

South Africa,” he explained. “The company performs ongoing research to

the heavy duty market will stand us in good stead into the future,” he

optimise the manufacture of tyres which perform better in South Africa’s


Industry News


Tiger Wheel & Tyre Announces 2017 Formula One™ Broadcast Sponsorship On 26 March 2017 in the cockpits of the world’s fastest road course racing cars and in the hands of the world’s best race car drivers, the chase will begin for the 68th Formula One™ (F1™) World Championship title. Twenty drivers from 10 confirmed teams will take part in this epic battle and, thanks to Tiger Wheel & Tyre’s broadcast sponsorship of the coming season, South African fans will continue to enjoy all the live action on DSTV’s SuperSport channels. As always, while we are weeks away from the season start, the off-grid F1™ action is proving to be almost as riveting as the sport itself. On 2 December 2016, just five days after securing a hard-fought world championship win, Nico Rosberg announced his retirement. If the news came as a surprise to fans, it came as a shock to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, who declared that it took him “completely by surprise”. Mercedes has yet to

Engines will g begin revvin for the new F1™ season , in Melbourne Australia, on 17 26 March 20

continuity, power unit suppliers now have an “obligation to supply”; meaning that teams are guaranteed to have engines and we won’t see a repeat of the famous 2015 Red Bull vs Renault impasse that almost left the former without an engine. “There’s always a lot going on in F1™, on and off the track, and that’s what makes this sport so incomparably exciting, and keeps us committed to

announce Rosberg’s replacement, although the smart

its broadcast sponsorship,” said Group Marketing

money is on Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas.

Executive, Joe du Plooy.

On the vehicle front, 2017 is ringing in the changes.

“Last year we got the German Grand Prix back, only to

A revision of the technical regulations governing

lose it again. Rosberg finally won a championship, only

bodywork design will yield wider F1™ cars of the kind

to forgo the chance to defend it. After scoring zero

not seen in 20 years, since the narrow track format was

points in 2015 Manor clawed its way to a single point,

introduced in 1998. This of course comes with wider

only to lose 10th place to Sauber in Brazil along with

wings, wider tyres, a 20kg increase in the minimum

$30-million prize money. No other sport offers such

weight, and most importantly an estimated four to five

thrilling, non-stop action,” added du Plooy.

second increase in average lap speed. However, as preseason reports from wind tunnel testing start trickling

Engines will begin revving for the new F1™ season

through, it’s becoming evident that fans may even be

in Melbourne, Australia, on 26 March 2017. For

treated to faster speeds than originally predicted.

more information and the season’s complete race calendar, as well as a race countdown clock and

In a bold move that some might argue borders on the

post-race winner announcements, visit the Tiger

autocratic, but nonetheless bodes well for teams and race

Wheel & Tyre website


Industry News

Davanti tyres a quick hit in South Africa After making an exclusive distribution deal with Tyremart, one of South Africa’s largest and most successful tyre fitment franchises, the first shipment of Davanti Tyres has arrived in the country with the first set of tyres sold just four hours later. Although the brand launched less than two years ago, its premium, consistent quality and superior performance have made a massive impact in Europe, with plans of similar success in Africa. Manufactured in a stateof-the-art factory to exacting E-mark standards, all patterns and sizes in Davanti’s range have recorded excellent EU labelling score. Going above and beyond, Davanti also had their tyres independently tested at IDIADA, Europe’s most comprehensive proving ground. The DX240 smaller passenger car pattern, DX390 PCR pattern, DX640 UHP pattern and the DX740 SUV pattern were all put through rigorous testing against

The first set of Davanti Tyres sold in South Africa within four hours of arrival

premium, mid-range and budget competitors and all Davanti patterns came second only to the premium tyres tested against.

customers with the best performance at an attractive price.”

The DX640 and DX390 are also proving their high performance reputation

European based private brand Davanti and its complete range are now

as Davanti have become the official tyre sponsors of the Autodromo

available to the general public from Tyremarts’ major centres with the

Internacional do Algarve Racing School in Portimao, Portugal and the 5Club

rollout to all 80 depots coming in the following weeks.

Racing MX5 Cup in the UK. For additional information on the growing Davanti tyre product portfolio Gavin Kockott, Managing Director of Tyremart says “Adding Davanti

and services visit

Tyres to our portfolio is a great step forward towards our goal of being the leading independent tyre and parts fitment chain in South Africa. Their

For further information about offering Davanti Tyre distribution through

ever-growing range will help us service all sorts of vehicles while providing

Tyremart in South Africa visit

Lucky Tiger Wheel & Tyre Shopper Wins BMW Worth R800 000 Luke Barritt will never regret his decision to buy

from thousands of entries and on 31 January, as

Michelin tyres from the Tiger Wheel & Tyre store in

much of South Africa watched, he received his epic

Claremont, Cape Town. No buyer’s remorse and not

prize on SABC’s Expresso morning show.

a backward glance. Not ever. On the contrary, this may well be the best purchase of his life. After all, it’s

The stunning high-value prize came dressed in

one that netted him a brand new 2016 BMW 430i

Alpine White with a red leather interior, 20” M

Coupe valued at R800 000.

Performance Wheels and with an M Sport package.

Barritt’s purchase met the conditions for entry into

As Tiger Wheel & Tyre reminds us, there’s never a

the lucky draw of the Michelin Summer Campaign, which ran from 28

bad time to buy tyres to ensure your continued safety on the road, but as

October to 31 December 2016. On 6 January 2017, his name was drawn

Barritt can attest, there are good and there are better times to buy tyres!





Industry News

Three new shows to co-locate with Automechanika Johannesburg in 2017

Next year’s Automechanika trade fair for the automotive aftermarket, which

particularly attractive offering for businesspeople north of our borders as

takes place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from September 27-30, will

we offer four specialised shows at one venue over a four-day period.

be co-located with three new, related shows. The new shows are Futuroad Expo (Africa’s international commercial vehicle show), Scalex Johannesburg

“We expect a significant jump in visitors from outside South Africa

(SA’s leading trade fair for transport systems, infrastructure and logistics

compared to the numbers that visited Automechanika Johannesburg when

solutions) and REIFEN (the world’s largest trade fair for the tyre industry).

it was a standalone show. The new arrangement enables us to optimise the synergies that exist between the industry sectors served by these related

All the shows will be organised by SA Shows Messe Frankfurt, a wholly

trade fairs,” added Otto.

owned subsidiary of Messe Frankfurt Exhibitions of Germany. The local

subsidiary, based in Sandton, is headed up by CEO Konstantin von

Next year’s Automechanika Johannesburg will mark the fifth time that


this world-renowned trade fair for the automotive aftermarket has been staged in South Africa since the inaugural event in 2009. Over the years

The announcement was made by Michael Johannes, Vice President for

this biennial trade fair in Johannesburg, one of 15 in the world, has grown

Mobility and Logistics at Messe Frankfurt in Germany, at an Automechanika

significantly both in terms of the number of exhibitors and visitors, but also

Johannesburg media conference held at the SA Festival of Motoring at

regarding its importance in the African market.

Kyalami last week. Messe Frankfurt, the owner of the Automechanika brand, is in the process “This is a huge boost for businesses operating in the automotive and

of co-locating the established REIFEN tyre expo brand with Automechanika

transport environments not only in South Africa, but also in Sub Saharan

trade fairs worldwide. Originally, REIFEN, which is owned by Messe Essen, was

Africa,” said Show Director Philip Otto. “We believe this will now be a

predominantly a German-based event although it had a subsidiary in China.


World News

Apollo Tyres Global R&D Centre, Asia wins the NDTV Design & Architecture award 2016 The project has already been certified LEED Gold

Continental Is Shaping the Digital Future of Mobility In fiscal 2016, the technology company Continental comfortably achieved and in some cases slightly exceeded its annual targets as

Apollo Tyres Global R&D Centre, Asia located just outside the southern

adjusted in the fall. The company also set the course for profitable

Indian city of Chennai, has been awarded with the NDTV Design &

growth in the future: “Today we are developing and producing

Architecture Award 2016 under the ‘Architecture Award, Office’ category.

trendsetting technologies for transporting people and their goods.

This Asian hub of research and development for Apollo Tyres has

In the future, we will increasingly earn money with mobility

been designed and conceptualised for the company by Chennai-based

services,” said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Continental’s chairman of the

independent architectural design practice, Calm Studio.

Executive Board, at the presentation of the preliminary figures for

Considering the harsh weather conditions in this coastal city, Apollo Tyres

fiscal 2016 in Hanover on Thursday. “The automotive industry is

Global R&D Centre, Asia has been crafted within a ‘shelter’, with its own

undergoing a transformation. The same applies to our business

inherent quality of light, shade, visual and sensory appeal, and pulse. The

model. Seldom before has there been such an exciting and

shelter or envelope was developed using a perforated screen that embraces within it the interior and exterior spaces of the building, and allowing for a vibrant and manageable landscape. The work stations, guest areas and ancilliaries have been housed in transparent modular units, ensuring maximum daylight in all areas, and which can be easily multiplied. Energy saving being the key guiding factor in the design, the ‘shelter’ helps in cutting radiation, heat and glare. This project has also been certified LEED Gold.

promising time to shape the mobility of the future,” he added. Continental continued its streak of successful business years in fiscal 2016. Sales were up 3 percent to €40.5 billion and the adjusted EBIT margin came to 10.8 percent. “With a profit after taxes of €2.8 billion and earnings per share of €14.01, we once again slightly exceeded the previous year’s impressive figures. We again grew faster than the underlying markets for our business,” said Degenhart.

The highly coveted NDTV Design & Architecture Awards focuses on the

In view of the negative effects published in the third quarter, this

complexities of building project from a design, aesthetic, sustainability and

was an encouraging development, he said. “Without these isolated

conservation perspective, as well as a strong sense of purpose. The awards

events, we would have achieved a record year. Our overall success

takes a collective view of the results confidentially selected after rigorous

is therefore more than impressive and is intended to pay off for our

assessment by the Jury comprising eminent architects and interior designers.

shareholders, too. We are therefore proposing an increase in the

Apollo Tyres Global R&D Centre, Asia in addition to the core research,

dividend for the fifth time in a row to €4.25,” emphasized Degenhart.

services the development needs for all product segments for the entire Asia

Degenhart believes that the automotive supplier, tire manufacturer,

Pacific, Middle East & Africa region for the company, and has an employee

and industrial partner is ideally equipped for the future: “Continental

strength of 140-odd people.

has a sound financial basis and a strong technological position. We are fit for the future.” He said that although the environment was

Bridgestone adds to its Combine Harvester range

becoming more challenging in economic and political terms, the start to the new year had confirmed the company’s expectations for 2017. “We anticipate an increase in sales to more than €43 billion. This

Bridgestone Europe has announced the introduction of the VT-Combine

would mean growing faster than the market again. We want to

tyre range to further extend their line-up for Combine Harvesters. The

achieve an adjusted EBIT margin of more than 10.5 percent, in

tyre has been specifically designed for Cyclic Field Operations (CFO) and incorporates improved Flexion Technology and 20 per cent more load capacity compared with standard tyres. The VT-Combine tyre also ensures a maximum speed (during CFO) of 15 km/h as opposed to 10km/h for conventional tyres. The range is also completely compatible to other types of harvesting machinery including forage harvesters plus potato and sugar beet harvesters.

spite of a significant increase in raw material prices,” announced Degenhart. With regard to global vehicle production, Continental anticipates growth of 1 percent to just under 94 million units. The company expects that increases in production in China and Europe and stabilizing sales markets in Brazil and Russia will more than compensate for the slight decline in growth on the American market.

World News


Continental signs collaborative agreement with Caterpillar

Sumitomo acquires UK based tyre retailer & wholesaler Micheldever

Hanover, Germany (February 22, 2017) - Continental and Caterpillar

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) has announced the acquisition of

Inc. have signed an agreement to equip Cat Off-Highway-Trucks (model

the Hampshire, UK based Micheldever Group Ltd. from Graphite Capital

series 770 to 775) with Continental RDT-Master tires in sizes 18.00R33,

Management LLP.

21.00R33 and 24.00R35. The agreement also calls for the two companies

The acquisition will give greater degree of freedom SRI to expand business

to collaborate on designing new tires for two other Cat products: Medium

in Europe following the dissolution of an alliance agreement with Goodyear

Wheel Loaders and Articulated Dump Trucks.

in October 2015. SRI has been active in taking measures to strengthen its

Jan Skaletz, Key Account Manager for OTR tires, stated: “We are happy to

production capabilities and expand its sales.

announce the cooperation with Caterpillar on top of the launch of our new

Micheldever is a holding company controlling Micheldever Tyre Services

tire lines in the Mining and Construction segment. This cooperation underlines

Ltd. (MTS), a wholesaler and retailer of tyres in the UK. Its sales network

the significance that Caterpillar places in innovative technology, the customized

expands to over 6,000 retailers and auto-repair shops across the country

solution approach and leading edge technology that Continental now offers in

as a tyre wholesaler.

this new industry segment.”

MTS owns and operates about 100 tyre retail outlets under the “PROTYRE”

Continental’s RDT-Master tires feature all-steel radial casings and belt packages

brand and generates sales of about 6 million tyres annually with sales of

for cut and impact resistance that provide outstanding traction in all directions.

GBP 320 million in fiscal end on March 2016. It has 1,574 employees. 


They will be listed on Caterpillar price lists starting in 2017 and can be specified

part of its long-term “VISION 2020”, SRI plans on accelerating “Business

by Caterpillar dealers and end users as first fit tires on new equipment orders.

Expansion in Europe and North America” through this acquisition and

further developing its business on a global scale.

Future of the tire industry is revealed Technology Expo in Hanover, Germany where the very latest tyre

Goodyear Recognised by Fortune as World’s Most Admired Tyremaker Again

production innovations were on display for the future.

Goodyear, for the fifth year in a row, has been recognised as the world’s

In fact this year the show broke new records with regards to exhibitors

most admired tyremaker by Fortune magazine.

and also proved to be one of the busiest shows yet in terms of visitors.

Among companies in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies’ Motor

There were 280 exhibition stands and show organiser Tony Robinson,

Vehicle Parts category, Goodyear was also the No. 1 ranked U.S.-based

CEO of UKIP Media & Events and Founder of the Tire Technology Expo

company and ranked No. 2 overall. In the Motor Vehicle Parts category,

pointed out than within 15 minutes of the event opening its doors it

Goodyear was ranked No. 2 in six of the nine key attributes measured, and

was destined to be even more popular than the highly successful show

No. 3 in three others.

SA Treads European correspondent once again visited the recent Tire

last year. There were a great deal of impressive new tyre manufacturing breakthroughs on display.

Goodyear finished ahead of its key global tyre competitors in overall score and in seven of the nine categories.

As usual the highlight of the event was the Annual Awards Night and

Started in 1983, the Fortune Most Admired list is considered “the definitive

there were a number of impressive innovations that took the accolades

report card on corporate reputations.” It uses a rigorous assessment by 3,800

including Sumitomo Rubber Industries global brand Falken which was

executives, board directors and securities analysts to determine a company’s

named the Tire Technology Company of the Year for innovation and

overall reputation by evaluating innovation, people management, use of assets,

excellence with their advanced 4D Nano Design technology system.

social responsibility, management quality, financial soundness, long-term

Whilst Bridgestone took the Tire Manufacturing Innovation award

investment, product/service quality and global competitiveness.

for their latest Tire assembly system and Continental were named as

The full list, with all categories, and related stories appear in the March issue of

Tire Manufacturer of the Year for a series of new R&D and production investments.

Fortune, which goes on sale Monday, March 20, and online at worlds-most-admired-companies/. Published since 1930, Fortune is one of the world’s leading business


World News

Tire Technology International names Continental 2017 Tire Manufacturer of the Year At the Tire Technology Expo 2017, staged in Hanover from February 14-16,



Continental was honored by trade journal “Tire Technology International”

the opening of the

with its Tire Manufacturer of the Year award, first presented in 2008. With


this award, the high-caliber panel of 27 judges, including experts from

Technology Center (HPTC)

Europe, Japan, India and the United States, honored the investments that

at the Korbach, Germany plant

Continental has initiated over the past twelve months. “We are very excited

caused quite some attention. Through

about this award because it appreciates several technology projects and

the smart networking of all its production

innovations that we have already realized, working consistently within

machinery, the HPTC generates new findings virtually in real time. These

the scope of our Vision 2025 long-term growth strategy,” said Nikolai

are then communicated to Continental’s tire production plants around the

Setzer, member of the Executive Board of Continental AG responsible

world to drive further improvements in efficiency and effectiveness. In

for Corporate Purchasing and head of the Tire division, the world’s fourth

2016 for the first time ever Continental produced a worldwide total of more

largest tire manufacturer with sales of more than EUR 10 billion. “At the

than 150 million passenger car and light truck tires, while at the same time

same time, being awarded as the most innovative tire manufacturer highly

achieving a much better regional balance between EMEA, The Americas

motivates our global team – now more than 50,000 employees – to

and APAC in terms of production and sales. As a result, Continental is

continue on this path, step by step.”

firmly on course to realize its Vision 2025.

Among Continental’s innovations that persuaded the judges were the

Incidentally, the expert judging panel at Tire Technology International

opening in June 2016 of the High Performance Technology Center in

reached the same conclusion before when Continental was also named

Korbach, Germany; the Taraxagum project that involves setting up a

Tire Manufacturer of the Year in 2014. At the same time Continental was

research center in Anklam, Germany, for the industrialization of natural

honored with the innovation award for tire production for its so called

rubber from dandelion roots; and production of the first ever truck tire

ContiLifeCycle plant in Hanover-Stoecken that convinced the experts due

with tread made of dandelion rubber. The judges also mentioned the

to its integrated approach of combining hot and cold retreading with a

announcement of a research and development center for agricultural

rubber recycling facility which still is unique globally today.


tires in Lousado, Portugal, and the expansion of Continental’s truck tire production operations in Otrokovice, Czech Republic.

Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier,

“Consumers of everything from ultra-high performance tires to agricultural

tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe,

ones, in markets from Europe to China, will benefit from Continental’s

comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2016, the corporation

outstanding commitment to investment in research and development,

generated preliminary sales of around €40.5 billion with its five divisions,

testing and manufacturing in the past 12 months. Congratulations to our

Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tire, and ContiTech. Continental

Tire Manufacturer of the Year!” said Graham Heeps, editor, Tire Technology

currently employs more than 220,000 people in 55 countries.

International and chairman of the judging panel. This annual award for innovation and excellence honors particularly bright ideas and the hard

The Tire Division currently has more than 24 production and development

work put in by the tire design and production industry. Candidates are

locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments

either nominated by the readers of Tire Technology International or put

in R&D make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically

forward by the editorial staff. The independent panel of experts then votes

efficient mobility. As one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers with

to choose the winners.

about 49,000 employees, the Tire Division achieved sales of €10.4 billion in 2015.

In the context of its Vision 2025, since 2011 Continental has already invested more than EUR 3 billion in the construction of new production plants in

Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires is one of the largest manufacturers

Hefei (China), Kaluga (Russia) and Sumter (South Carolina/ USA). EUR 350

of truck, bus and commercial specialty tires worldwide. The business unit

million per year of this total has been invested in expanding the Corporation’s

is continuously developing from a pure tire manufacturer to a solution

existing plants around the world. Along with the construction of Continental’s

provider, offering a broad range of products, services and tire-related

unique Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer (AIBA) at the Contidrom


SA Treads March 2017  

SA Treads March 2017 a quarterly magazine for the tyre industry.

SA Treads March 2017  

SA Treads March 2017 a quarterly magazine for the tyre industry.