AEOLUS TYRES, FULL SAIL AHEAD
Tyre and communication
With the Pirelli-ChemChina agreement under the spot light, Aeolus Tyres bets on marketing, sponsoring the most famous international sailing competition, in its quest to develop the brand globally
The name Aeolus, the Greek God, keeper of the winds, bodes well for the Dongfeng team, one of the seven participants in the grueling Volvo Ocean Race now in its twelfth edition.
Pushed by a light breeze, the team, co-sponsored by Aeolus Tyres, crossed the finish line in fourth place at the end of the last leg in Goteborg, thus taking a very positive third place overall in the world’s most thrilling round the world regatta: an unexpected result for a team partly made up of Chinese sailors that had no ocean sailing experience just over a year ago.
Following a massive recruitment campaign in November 2013, six Chinese sailors were selected, after severe trials and an intense training program, and set out to sea in October 2014 from Alicante along with six professional sailors under the expert guidance of French skipper Charles Caudrelier. Nine months, five continents and 38,739 nautical miles (71,000 km) later, the Dongfeng crew proved to be the real surprise of the race to the point that, if they hadn’t dismasted during the fifth leg, they could have contended for the final victory against the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team.
The unexpected success of the Sino-French crew is a direct result of the same determination, competitive spirit and love for challenges driving Aeolus Tyres in its quest for quality, in order to distinguish itself from the mass of Chinese made products, investing in research and thorough quality control. “As you all know we are a Chinese manufacturer, but the leading edge technology and state-of-the-art production plants we use, are currently unavailable to most Chinese producers” stated Mr. Wang Feng, CEO of Aeolus Tyres, during a press conference. “Aeolus’ main objective is to reduce the current gap with the top international manufacturers”.
The plotted course
For this purpose Aeolus Tyres, among the top 25 tire manufacturers in the world in terms of revenue, is focusing on three strategic priorities: operational efficiency, research and development as well as global promotion of the brand.
If sponsoring the Volvo Ocean Race can be viewed as being part of a strategy aimed at promoting the brand internationally, efficiency and technological development will only benefit from the recent agreement between ChemChina – owner of Aeolus Tyres – and Pirelli.
Mr. Wang, as expected, was very laconic in answering our questions on the Italian-Chinese agreement which provides for, among other things, the merger of Pirelli’s industrial tire division in Aeolus Tyres business: "Being listed companies we cannot publicly disclose confidential information". However it is clear that, with the union between Aeolus Tyres - with its 6 million truck tires produced each year - and Pirelli’s technology and expertise a new “industrial” reality is born, projected at the top of the global market. "Under the confidentiality agreement I cannot answer your questions - Mr. Wang reiterated - but as you can imagine, ChemChina has invested a large amount of money on something that must gain value ... use your imagination!"
Speculations about the future aside, Aeolus’ short term growth strategy for the European market is crystal clear: development of an authorized supply chain, partnerships with distributors, and spotlight on the development of the ACE passenger car tire, launched in Europe in 2013 and ranging between the GreenACE, PrecisionACE and SteeringACE summer tire series, plus the winter SnowACE as well as Van and SUV dedicated TransACE and CrossACE models.
In sail on the Italian market
Intergomma, a partner since 1997 - when the distribution of OTR (Off-The-Road) and TBR (Truck-Bus-Radial) tires was launched -, is the exclusive distributor for Aeolus PCRs (Passenger Car Radial) in Italy. Among the companies currently using Aeolus OTR and TBR tires as OE we find Manitou, Magni, Venieri, Dieci and Faresin, all companies that have been equipping their vehicles with Aeolus products thanks to Intergomma. The Pisa based company has, since 2013, immediately adopted AeolusTyres’ latest products expanding its tire range with Aeolus’ new PCRs. And this collaboration, as announced by the management during Autopromotec, is destined to expand further during 2015: “Our company is working on setting up a specialized Aeolus POS network throughout Italy – declared Simona Falorni, General Manager of Intergomma – and while some have already been opened many more are planned for the end of the year. Aeolus is making important investments in promoting the brand, and the participation in the Volvo Ocean Race must be viewed in that light, as well as the many events organized for the presentation of the latest products such as the launch of the ACE2 series in Majorca or snow-clad track testing in Austria last year. At the same time Intergomma is expanding significantly its sales personnel in Italy, selecting figures specialized in Aeolus PCRs products".
The Chinese company though, is not focusing only on the aftermarket: “ Aeolus is performing well in the replacement market: but we need to do better and better – said Mr. Wang - and our next step is to focus on the OE market. There are many top car manufacturers in Europe… Aeolus joined the Volvo Ocean Race also for the purpose, to acquire a deeper understanding as well and cooperation with the Swedish car manufacturer”.
PrecisionACE 2, safety and precision
Unveiled for the first time to the Italian public during the 2015 edition of Autopromotec, the new PrecisionACE 2 is a high-performance all-season tire that stands out for overall balance and driving precision, not to mention the high level of safety in wet conditions. The TUV SUD certification marks (Report N° 713048423/AH03) testify about Aeolus’ commitment in meeting the high European quality standards. The four wide longitudinal grooves as well as the overall structure of the tire improve water evacuation to minimize hydroplaning on wet roads. The modern symmetrical tread design maximizes contact pressure distribution and even tread ware, and positions the PrecisionAce 2 on the market as a quality product available at a very competitive price.