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Fintyre and CobatTyre team up on ELT management

A new partnership to guarantee the correct collection and disposal of end-of-life tires throughout Italy, with a fast and efficient service dedicated to tire dealers and professionals in line with the highest European environmental standards. This, in a nutshell, is the agreement between Fintyre, Italian tire distributor through its network which includes Franco Gomme, La Genovese Gomme, Pneus Market and LGG, and CobatTyre, a consortium created to collect and recycle end-of-life tyres (ELTs), with thirty years of experience in managing technological waste, with a focus on the automotive sector in partnership with the several premium car manufacturers. CobatTyre will specifically manage the imported tires distributed each year by Fintyre to its numerous customers throughout Italy. Fintyre's tire specialists and dealers will have direct access to CobatTyre's services and the possibility to independently manage their pick-up orders with just a few clicks through a dedicated website. Specific training, communication and awareness-raising activities have also been planned for all operators in the tire replacement sector, the perfect occasion for the consortium to collect ELTs from tire dealers and retailers, making sure that these are properly handled and sent to treatment plants, in line with Ministerial Decree 82 of 2011, which regulates the management of end-of-life tires. Furthermore, CobatTyre will guarantee the highest levels of ELT traceability, monitoring every single step of the waste management process through dedicated tools, tailor-made to meet the needs of the operators, making sure that worn out tires are properly introduced in a circular economy. "Thus, we aim to support our customers during the whole process, from before to after the sale when the products must be disposed of - says Francesco Carantani, CEO of Fintyre -. In addition to being a valid partner for all our customers, we are looking at promoting a sustainable development of the tire distribution sector through choices and projects that have a positive impact. We need to make sure that all the players in the supply chain realize that a circular economy is not only a way out of the many waste emergencies still plaguing Italy, but a way to create investments and job opportunities in our territory”.  "This agreement with Fintyre is a great opportunity - explains Luigi De Rocchi, president of CobatTyre -. Together we are mapping a shared path in which ELTs will become an increasingly innovative and dynamic part of a circular economy. Our goal is to help Fintyre and its network to pursue sustainable developments that will benefit not only the environment but also the entire national economic system, reducing waste and generating new raw materials, guided by such principles as transparency, efficiency, and sustainability.

Goodyear expands the production capacity in its Slovenian production plant

Goodyear announced that it will expand its manufacturing facility in Slovenia to meet the growing demand for premium tires in Europe, the EMEA region. “The demand for premium, larger-rim-diameter consumer tires is growing across EMEA. To ensure the sustainable growth of our business, Goodyear plans to invest 94 million euro in its plant in Kranj, Slovenia to increase its capacity in this profitable segment,” announced Henry Dumortier, Goodyear’s vice president consumer Europe. The investment will add 5400 square meters to accommodate advanced tire building machines, increasing the plant’s overall capacity by approximately 25 per cent. This will allow for production of an additional 1.8 million premium consumer tires annually. Production will focus on 17- to 19-inch replacement tires in Europe. Since 1998, Goodyear has invested more than 270 million euro to develop its Kranj facility. First established in 1998, the company has produced more than 130 million tires.

Continental sets up its new Fleet Solutions division

Continental created the new Fleet Solutions department, with the aim of bringing together under a single management the services offered to industrial fleets and passenger vehicles, namely Conti360° Fleet Services (which include ContiPressureCheck and ContiConnect) and ContiLifeCycle (which includes the retreading and management of used casings). Ralf Benack has been appointed as Fleet Solutions division director, whose goal is to contribute to the development and integration of services aimed at meeting the needs of customers in terms of efficient tire management. "Bringing together all industrial services under one roof - stresses Constantin Batsch, Vice President of Continental's Truck Tires EMEA Business Unit - is the logical and necessary step to become an increasingly integrated solutions provider. Now, more than ever, Continental will focus on digitisation to increase the value of its solutions. Ralf Benack, with his extensive experience in this field, is the right person to lay the foundation for further developments in our fleet service offering.

Federpneus promotes new professional courses in ADAS systems calibration

Safe and intelligent thanks to Adas systems (Advanced driver assistance system). New vehicles are a concentration of technologies that require qualified skills and innovative tools for proper maintenance. The resulting effect is that workshop activities are evolving rapidly. And to keep up with this change, specialized training is increasingly if a workshop hopes to hold its own against the competition and remain in business. This is why Federpneus, in collaboration with HellaGutmann, the diagnostic division of the Hella Group, has organised a course on how ADAS systems work and their proper maintenance. The course was held last March and was attended by several important stakeholders. During a 8 hour course - divided between classroom training and practical workshop tests - HellaGutmann specialized trainers along with a technical manager from Federpneus explained what Adas systems are, the different types and methods of calibration, the procedures for a correct error analysis as well as the legal standards. The course was dedicated to mechanics as well as tire specialists. The latter category, in fact, will find it increasingly difficult to work on a vehicle without having to intervene on the Adas systems, even if the work involves relatively simple operations such as tire replacements, fitting wheels with different diameters, suspensions or wheel alignment.

New, and more visible, European tire labels on the horizon

The EU is set to update the rules on energy performance tire labelling and extends its scope to include heavy-duty tires. The labels will be more visible to consumers and will include information on grip on snow and ice. The European Council adopted its negotiating position on the proposed new rules on 4 March. "The new rules will benefit customers, who will be able to make informed choices about the safety and fuel efficiency of their tires. They will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus help the EU meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement", said Anton Anton, Romania's Energy Minister and President of the European Council. The Council's position clarifies and broadens the scope of the current regulatory framework, besides updating the label and requiring the integration of information relating to grip on snow and ice. New label requirements, including online sales, will improve the visibility of the label and guarantee that customers be fully informed when making purchasing decisions. Furthermore, the Regulation provides also for a mandatory creation of a database in which tires must be registered. The scope of the Regulation will be extended for the first time to truck and bus tires (C3 class tires). So far, only passenger cars and van were included in the rules. The Council's position allows retreads to be included in the future, as soon as a suitable performance testing method becomes available. A review clause determines the possibility of including mileage and abrasion parameters on the label in the future, as soon as appropriate testing methods are available. The objective of the tire labelling scheme is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution in the transport sector and to increase road safety by better informing consumers about the fuel efficiency, noise and safety parameters of the tires before purchasing them. Road transport is responsible for around 22% of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions and tires, mainly due to their rolling resistance, account for between 5 and 10% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Reducing the rolling resistance, therefore, contributes to reducing emissions allowing, at the same time, consumers to save on costs through lower fuel consumption. The rules needed a thorough review of the current regulatory framework as the previous labelling scheme did not fully reach its objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector due to scarcely visible labels and insufficient enforcement of the rules. Inter-institutional negotiations will be opened once the European Parliament makes its position clear on the dossier.

First Stop LAB: new networking initiative dedicated to First Stop affiliates ready to kick off

First Stop LAB, a new initiative that involves 5 speakers representing all First Stop points of sale, kicked off with the aim of enhancing a sense of belonging to the network and a cohesion between the different points of sale, as well as a moment dedicated to sharing ideas and promoting effective initiatives. The location chosen for the first event was the Fondazione Brodolini @Milano LUISS Hub for makers and students, a multifunctional space dedicated to digital manufacturing, business development and creativity, with many young entrepreneurs looking for new growth opportunities for their business. The ideal place to share ideas in the name of innovation. The theme of the first First Stop LAB meeting was: "www.firststop.it. The Internet has different rules and logic compared to the traditional market: new and different competitors, a complete product catalogue and new rules on profit and price". A central theme now for some time, e-commerce is becoming an exceptional opportunity for all retailers, provided they know how to take advantage of its unique characteristics. E-commerce allows each partner the opportunity to expand the business with 24/7 sales potential, but requires careful management of logistics and product positioning. Customer care and attention are essential if one wishes to remain competitive in the market and offer the best service. For this reason, First Stop launched, earlier this year, its new website, an online showcase for the network revisited with new style and contents, designed to provide online customer service with the needed information. The participants in the first stage of the First Stop LAB were Massimo Tron (Bricherasio Gomme), Alberto Buson (Brusamarello Gomme), Giulio D'Alessandro (Pit Stop), Costantino De Angelis (La Picena Pneumatici), Antonio Totaro (OK Gomme). "We found the ideal setting to share and develop ideas, projects and innovative solutions to support our network - said Claudio Guella, Regional Retail Manager South Europe -. I thank Fondazione Brodolini @Milano LUISS Hub for its availability and for allowing us to work in a setting that helps u sto think out of the box". The next stages of First Stop LAB, scheduled in July and December, will address other critical issues with the aim of creating innovation and strengthening the identity of the First Stop brand.

The CST Orange Point project restarts in Sicily with a new important agreement

Launched towards the end of 2018, the CST Orange Point project is going through, at least in the first few months of 2019, a moment of intense growth throughout the country. Born from an idea of the C.T.S. Tires’ exclusive agent for Italy, B.I.S. srl, the CST Orange Point project has been designed to enhance brand visibility, customer loyalty and offer a better and highly professional service to the entire distribution chain, up to the final consumer. Retailers who are participating in the CST Orange Point project have the opportunity to take advantage of targeted promotional campaigns and a "visibility" package for their store through direct and indirect promotional levers such as exhibition materials, merchandising, as well as dedicated promotions, special offers and exclusive services for their customers. And if the aim of the project is to create a network of selected retailers throughout Italy, Central and Southern Italy is where the efforts have, so far, brought the best results. "In Sicily we have just sealed an agreement of great interest - said Massimo Lippi, B.I.S. srl Car & Motorcycle commercial manager -. One of our wholesalers, Campo Pneumatici, did something extraordinary in bringing together, in a single evening, some of its most important customers, all of which joined our network later. The CST Orange Point project, in fact, aims to create a network of selected dealers throughout Italy able to offer a series of promotions and winning services aimed at both the point of sale and the end consumer. CST ORANGE POINTS’ logo is easily identifiable both locally and nationally. With our partners," continued Massimo Lippi, "who are mostly medium-sized wholesalers and high potential tire dealers ready to stock our tires, we aim to increase the visibility and recognition of the brand throughout the distribution chain right down to the end user. And to do this, we aim to have at least 200 CST Orange Point points of sale throughout the country by 2020. So far, we can rely on almost 70 affiliates, an extraordinary result, the fitting reward for people who, like Giovanni and Anastasia Campo (and not only), have strongly believed in our ideas”.

Kraiburg Austria: turnover up by 12% in 2018

Despite all market developments, KRAIBURG Austria registered a pleasing sales plus for the business year 2018. The retreading specialist had a turnover of 75 million euro. This corresponds to an increase of about twelve per cent in comparison with the previous year. The growth is again thanks mainly to the increased demand for premium compounds for mould cured retreads. Parallel to this, the sales figures for the quality pre-cured retreads K_plus, K_base and K_tech could be maintained. KRAIBURG Austria processes more than 25,000 tons of rubber per year for the “Tire Applications” division (retreading materials as well as compounds for the new tire industry) and produces more than 1,250 kilometres of treads alone. Whilst the Upper Austrian company invested millions including the installation of a new mixing line in 2017, in 2018 they concentrated on optimising the internal processes as well as on services for the customers. “The retreaders need all the support they can get,” Stefan Mayrhofer, deputy CEO of KRAIBURG Austria explains. “That is why we are doing all we can to serve our partners optimally and are very pleased to have been able to intensify existing customer relations as well as activate new ones.” KRAIBURG has representatives in all European and some overseas markets. Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and Poland are the key markets of the Upper Austrian retreading specialist.  KRAIBURG Austria looks confidently at the business development for 2019. “We are convinced that the anti-dumping measures, which the EU took last November against the import of cheap new tires from China, will come into full effect in the coming months, especially in spring with the opening of the construction site season,” Sales Manager Holger Düx comments. “The import statistics show a decline of 50 per cent for 2018 which corresponds to a potential of more than two million tires. We assume that retreads, which suffered massively from the supply of cheap new tires in recent years, especially in the construction site sector, will recover a considerable percentage of these.”