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Tire news, reviews, tips and links!

Is Kumho in trouble?

Today Kumho Tire Inc. made a pretty important announcement – one that doesn’t speak highly of the liquidity situation that its parent company currently finds itself in. Due to a temporary cash shortage in the company, many December salaries are being delayed. The $11 million worth of salaries is scheduled to be paid back in early January when Kumho Asiano Group receives payments from clients and replenishes its coffers. The parent company blames the salary delay on a large debt payment made at the end of the year, news which sent shares in Kumho Tire tumbling almost 13%.

Kumho manufactures OE tires for companies like Hyundai and Kia, and like other tire companies, was hit hard but the auto industry recession and vehicle production cuts. On top of the precarious economic situation, Kumho’s parent company also has stakes in other interests and was facing debt payments that had to be made. They have declined to comment officially about this latest incident.

We’ll keep an eye on the liquidity situation at Kumho and hope that everything can get sorted out. It would be a shame to see dips in production on wholesale Kumho tires, which include passenger, performance, light truck, SUV, competition, and commercial truck tire lineups.

Filed under: Kumho Tires, Tire News,

Conti HTL1 truck tire is SmartWay approved

A fourth Continental truck tire, the HTL1 wide-based trailer tire, has been approved by the EPA for inclusion in their SmartWay Transport Partnership list. SmartWay Transport is a collaboration between the EPA and the freight sector designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, and improve energy security. Part of this “green list” includes truck tires that meet government standards for low rolling resistance. Low rolling resistance means that less energy is used to overcome friction between the tire and road surface, resulting in less fuel consumption and better gas mileage.

Continental officials remarked: “Based upon data provided by tire manufacturers and EPA testing and research, the EPA determined that certain tire models can provide a reduction in emissions and an estimated fuel savings of 3% or greater… when used on all three axles.”

The other Continental truck tires that made the grade were the Continental HSL2 steer tire, the Continental HDL Eco Plus drive tire, and the Continental HTL Eco Plus.

For access to wholesale truck tires, contact Future Tire at 516-752-9200.

Filed under: Continental Tires, Eco-friendly Tires, Low Rolling Resistance Tires, Truck Tires, , , ,

Quebec snow tire deadline passes

In snowy Quebec, a mandatory snow tire installation requirement officially passed yesterday. Drivers who fail to utilize snow tires during the winter face hundreds of dollars in fines. Quebec’s mandatory snow tire statue demands that all vehicle owners have snow tires put on their cars between December 15 and March 15 every year. The law, which many safety experts believe is a valuable one, was instituted in an effort to make driving safer for everyone in Quebec, which often sees harsh winters and inclement weather.

The snow tire law went into effect last year, and police officers generally handed out warnings instead of tickets. This year police said they will forego any warnings and issue the fines immediately. If you’re caught in Quebec without snow tires, you can expect to be hit with fines of up to $300, making it a smart decision to just go ahead and buy the tires! Quebec was the first province in Canada to make snow tires mandatory. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he has no plans to follow Quebec’s lead, despite the pressure he is feeling from various road safety groups.

Snow tires improve traction in wet and icy conditions by employing special tread patterns and stiffer rubber compounds that retain their shape in cold temperatures.

Need wholesale tires in Canada? Contact Future Tire at 516-752-9200.

Filed under: Snow Tires, Tire News, , , ,

Introducing the new Yokohama ENVigor

Yokohama Tire Corporation is set to start shipping an all-new “grand performance” tire that is shaping up to be one of the largest tire launches in the history of the company. Starting in March 2010, the all-new Yokohoma ENVigor line will hit store shelves in 69 different sizes! This exciting new product aims to be the first tire that offers a complete blend of all-season performance, a smooth ride with low road noise, low rolling resistance for improved gas mileage, and maximum treadlife. It appears to be what many would call “a dream tire.”

Yokohama’s confidence in the new ENVigor lineup is evidenced by the sheer size of the launch. Usually new tires are released in popular sizes to start so that the marketability can be gauged. In this case, Yokohama has decided to release the ENVigor in 69 sizes right off the bat. This usually means that the company knows they have a good product that the market is going to want – badly. Yokohama also expects to have the new lineup replace their popular AVID A4, V4, and W4 models.

The Yokohama AVID ENVigor has several features in its tread design that aid with things like water traction, winter traction, hydroplaning, reduced noise, even treadwear, and fuel efficiency. It certainly appears to be a very well-rounded tire. Here’s what Yokohama VP Dan King had to say about the new tire:

“ENVigor is unlike any product the industry has developed to date,” said Dan King, Yokohama vice president, sales and marketing. “Only ENVigor delivers collectively all the performance and environmental attributes in a single tire that a new category virtually had to be created for it: Grand Performance. It provides excellent traction and handling, enhanced comfort and treadlife – all while delivering remarkable gas mileage. It’s quite possibly the most complete tire ever created.”

For access to this and other wholesale Yokohama tires, you can contact Future Tire at 516-752-9200.

Filed under: Eco-friendly Tires, Tire News, Yokohama Tires, , , , ,

Hankook jumps on the bandwagon – 5% price increase

Does this sound familiar?

“The ongoing rise in the cost of raw materials and energy consumed in manufacturing and distribution continues to impact our industry. We are making every effort possible to control costs, and improve and expand our production capacity.”

Today’s quote comes from says Todd Hershberger, Sr. Vice President of Hankook Tire America. Hankook, like Bridgestone, Cooper, and other major tire manufacturers, is scheduling a price increase effective January 1st 2010. The full lineup of wholesale Hankook tires will be subject to a 5% price hike. Hankook manufacturers passenger tires, light truck tires, and medium duty truck tires.

Expect more of the same from other manufacturers from now until the end of the month, and most likely into the new year, until the cost of raw materials returns to normal levels.

Filed under: Hankook Tires, Tire News, , ,

Bridgestone announces 5% price increase

Hot on the heels of our last post, Why Tire Prices Are on the Rise, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation validated the consensus opinion with a 5% price increase on wholesale Bridgestone tires, wholesale Firestone tires, and other associate brands effective January 1st. Like other major manufacturers who have made similar moves, BATO cited the rising cost of raw materials as the main reason behind the price hike.

Michael Gorey, president, U.S. & Consumer Tire, BATO, had this to say: “While we are successfully implementing measures at all levels of our company to enhance our efficiencies and increase our productivity, those efforts are simply not enough to overcome the escalation of raw materials costs.”

Both original equipment tires and replacement tires will be affected.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Tire News,