News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

February 24, 2009

UK Vehicle Production Falls 59% in January

Filed under: General — Notch @ 2:57 pm

From ERJ (subscription required) comes confirmation that the dismal European vehicle production figures that characterized the fourth quarter have continued into 2009. Car production in the United Kingdom fell by 58.7% in January (to 61,404 vehicles), while commercial vehicle production was down 59.9% (to 8,351 vehicles), according to figures published by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A record 83.5% of car output from the UK was allocated for export, a signal that domestic demand remains weak.

According to SMMT’s chief executive, Paul Everitt, “Following extended winter shutdowns, vehicle output continued to fall in January in line with expectations. The extent of the decline highlights the critical need for further government action to deliver the measures already announced and ease access to finance and credit.”

Press release from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited.

Goodyear Introduces Off-Road Tire Reinforced with Kevlar

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 2:36 pm

On February 20, Goodyear announced the introduction of the company’s first off-road tire incorporating DuPont Kevlar para-aramid fiber to enhance sidewall puncture resistance. According to the company, the use of Kevlar, a material that is, pound-for-pound, five times stronger than steel, greatly improves sidewall cut- and puncture-resistance, a critical feature for off-road tires. It also helps reinforce the sidewall for conventional highway driving. The Kevlar-reinforced sidewalls in the new tire help increase sidewall puncture resistance by 35 percent compared to the original Wrangler MT/R.

The tire also includes a “wraparound” tread for better sidewall traction in deep mud, sand and rocks; an innovative asymmetric tread design to improve off-road traction while maintaining handling on the road; and advanced rubber silica in the tread for better off-road and wet traction.

Available in March, Goodyear is offering the tire in 30 sizes, fitting vehicles such as 1/2-, 3/4- and 1-ton pickups, Hummer H2 and H3, Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser and more. According to Goodyear research, there are more than four million drivers in the light-truck tire segment who use their vehicles primarily for off-road travel.

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