News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

May 25, 2011

Chevy Cruze launches without spare, no run-flats

Filed under: General, Run-flats, Tires — Notch @ 7:15 am

Bob Ulrich at Modern Tire Dealer notes something that also caught my eye. More and more cars are eliminating their spare tire to save weight and space, but many are replacing them with inflator kits (and cell phones) rather than run-flats to compensate.

With the announcement that the 2011 Chevy Cruze is foregoing a spare tire in order to improve gas mileage comes a few comments about run-flat tires.

Did the Cruze come with them? I found it hard to believe it would, given its less-than-ultimate-driving-machine stature.

The answer? No, run-flat tires were not original equipment on the Cruze. It comes with an on-board tire inflator kit.

By shedding 26 pounds of tire and jacking hardware, the Cruze has an EPA-estimated 42 miles per gallon on the highway, “the best highway mileage of any non-hybrid, gasoline-fueled, compact available in the U.S. market,” according to General Motors Corp.

Yokohama begins Philippine expansion

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 7:05 am

On May 23, Yokohama Tire held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of expansion work at the company’s Clark Freeport Zone tire factory, located 40 miles northwest of Manila. The 50 billion yen project will boost annual capacity from seven to seventeen million tires by 2017.

Michelin expects rubber production to grow 40% over next decade

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 7:00 am

Michelin said it expects global rubber production to grow 40% in the next decade, averting a market shortage and a price surge, Bloomberg News reported. Three-quarters of the expected output gain will come from productivity improvements by Asian producers, Managing Partner Jean-Dominique Senard told shareholders Friday at the company’s annual meeting near its headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Michelin expects to add the equivalent of a new plant globally each year to harness tire demand growth averaging 9 percent in emerging markets.

China to appeal WTO ruling on US tire import duties

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 1:12 am

From R&P News (subscription required) comes word that China plans to appeal a World Trade Organization ruling from last December that supported the U.S. government’s decision in 2009 to impose severe duties on imports of consumer tires from China. China notified the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body May 24 of its decision to appeal the panel report in dispute case DS399, “US—Measures Affecting Imports of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tyres from China.”

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