Tyres & Accessories visits Shanghai show, finding new breed of Chinese tyre, increased European markets engagement, and change in progress.
The 2015 edition of the China International Tire Expo opened on 9 September in Shanghai with around 350 exhibitors – the show’s most ever. The sustained growth represented by these numbers has led to the decision by organiser Reliable International Exhibition Services to transfer CITExpo to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center (SWEECC), built in the centre of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site. The show also boasts strong continuity, with around 80 per cent of 2014 exhibitors back in 2015, according to Reliable; in past years the organiser has come to expect a similar proportion of its customers booking their space for the following year during CITExpo.
Crowntyre exhibits its diversification strategy at CITExpo. The company is best known in the UK for its flagship Gremax brand, the company has designs on “bringing the fast fit model of mature markets like the UK” to China, according to general manager Allen. The company has grown its Tirecool retail network to 29 stores, and estimates that it will have opened 42 by the end of the year.
The other major point of interest for T&A readers was the prominent Gremax Capturar CF19 UHP tyre, launched earlier in the year. Designed with a focus on European markets, the Capturar CF19 features low noise, increased comfort and improved control, targeting drivers with “middle and high end vehicles”. The tyre is labelled C-B-69)) in size 225/45R18 95W XL.
Crowntyre calls the CF19 “a milestone for Gremax in the EU market.” Developed by a team of Korean technicians, and featuring optimised profile, compound, pattern and structure, the manufacturer says the tyre demonstrates improvements in terms of safety, noise reduction, and fuel efficiency compared with products from the last generation, while its reinforced structure and pattern design are tuned to provide more precise handling.
The tread of CF19 is built with high dispersity silicon dioxide to improve wet grip, while the structure also contributes to lower fuel consumption and emissions. The asymmetric pattern and multi-frequency pitch design significantly reduce noise while driving. The noise test result for CF19 is 69dB.
Crowntyre also told T&A that the approximately 30 sizes in the Capturar CF19 range will be extended with a runflat version targeting BMW drivers. With a pattern “the same as” the regular CF19, Crowntyre says the runflat model is currently “being tested in real world conditions,” having completed lab work. The tyre is being offered for third party testing too. Crowntyre told T&A that the runflat tyre should be available “by the end of the year”.
Greater engagement overall
While it is fair to say that the very biggest names have not been persuaded to commit to a lasting presence at the Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center, the exhibition has been able to retain some mid-level exhibitors, with many now exporting to the UK and other European countries. The EU tyre label was present on many more stands than after its first year of existence two years ago, while most tyre brands tended to go the extra mile to appeal to European visitors.
The timing may not be impeccable, with many sub-top tier Chinese tyre companies likely to experience difficulties in the coming year on China’s economic struggles, but the country’s biggest tyre expo must adapt now, if it is to continue the growth trend of the last 13 years.