Mixed results for W European trailers

The trailer market in Western Europe grew by 11% in 2010 according to the latest survey by Clear.  “This would normally be a good result,” says Gary Beecroft, MD.  “But, as the market fell by 52% in 2008/9 it does not represent a spectacular recovery in demand.”  However he thinks that production grew by 47%, as destocking turned into restocking and exports recovered on top of extra domestic demand.  His survey shows trailer demand uneven across the fifteen countries he checked; four, including France and Belgium saw trailer demand continue down in 2010, while six, including the UK and Germany saw double-digit growth.  All countries expect some growth in 2011 with most expecting more in 2012.
More from Gary Beecroft on +44 (0)2 088 928 379 or gbeecroft@talktalk.net

Optare wins more Tempo orders

UK bus maker Optare says it has started the New Year well, with orders from Trandev for 11 more Tempo buses.  These will go to its London United and Yellow Bus subsidiaries.  This means Optare will deliver 27 Tempo heavy-duty integral single-deckers to Transdev in the first quarter of the year, worth £3.8m.  Both firms will get 12metre Tempos but to different specifications.  London United is taking 23 two-door versions to TfL’s “demanding” spec. while Bournemouth-based Yellow Bus will take four with leather seats and wood-effect flooring.  “That we can deliver these Tempos to such different specifications shows how adaptable we are,” says John Horn, sales director at Optare.
More from David Rowlands on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or drowlands@automotivepr.com

Mobileye helps Coca-Cola win fleet safety award

Coca-Cola Hellenic’s fleet has won an International Fleet Safety Award from Fleet Europe for a safety project.  This includes the Mobileye active fleet safety system.  With the programme running, the firm recorded no collisions and found drivers’ performance “increased significantly” and fuel efficiency improved.  Coca-Cola Hellenic says it runs more than 20,000 vehicles in 28 countries.
More from Elliot Goff on +44 (0)1 748 900 258 or elliot.goff@thevehiclegroup.com

Mytyres goes into tyre overload

Van drivers have a poor record in roadside spot checks, with most prohibitions caused by overloading, according   to Vosa’s most recent Effectiveness Report.  Mytyres.co.uk, part of online European tyre dealer Delticom AG, says the effect of overloading on tyres, which often under inflated, can be shorter life and a possible blow out.  This is in addition to the risk of fines.  The firm says that overloading tyres, running them above their recommended load capacity also “dramatically” increases tread wear, further cutting their life and so hiking costs.  Overloaded tyres also mean poorer handling, with longer stopping distances and possible loss of steering control.
More from Chris Wakley on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or cwakley@automotivepr.com

Ashwoods hybrid shortlisted

Ashwoods Automotive is on the shortlist for the Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards 2010.  The firm’s Hybrid Transit is up for the Innovation in Car and Van Manufacture award.  Ashwoods is the UK’s largest make of low emission kit for vans and was named Europe’s fastest growing clean technology firm in 2010.  Its Hybrid Transit is Britain’s best-selling hybrid van delivering a 15%+ cut in fuel use and CO2 emissions.  The firm now successfully sells a retro-fit kit for Ford Transits and a retro-fit intelligent engine stop-start system.
More from Dan Jenkins on +44 (0)7 536 092 682 or dan@brightsparkspr.com

UK Truck Clean grows

After a successful three-month trial at Hartshead Moor services on the M62, truck wash firm UK Truck Clean, plans a ‘massive’ expansion, working with Welcome Break. This involves opening truck washes at strategic Welcome Break sites across the UK.  The first phase includes South Mimms on the M25 and Leicester Forest on the M1.  Phase two includes sites on the M11, M62 and M6 motorways.  “The new venture presents a fantastic opportunity for enthusiastic, hands-on type managers,” said Gary Taylor, MD.  He’s keen to talk to “dedicated and hardworking” people who would like to join the UK Truck Clean Group and be involved “from the very start”.  He’s also keen to talk to new cash and account customers.
More from Gary Taylor on +44 (0)7 970 842 423 or gary@uktruckclean.com

Smith Electric Vehicles Deal complete

The Tanfield Group Plc has sold its Smith Electric Vehicles operation in the UK to Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation, for $15m.  Smith Electric Vehicles Europe Ltd will continue to work from its base in Washington, Tyne & Wear, servicing the UK market and its growing overseas client base.  This includes fleet customers in Hong Kong, France, Spain, Germany, Ireland and Iceland.  The new owner, Smith US, has rapidly grown since its start in 2009, thanks in part to a $32m grant from the Obama administration.  Smith Europe is the UK’s largest producer of electric commercial vehicles, including vans, minibuses and trucks.
More from Dan Jenkins on +44 (0)7 536 092 682, or email dan@brightsparkspr.com

CV Show debut for new Mobileye

EyeDrive Systems Ltd will use its stand for the CV Show debut of its latest collision avoidance system.  Mobileye C2-270 uses a windscreen-mounted camera and sophisticated electronics to detect pedestrians, lane markings and traffic hazards.   The system will warn the vehicle’s driver of potential hazards and, the firm says, “cuts traffic accidents by more than 50%.”  Mobileye’s technology has to date been adopted by BMW, Volvo, GM, Nissan, Renault Trucks and Buick.  EyeDrive Systems Ltd is the exclusive UK and Irish distributor of the Mobileye Advanced Collision Avoidance System in the commercial vehicle market.  The system won the Brake Fleet Safety Forum award for Best Fleet Safety Product of the Year 2009.
More from Elliot Goff on +44 (0)1 748 900 258 or elliot.goff@thevehiclegroup.com

Another free SMMT webinar

On Tuesday 1 February, between 10:30-11:00, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders will run a free webinar looking at priorities and actions for the SMMT in 2011.  Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, will discuss the difficulties and opportunities ahead and outline SMMT’s strategy for the year. The session will cover the economic outlook, the supply chain, support for innovation, major policy campaigns, collaboration, partnership and improving the profile of the UK motor industry.  You can register online at www.smmt.co.uk/memberservices
More from Robert Morbin on +44 (0)2 073 449 265 or rmorbin@smmt.co.uk

New Locks4Vans at CV Show

Kent-based Locks4Vans says it plans to use the CV Show to launch a range of new products including its new ‘Ultimate’ lock.  This is a hardened steel slam lock that comes with keys or remote control.  The firm, founded in 2003, exhibited successfully at the 2007 and 2008 CV Shows.  “We are looking forward to returning to the CV Show,” said Andrew Dunley, director.  Locks4Vans says it leads the UK and Irish markets for extra automotive locks.  Its T series locks are pick, drill, torque and bump-proof and the only Thatcham-accredited automotive locks.
More from Andrew Dunley on +44 (0)1 474 560 077 or andrew.dunley@locks4vans.co.uk