Vehicle OEMs at the Tire Technology Conference

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Building on an event mainly focused on tire manufacturing, design and laboratory testing, the Tire Technology Expo and Conference has been successfully expanded in recent years through the introduction of tire raw-material suppliers.

The success of these moves is simply based on recognizing who the customer is and giving them what they want. The expo and conference are now rated as the events that satisfy the needs of professionals working at the highest levels of tire technology.

But is this enough? How can it become even better at satisfying the needs of the tire industry and its customers – the vehicle manufacturers?

There are occasions when tire companies exhibit at motorshows, but the attention here is always on the new vehicle models. Many participants and attendees have little time for tires and their technology. A more ideal scenario is surely to have the tire industry and its OEM customers come together during the Tire Technology Expo and Conference. This would make a major contribution in terms of the value for attendees and, of course, increase further the interest and value of the exhibition to the tire industry suppliers.

I believe that such an event is certainly feasible and would be globally unique – the tire industry’s equivalent to the financial world’s Davos meeting! How could this be achieved? The key is to show the value to the vehicle industry of a conference that is focused on what is still the vehicle’s most critical safety- and performance-controlling component.

To achieve this unique situation, the first day of the 2015 Tire Technology Conference will be dedicated to the tire and its customers – the OEMs. From the views of the tire industry CEOs, through to examples of successful technical partnerships between the tire and vehicle engineers, we hope to encourage the tire industry to introduce its vehicle engineering colleagues to fully participate in the conference.

There will be time for the vehicle manufacturers’ engineers and the tire technologists to meet to discuss the future requirements of the tire, and also for the broader tire industry to meet potential new customers. Perhaps there will be many as-yet-unforeseen spin-offs, such as the vehicle industry having a greater realization of the complexity and value of the tire. Looking further forward in tire evolution to the tire becoming the intelligent vehicle control unit and the vehicle itself perhaps becoming ‘wireless’, a whole new world of technology opens up.

We are aware from the success of the short courses, held within the conference program, that many of the 150+ course participants are from the vehicle manufacturing side of the global automobile industry. Their interest and support has been welcomed and it is now time to acknowledge their role within the tire technology circle with an all-day session on the first day of the 2015 Tire Technology Conference.

This wider concept for the conference will include the new sciences involved in the development of tire materials and their relationship with vehicle design and road engineering. If we all share the views expressed in this article, then we must work toward bringing our industry together in order to complete the tire technology circle.

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