In the automotive world, the cost of R&D is extremely expensive and with the business environment becoming increasingly competitive, pooling of resources is the way to go. That’s why you see all the mergers taking place;
two large companies joining forces can share R&D facilities, platforms and even use common components to lower production costs.
Goodyear, the tyre giant, also uses the same strategy but within its own group. The latest move is to draw on the combined strengths of its three development and technical centres and develop superior common technologies that can be applied to products sold worldwide.
“This move will create what we call ‘Trinuum Tyre Technology’ and the name ‘Trinuum’ is derived from ‘Tri’ which means the ‘power of three’ while ‘nuum’ comes from ‘continuum’, which represents a continuum of tyre technology,” explained Hugh Pace, President of Goodyear Asia during the launch event in Malaysia recently.
“Trinuum combines the respective strengths from Goodyear’s three global development and technical centres in Japan, Europe and America to design the perfect tyre for every application, every terrain and every drive,” he said.
In the past, each of these centres had concentrated on developing tyres only for their own areas, leading to unnecessary duplication of functions. Now, the Japanese centre will contribute technology that incorporates aesthetics and sensitivity in tyre design while the European centre in Luxembourg will work on engineering aspects with orientation towards high performance. The American centre in Goodyear’s home city of Akron, Ohio, will provide the innovative impetus for the 102-year old company to stay ahead technologically. In total, Goodyear expects to spend between RM 0.5 billion to RM 2 billion on R&D annually.
Trinuum tyre technology, which will appear in the Goodyear Eagle F1 and new future tyres (soon to be introduced in Malaysia) called the Eagle Ventura and Eagle NCT5, will bring superiority in three distinct areas: chemistry, design and engineering. Tyres with this technology will feature unique chemical polymers which are produced and patented by Goodyear. These polymers will provide drivers with enhanced traction on wet roads,
Design studios worldwide will create advanced Goodyear products by utilizing computer aids and 3D prototyping tools, while engineering concept development and optimization with computer modeling will see tyre construction that lengthens tread life, reduces noise, improves comfort and sharpens handling.
Commenting on the implications of AFTA and the removal of trade barriers, Goodyear Malaysia Managing Director Harish Khosla said the company is confident of maintaining market leadership in the region.
“The entire ASEAN market will become increasingly competitive as many more choices become available to customers. But Goodyear will be able to stay ahead and we will continue to grow profitably with the help of our
strong and sustainable competitive advantages, now strengthened with Trinuum Tyre Technology,” said Mr Khosla.