Management of product safety
Our mission is to develop and manufacture the safest, highest-quality and most eco-friendly tyres in the world. Our development efforts are guided by the principle of sustainable safety: the safe characteristics of a tyre need to remain virtually unchanged throughout the lifecycle of the product. We periodically renew our comprehensive product range that we carefully tailor to different markets and test our products in authentic environments in order to ensure their safety and reliability under diverse and demanding conditions.
Our goal is to develop and manufacture the safest, highest-quality and most eco-friendly tyres in the world. Our development efforts are guided by the principle of sustainable safety: the safe characteristics of a tyre need to remain virtually unchanged throughout the lifecycle of the product. We regularly improve our comprehensive product line that we tailor to different markets by analysing and examining our products with a variety of methods and testing them under authentic conditions. This way, we can ensure their safety and reliability under changing and demanding conditions.
We actively renew our product line so that new product models (launched up to two years ago) account for approximately 30% of our annual sales. Our tyres are the result of advanced technology and dedication to produce ever safer high-quality products. Product development is very important for our business. The Vice President of Research and Development is a member of the company’s management team and reports directly to the President and CEO.
Our Research and Development comprises the following key functions: materials development, tyre technology, tread model and structural design and testing. Materials development is responsible for the materials that are used in passenger car tyres, heavy tyres and retreading materials. The results of the department’s work can be seen in all the characteristics of a tyre, from the tread compound that contacts the road surface all the way to the components that ensure the high performance of the tyre. We further improve our newest premium products by applying the latest solutions of materials technology to new innovations. Tyre technology’s work includes determining the final recipes that ensure the high quality of our products, introducing new tyres to production and designing and manufacturing tyre series for testing. Structural design selects the different tyre components that affect rolling resistance, handling and tyre noise, for example. Tread model design creates the tread patterns and sidewall designs for new tyres. The testing department puts test tyres through extreme indoor tests: the speed durability, wear durability and rolling resistance are determined with precision using state-of-the-art testing equipment. The tyres with superior characteristics undergo several rounds of testing that provide us with as much information as possible on their performance. Not even the best computer software can observe the driving experience and feel of the tyre like a test driver. The tyres are then fine-tuned based on the outdoor tests.
Our products have a significant impact on road safety. We set measurable goals to the safety features of our new products, such as grip and aquaplaning prevention. We measure product characteristic through extensive testing. Most of a tyre’s environmental impacts are generated during use by the vehicle’s fuel consumption. Therefore, reducing rolling resistance is one essential goal in our product development. We set rolling resistance targets for all new tyres and measure the rolling resistance of all products.
In late 2015, our internal auditing uncovered discrepancies regarding our participation in magazine testing, and we published the findings ourselves in early 2016. We revised our procedures and are now promoting better transparency in terms of testing throughout the industry. We are now working hard in order to strengthen the consumers’ trust and improve our operations in sustainability. We will cover our testing policies and operations more extensively in our report for 2016.