Goodyear European business unit president Mike Roney said: ‘This technology is being driven by the car makers and now BMW has taken the lead in making the switch on the 1-series and 3-series, we expect many others to adopt our latest tyres as original equipment over the next 18 months.
‘That makes it important for company car drivers to fully understand the benefits.’
The US company – the world’s biggest tyre producer – announced the first commercial run-flat tyre in 1992 and used this year’s Geneva Motor Show to launch RunOnFlat, a development it claims offers improved levels of ride comfort as well as allowing motorists to continue driving for at least 50 miles after a puncture.
Roney said: ‘Tyres from Dunlop, our other brand, will also use the RunOnFlat technology and share the name in order to avoid confusing both original equipment manufacturers and end consumers. We need to educate drivers who are unaware of this innovation because, as well as BMW and Mini, we’re working on run-flat projects with many other car companies.’
Meetings are being arranged with the major fleet operators Goodyear supplies to explain how reinforced sidewall inserts allow the new tyres to bear the weight of a vehicle even when they are totally deflated – and how rim guards and tensioning devices on the outside of the sidewall help maintain rigidity in the event of a flat.
Roney said: ‘The greatest advantage is that RunOnFlat covers can be fitted to normal rims, eliminating the need for special tools and any extra costs linked to their use.
‘This is making it an increasingly popular option on new cars, but an extra benefit is that it is now unnecessary to carry a spare tyre.’