Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Fake News 14” is the new 21”

14” is the new 21”

Fake news is at an all time high.” – Donald Trump

We’ve all heard that energy costs are always on the rise. Oil, despite all our efforts, remains a major energy source worldwide and an ingredient in many consumables we consumers take for granted.

From parachutes to pantyhose, from soft contact lenses to shoe polish, from heart valves to hearing aids, oil finds its way into our lives on a daily basis, and more than once. Synthetic replacements are increasing in use and applications, but sometimes cutting down on the amount used for one individual product can make a huge difference.

Love the 20” wheels and tires on your Acura MDX, the 19” wheels and tires on your Ford Mustang? Well, when the time comes to replace your whip in a few years from now, you might find that the wheels and tires on the next generation Acura and Ford to be smaller, much smaller.

The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), and the Thai Rubber Association (three biggest natural rubber producing countries: Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia) are looking into cutting the volume of rubber exports very soon. This is in large part to try and slow down plunging prices but it will also affect global tire producers. Synthetic rubber still relies on petroleum by-products as important ingredients. So what does this all mean?

That’s right. We’re headed straight back to the 80s when 13” and 14” wheels and tires were the norm. Crazy folk may get 15s on their Bentleys or Ferraris while those purchasing Corollas will likely end up with 12s.

“What about big brakes?”, you’re wondering. Carbon ceramic brakes are becoming far more affordable at the current low volumes so imagine how cheap they’ll be when they’re on 750,000 new Honda CR-Vs and nearly a million Volkswagen Golfs every year. A small ceramic braking system performs as well or better than large steel discs.

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