The sale of Pirelli’s tyre steelcord activities at three sites was finalised on 18 December. Bekaert is now the official owner of the Figline facility in Italy, the Slatina plant in Romania and the operation in Sumaré, Brazil, however it still awaits local regulatory approvals for the transfer of Pirelli’s steelcord facilities in Izmit, Turkey and Yanzhou, China. It is expected that these approvals could be obtained in the first quarter of 2015, however the companies can give no assurance that this timeframe will be met.
Nine tyre fitters from dealers across the UK and Ireland have become the first to graduate from Michelin’s Tyre Academy after a year of theoretical and practical learning. The fitters, who each work in a different Michelin Certified Centre (MCC), were chosen for the course as they have the potential to become an expert technician or take on management positions in the future.
In a letter sent 16 December, the Governor of South Carolina requested the US Department of Commerce re-evaluate the 17.69 per cent tariff that applies to all consumer tyres Giti Tire imports into the US from China. Governor Nikki Haley highlighted Giti Tire’s plans to build a plant in Chester Country, South Carolina, and stated that the tariff “inequitably affects Giti’s business.”
Marangoni Retreading Systems Deutschland GmbH is congratulating Reifen Müller from Hammelburg for making its millionth tyre, a Ringtread Blackline retread. In peak season, Reifen Müller’s Hammelburg factory turns out around 350 tyres a day. With Ringtread technology, the plant can produce 200 retreads in each 8 hour shift. The high level of automation offers high productivity, savings in labour and faster processing times. The RB 3000 is a completely automatic machine, in which the cushion gum is applied directly onto the casing.
Two Hankook tyres have been selected as original equipment fitments on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. The MPV will receive the Ventus Prime² in size 225/55 R 17 101 V XL and the Vantra LT in size 205/65 R 16 C 101/103 H. Both tyre specifications are manufactured in Hankook’s plant in Hungary.
Martha Desmond has been appointed Apollo Tyres’ new chief human resources officer. She replaces Tapan Mitra, who retires from the role at the end of the year, and is based in the company’s office in London, reporting to vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar. As chief human resources officer, she takes on responsibility for all aspects of human resources within the organisation. Desmond has also been appointed a member of Apollo’s Management Board.
Tire Industry Association has promised to fight a proposal by the US Rubber Manufacturers Association to reinstate a mandatory tyre registration programme, US journal Tire Review reports. During a panel on tyre registration and recalls at the Passenger Vehicle Tire Safety Symposium held by the National Transportation Safety Board, the RMA cited low registration rates of tyres sold by independent retailers as the reason behind the proposal. RMA reported that overall fewer than 20 per cent of all tyres are registered.