Evonik Industries is building its first highly dispersible (precipitated) silica plant in South America. The company announced on 21 July that it will invest a “mid-double-digit million euro amount” in a facility located in Americana, within Brazil’s São Paulo state. No word has been given on the greenfield site’s anticipated output tonnage when it goes on stream in 2016 or when full capacity is reached. The silica produced will mainly be used in the production of low rolling resistance tyres, however Evonik says that by building the plant it will also cater for the needs of the growing regional business in attractive specialty segments in South America's food, animal feed, and agricultural industries.
While one aftermarket supplier had everyone talking about who would own it and what this would mean for the market, and while at least two others were said to have been considering their merger/acquisition options, Groupauto was putting its emphasis on “raising standards within the aftermarket generally”. However, Grouptauto also says it is “able to make a practical difference to the lives of the members of its two independent garage networks: AutoCare and Approved Garages”.
Last month, Yokohama’s passenger car tyre production and sales unit in China was commended as an ‘Energy Efficiency Forerunner’ at the 2013 Annual Petroleum and Chemical Energy Efficiency Benchmarking Enterprise Conference. The commendation given to Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co., Ltd. is related to promoting the energy saving policies of the Chinese government; Hangzhou Yokohama was recognised for low energy consumption per ton of tyres produced.
Nico Rosberg has extended his Formula One championship lead by winning his home grand prix, using a two-stop strategy with one stint on the P Zero Red supersoft followed by two stints on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre. It was the first time that Rosberg had ever finished on the podium at the German Grand Prix, but the 300th podium finish for Williams, courtesy of Valtteri Bottas – on the podium for the third consecutive time.
David Wilson has stepped down from his role as Director of the UK’s Retread Manufacturers Association, a role he has filled since January 2005. He will now be taking the opportunity to focus on the management of his publishing interests including Retreading Business, Tyre & Rubber Recycling and Commercial Tyre Business.
Yokohama Rubber reports that it will supply original equipment tyres for the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class in certain markets. The compact SUV will come equipped with either a standard or run-flat version of its C.drive2; both are size 235/50R18 97V tyres. The standard tyre will have the letters ‘MO’ printed on the sidewall while the run-flat version has the original equipment designation ‘MOE’.
Around two years ago, Heuver Tyrewholesale named Germany as its second ‘home market’, and since then the wholesaler’s customer base there has continued to grow. In response, Heuver has now enlarged its German account team with the appointment of Mark Engemann, who takes on responsibility for the region of Saxony-Thuringia.
In this month’s magazine (July 2014), as well as our the conclusion of our comprehensive review of the Essen Show (see page 40 onwards) plus features on manufacturing (from page 24) and batteries (page 8+), we report on the potential “Return of US tyre import tariffs” (on page 30). Reading this article, you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a time warp to 2009 where proceedings followed a very similar course. This time round, the potential implementation of a second round of import US import tariffs aimed squarely at China have fermented rumours about whether anything similar is likely to happen in Europe. So will it?