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.
At the end of last week Unipart Automotive renewed its intention to appoint administrators, which several sources have named as being KPMG. This is significant because, as was the case when news of the rescue talks broke on 8 July, such an announcement not only raises the possibility of the company entering administration but it can also provide a moratorium which acts as protection for a limited time.
Bridgestone has beaten Michelin and Pirelli to be named Australia’s ‘most trusted tyre brand’ in a survey carried out for Reader’s Digest Australia. The publication’s Trusted Brands 2014 survey rated brands in 46 categories on a scale of one to ten, and named one winner and two highly commended runners-up for each category.
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’.
Mirko Kraus, who was previously responsible for commercial vehicle tyre media and public relations in Goodyear Dunlop’s ‘DACH’ markets – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – has been appointed the company’s new “Communications Manager Commercial PBU Europe, Middle East and Africa.” In his new role, Kraus extends his commercial segment responsibility to Goodyear Dunlop’s entire EMEA region.
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?