The second quarter of 2014 was, in the words of Titan International’s chief financial officer, “disappointing in terms of performance.” John Hrudicka reports that the 11.7 per cent year-on-year decline in sales to US$523.7 million occurred against a backdrop of price reductions, a downturn in the mining segment and a decline in agricultural markets. Gross profit also decreased 74.0 per cent to $22.6 million and was 4.3 per cent of net sales, as compared to 14.6 per cent of net sales a year earlier. Loss from operations amounted to $29.5 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared with a profit from operations of $36.9 million in the second quarter of 2013. Net income went $20.5 million into the red. Dividend declared per common share was $0.05.
The Government has announced plans to raise the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads to 50 mph and the move has generated diametrically opposed views. On the pro side, Transport minister Claire Perry says that the move is part of a package of measures to cut congestion, reduce dangerous overtaking and help get the country moving. Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed serious concerns about the proposed limit increase and the announcement comes as a survey by Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveals the extent of risky driving on country roads.
MAM Software has been chosen to supply a new point-of-sale and management solution for Goodyear’s company-owned retail store locations in North America, and it will also be made available to independent Goodyear tyre and automotive service dealers there. The new solution will leverage MAM's VAST POS application and deliver a solution that can be delivered on premise or via the cloud.
Pirelli has announced its compounds for the Formula One grands prix in Belgium, Italy and Singapore. At Spa, one of F1’s most spectacular and demanding circuits, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and the increasingly distant chasing pack will use the P Zero White and Yellow medium and soft tyres suited to Belgium’s the varied track and weather conditions.
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.
German OTR tyre specialist Rösler has launched its Intread TPMS system. The system is the first OTR TPMS system with the ability to measure the tread depth and the belt temperature. Rösler exhibited the system at Reifen 2014.
Dr. Seshu Bhagavathula has been appointed Apollo Tyres Ltd’s new chief technology officer, and at the same time inducted into the company’s Management Board. He will be based at Apollo’s global R&D centre in Enschede, the Netherlands and lead global initiatives in the areas of tyre technology, research and new product development, for both passenger and commercial vehicle tyres. He will be assisted by the tyre maker’s research, technology and design teams across all regions.
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?