Company News

Bekaert acquisition of three Pirelli steelcord plants finalised

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.

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UK News

Robin Shaw joins Bridgestone

Robin Shaw joins Bridgestone

At the end of October 2014, Robin Shaw took over as the managing director of Bridgestone’s North Europe region, which includes the UK as well as the Nordic markets. Shaw replaced John McNaught who had been with the company for 12 years. He joined at a time when reorganisation is taking place within the wider European business and when a number of key UK and North region managers have either retired or gone off to pastures new. Tyres & Accessories caught up with Robin Shaw as he was en route to Brussels for one of many meetings he has had with European executives during the beginning of his tenure.

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International News

Tyre makers paying 25% more to help India’s rubber producers

A dozen tyre manufacturers in India have agreed to acquire domestically-sourced natural rubber at a price 25 per cent above that set in Bangkok. This arrangement was decided upon at a meeting on 18 December in the city of Thiruvananthapuram with Oommen Chandy, chief minister of India’s Kerala state. It was agreed that India’s Rubber Board will calculate the going price for rubber each day; this will be based on the international, Bangkok price, with an additional 20 per cent customs duty and five per cent purchase tax added to the international price. The chief minister’s office reports that the new pricing takes effect today and is valid until the end of March 2015.

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Retreading News

New owner for insolvent Reifen Ihle’s retreading operation

New owner for insolvent Reifen Ihle’s retreading operation

The retreading business belonging to insolvent German tyre company the Reifen Ihle Group now has a new owner. The sales contract was signed late last Friday, and follows the divestment of the firm’s 12 Point S tyre retail centres to regional retailer Reifen Müller at the end of October. R-I-G Technische Produkte GmbH has been acquired by Frankfurt am Main-based holding company Prolimity Capital Partners and will now be operated under a new entity, Rigdon GmbH.

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Product News

TPMS now standard on all new vehicles

TPMS now standard on all new vehicles

2015 represents the first full year of both mandatory TPMS on new vehicles and system functionality tests as part of MOT tests at the aftermarket end of the spectrum. And according to those in the TPMS sector, this new legislation has brought new confidence to the TPMS market. Tyresure reports that most multisite UK operations now boast some knowledge of this new technology. Many tyre bays are turning their attention to the sales opportunities that servicing TPMS sensors brings.

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Career Tracks

Family affair – Jürgen Titz replaces brother in Goodyear ‘DACH’ role

Family affair – Jürgen Titz replaces brother in Goodyear ‘DACH’ role

Former UK and Ireland director of consumer tyres for Goodyear Dunlop, Jürgen Titz, has been appointed head of consumer replacement for the tyre maker’s Germany, Austria and Switzerland, or DACH, region cluster. In his new role, he will coordinate all consumer tyre-related sales and marketing activities in the three German-speaking countries. Titz will also join the management of Goodyear Dunlop Tires Germany, which is led by George Rietbergen. Jürgen Titz succeeds his brother Frank Titz, who as general manager will lead Goodyear’s business in Russia.

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Legislation

RMA proposes tyre registration, TIA ‘disappointed’ in legislative solution


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.

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