Despite a 36.3 per cent increase in operating income to RMB 2.2 billion (£249.4 million) in the first quarter of 2017, Triangle Tire reports that its year-on-year net profit declined 2.6 per cent in the first three months of the year to RMB 156.9 million (£17.8 million).
During the Continental AG press conference at the Auto Shanghai show in China, chief executive officer Dr Elmar Degenhart confirmed that the company intends to continue investing in China “at a comparable level” to recent years. Continental has invested €1.3 billion in the country over the past half a decade. Degenhart also commented that Continental anticipates its sales will grow at a faster rate than the market in China, particularly in the field of mobility services.
In order to increase its activities in the new mobility services market, Continental has signed a strategic joint venture contract with China Unicom Smart Connection (CUSC), an end-to-end service and operations provider for the connected car market and fully owned subsidiary of mobile network operator China Unicom. The contract was signed on 19 April and creates a joint venture that, in Continental’s words, “aims to establish and operate as a world class ITS solution provider to satisfy the increasing market demands in China.”
Titan International has commented on the final results of the US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) review of imported OTR tyres from China in 2014 and 2015, which show the Chinese government increased the level of subsidies it gave tyre makers, enabling their products to continue selling in the US market at what the tyre maker calls a less than fair value.
A change of leadership will occur within Continental’s business in China in June. On the first of the month, Enno Tang will become president of the Continental organisation for China. The current head of the Chassis & Safety division, China, and the Vehicle Dynamics business unit, China replaces Dr Ralf Cramer, who will conclude his contract as planned by mid-August 2017 and pursue new career opportunities outside of Continental. In his new role, Tang will report to the chairman of Continental AG’s Executive Board, Dr Elmar Degenhart.
On 13 April TP Industrial Holding – a company controlled by CNRC (the tyre division of ChemChina) – confirmed that agreements have been signed with CNRC, Aeolus and High Grade (HK) Investment Management Limited for the full integration of its controlled Industrial activities with the other assets of the sector belonging to CNRC, including Aeolus and Guilin Beili. The formal finalization of this integration is expected by the end of the year, subject to the approval by the relevant authorities, with the contribution into Aeolus of the 52 per cent stake held in Prometeon Tyre Group (formerly Pirelli Industrial).
Contract tyre manufacturing specialist SD International was present at Tyrexpo Asia with the Zeta range it first introduced in August 2016. Covering some 70 PCR, UHP and SUV sizes – with the portfolio growing to over 100 sizes in the second half of this year – these Zeta products are aimed at the USA and the ASEAN region.
The latest CRIA data, which was released by Chinese tyre industry association CRIA on 12 April, shows that Zhongce Rubber Group (also known as ZC Rubber) remains the number tyre manufacturer in China in terms of income, with 2016 sales of 18.38 billion yuan (RMB). Giti Tire’s Chinese operation (Giti Tire [China] Investment Co., Ltd.) trails by more than 6 billion yuan, but is a clear second place with 13.14 billion yuan in 2016 ahead of Sailun Jinyu Group, which reported income of 11.19 billion yuan last year.
Lewis Hamilton’s victory on a drying track in Shanghai was garnished with a fastest lap four seconds quicker than in the 2016 race, set on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyre. The exclusive tyre manufacturer has promised a leap in speed equating to such improvements in lap times this season as a result of both the latest specification cars and the manufacturer’s new, larger tyres.
State-owned Chinese firm Guangzhou Vanlead Group, parent company of Wanli tyre brand manufacturer South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd, has signed two memorandums of understanding with Swedish firm Scandinavian Enviro Systems. The first of these covers the establishment of a turnkey recycling plant in Guangdong province, and the second the setting up of a joint venture to market Enviro’s patented technology across China.
Continental AG set the 250 million euro ($271.58 million) expansion of its Hefei, Anhui province, China tyre production plant into operation on 28 March. Total investment in the Hefei plant is now said to be 570 million euros.
ZC Rubber’s first dealer conference of 2017 saw tyre dealers from Africa invited to meet in Dubai. The conference focused on introducing new goal and development strategy in 2017.
On 22 February Mesnac signed a strategic agreement with Rockwell Automation in Beijing. Yu Mingjin, vice president of Mesnac, and Bob Buttermore, managing director of Rockwell Automation Greater China, signed the agreement on behalf of the two respective companies.
At the beginning of November Sailun Jinyu International (SJI) appointed Gareth Passmore as its president for Europe. He replaced Martin West, who has been appointed global president of the SJI Speciality Tire Group. Passmore, who started on 1 December 2016, is now responsible for all operations throughout Europe across all of the Sailun Jinyu Group brand portfolio – Sailun, Jinyu, Black Lion and Rovelo. Passmore brings with him over 25 years of tyre industry experience, including time with Continental, Apollo (in South Africa) and latterly with Sumitomo Rubber Industries where he headed up the Falken brand’s European export operations. During a recent brand and winter tyre product demonstration event in Sweden, Tyres & Accessories caught up with Passmore and at the same time we were introduced to Sailun’s ambitious goal of becoming a top 10 tyre manufacturer in the years to come.