Michelin’s event “Challenge Bibendum 2003” will be held in San Francisco on 23-25th September at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and conclude with a crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge and an awards banquet in San Francisco.
The Goodyear Eagle F1 which has been progressively rolled out around the world through 2002 is to become the first global tyre. The aim of global tyres is to produce tyre sizes for the worldwide market from single region manufacturing points. That is to say, tyres of any given size type will be manufactured in a single region and shipped globally. Currently eight North-American specific tyre sizes are manufactures in Lawton, Oklahoma, and 31 popular European sizes are manufactured in Germany. The global approach will significantly reduce manufacturing and equipment costs. The F1 is the first of many tyres that Goodyear will be offering on a global scale.
Goodyear has published its results for the third quarter. Net income more than tripled to $33.7 million (3Q 2001: $9.3 m), while worldwide sales were down slightly at $3.5 bn ($3.7 bn). Currency movements had an estimated $4 m negative effect on sales and $10 m on earnings. For the first nine months, Goodyear posted a loss of $0.6 million, compared with a loss of $29.6 m for the same period last year. Sales were down too, at $10.3 bn ($10.7 bn), while tyre volumes slipped 2.5 per cent to 160.7 million units. Sam Gibara said that economic conditions in key markets and rising raw material costs are a concern, but Goodyear will continue to concentrate on reducing working capital.
Continental has published its financial results for the first nine months, and initial reactions by financial analysts are very positive. Sales rose 3 per cent over the same period last year to 8.48 billion Euros. Net income increased by 173 million Euros to 217 million Euros and debt was reduced by 516 million Euros to 2.4 billion Euros. Passenger tyre sales fell 5.2 per cent to 2.76 bn Euros, due largely to the sale of the National Tyre Service chain and sluggish sales in the USA. Commercial vehicle tyre sales were flat.
The annual Scottish tyre safety week will be held between 18th – 22nd November. Motorists are being offered free tyre checks at leading supermarket sites prior to the campaign. Scottish tyre safety week is organised by the Tyre Industry Council and supported by the police, tyre manufacturers and the tyre trade. Over ten years, the campaign has been instrumental in reducing the percentage of illegal tyres in Scotland from 18 to 10 per cent.
Bob Skelton, founder of OTR Tyres Ltd, has retired after 25 years at the helm. He passes the reigns on to Chris Skelton who has been managing director for the past five years. OTR Tyres Ltd. Is one of the largest OTR specialists in Europe and has leading operations in Ghana and Zambia.
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At Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday 23 October 2002, Mr Timothy Phillips was given a two-month jail sentence. His partner, Miss Ann Cummins, was given a three-year conditional discharge following a prosecution brought by the Environment Agency Anglian Region under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The offences related to the keeping, treating and deposit of waste tyres without a Waste Management Licence at three sites in Suffolk and Norfolk by the defendants who operated as Sheriff Tyres, Sheriff Tyres Ltd and Tyre Management Recycling.Commenting on the case, Area Environment Manager Kevin Rutterford said: “Illegal tyre disposal and stockpiling poses a serious risk to the environment and also undermines legitimate businesses. Most used tyres are controlled waste and must be handled with due regard to the duty of care requirements specified in the Environment Protection Act 1990. If waste tyres are given to someone else the originator must be sure they are authorised to take them and can transport, recycle or dispose of them safely.”
The US Military is a large consumer of retread tyres but a new development may see them also utilising recycled tyres. The Denlin Corporation is to demonstrate a new helicopter landing pad made from the company’s Treadoles(R) recycled tyres. “This product is of great interest to the military, industrial, commercial and retail markets,” said Dennis Martin, president. Besides helicopter landing pads, Martin said Denlin is using it in ballistic armour shields for military vehicles and ground troops. Both products are weeks away from first commercial use, he claimed.Denlin’s helicopter landing pad, custom made for desert fighting and field combat installation, helps eliminate sand blasting of critical helicopter parts, including rotors and engines. The manufacturing process uses “an unique, innovative cutting process,” according to Martin. Recycled vehicle tyres are used without the need for further processing of the rubber material. Other applications include flooring, roofs and roadways for third world countries.
The Company reported a net loss of $6.8 million ($0.41 per share) 2002 compared with a net loss of $5.5 million ($0.39 per share) in 2001. Gross revenue for 2002 totalled $1.0 million, up from $0.8 million for 2001.
Nokian’s 3Q net sales were up 11.1 per cent at 117.9 million Euros, but higher fixed costs affected operating profit, which was 15.2 million Euros (3Q 2001: 18.6 m). 51 per cent of Nokian’s income comes from car tyres and 63 per cent is generated in Scandinavia and Finland. Sales of heavy tyres and bicycle tyres both rose, but sales of retreading materials fell. Vianor, Nokian’s retail chain, showed an increase in sales of 14.4 per cent, but operating profit was similar to 3Q last year.
Michelin’s third quarter figures reveal that revenue during the quarter fell 3.2 per cent. However, ignoring currency exchange rate variations, sales increased by 2.7 per cent. Sales for 3Q were 3.86 bn Euros. In unit terms, Michelin’s passenger car tyre unit volume sales in Europe increased by 2.5 per cent (replacement sales + 8 p.c, OE sales -8 p.c). In the USA, car tyre unit replacement sales fell 5 per cent, OE sales rose 11 per cent. Latin America and Asia showed double digit growth in both replacement and OE volume. In truck tyres, there were gains for Michelin in Europe and the US for both replacement and OE.
Bandag has released its third quarter figures, which show a net income of $19.6 million (3Q 2001: $14.7 m). While sales decreased by 5 per cent in 3Q, costs of products sold fell by 8 per cent, thus improving margins. In Europe, sales were down 10 per cent by volume, but rose slightly in value, due to favourable currency exchange rates. For the first nine months, Bandag is showing a loss of $14.7 m, but this includes a one-off write-off of $47.3 million for an accounting change. Without this, Bandag’s nine month earnings would have risen by $0.1 m. CEO Martin G. Carver said that he hoped that 3Q represented stability in the commercial tyre industry and that recovery could begin next year. However, he warned that the favourable costings so far this year are likely to change, with increases in raw material prices.
In J.D. Power’s 2002 Global Component Branding Study, tyres and stereos came top of the list of components for which consumers prefer brand names. 68 per cent of respondents in Europe, Japan and the USA said it was important to have branded tyres, although awareness levels differed. No doubt prompted by recent recalls, more than 80 per cent of US respondents said tyre brand was important, compared to less than 20 per cent of Japanese. 17 brands were included in the study and the leading brands were Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear and Bridgestone. Michelin’s brand was the strongest in Europe and the USA and Bridgestone was tops in Japan.