On Saturday 16 July, BEN, the Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund will, for one night only, transform the grounds of Lynwood, its residential centre near Ascot, into a traditional fairground with a difference.
Two ArvinMeritor LVA employees are taking up the BEN Centenary Aftermarket Challenge, as they attempt to cycle the full length of the country, from Lands End to John O’Groats. The money raised will go towards supporting auto industry employees and their dependents who find themselves in need of help.
Beissbarth’s wheel aligner technology continues to be the top choice for motor sport, says Beissbarth UK, announcing that the ML8R Easy Wheel Aligner has been selected by the RML team for one of their busiest seasons.
The Chevrolet Lacetti WTC will tackle rounds three and four of the 2005 World Touring Car Championship in Magny-Cours, France. In Magny-Cours, the team will be closely watched by Nick Reilly, CEO of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology in South Korea. “We’ll do our best to put up a good show for the boss,” said Mark Busfield, project manager, Chevrolet WTCC, “we are now looking at qualifying in the top 15.”
Carlos Ghosn, former chief operating officer of Michelin North America, has been appointed as chief executive of Renault. The well-known executive, also known as “the cost killer,” is a celebrity in Japan due to the radical turnaround he led at Nissan.
JP Morgan analysts have changed Goodyear’s share rating from “neutral” to “overweight,” while raising their estimates for the company. The analysts mentioned that the company’s share price has depreciated by 22 per cent year-to-date, creating an attractive investment opportunity. According to the analysts Goodyear is likely to benefit from moderating raw material costs in the short term and a healthy pricing environment globally. JP Morgan raised earnings per share estimates for 2005 and 2006 from $0.65 to $0.80 and $0.75 to $0.90 respectively.
Deutsche Bank analysts have confirmed what industry insiders were already thinking, there is a shortage of earthmover tyres. However, this provides numerous opportunities for the right parties. Operating profit margins are high, reaching double digit levels. Despite this the sector is relatively small with annual sales worth $5.5 billion, or 7 per cent of the $80 billion world market. According to the analysts, the earthmover sector is dominated by the “big three.” Bridgestone is said to hold a 60 per cent market share, followed by Michelin with 30 per cent and Goodyear with 10 per cent.
Looking back at its decision to operate a plant in the Czech Republic, Continental AG says it is pleased with the situation in the country. The company reports that is plans are on track and it has noticed some real benefits of operating in this area. For example, the elimination of border controls on what used to be the EU frontier has noticeably reduced transport times. What’s more, the paperwork involved and the costs entailed are also said to have been cut. Purchasing is also benefiting from improved material procurement from all of Eastern Europe, the company says. “Continental AG decided in favour of an engagement in the Czech Republic 12 years ago, and thus very early on. This has long since proved to have been a smart move. The EU’s eastward expansion makes the location even more attractive,” said Manfred Wennemer, chairman of Continental’s executive board, on the occasion of Czech president Vaclav Klaus’ visit to the company’s Otrokovice factory.
Toyo Tyre UK has appointed Engine, a cross-media design agency, to handle the first phase of its new UK marketing communications programme. This will involve the creation of brand new press advertising campaign with a total budget of £600,000.
Honeywell Friction Materials has introduced the 2005 edition of the Bendix and JURID Disc Brake Catalogue for passenger cars and light utility vehicles. Containing over 1000 pages, and with a new cover design, this catalogue proposes a full range of disc brake products including brake pads, brake discs, disc kits (boxed set of pads with corresponding discs) as well as accessories and wear indicators.
The Unipart Group of Companies, one of Europe’s leading privately–owned distribution and logistics businesses, has reported sales for 2004 of £1.064bn (2003: £525.8m) and a net operating profit of £25.4m (- £1.3m). After tax, interest and other charges, the Group reported a profit of £26.3m (£0.9m).
Sapphire Energy Recovery, one of the UK’s leading end-of-life tyre disposal companies, has appointed Ryan Mifflin as sales and marketing manager. Mr Mifflin joins Sapphire from Lafarge Cement UK where he was responsible for brand development and sales and marketing strategy. As one of his first tasks, the new sales and marketing manager will be launching “the ultimate solution” campaign to help raise awareness surrounding end of life tyre disposal.
In his new position Mr Mifflin will be responsible for all marketing and commercial activities. Ryan explains: “My focus will be to raise the profile of what Sapphire offers the tyre industry along with further developing our approach to customer service excellence.”
(India/Rubber Asia) In 2004 India recorded the fastest growth among the top 15 passenger car producing countries in the world, according to the Paris-based International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA). As per the OICA’s latest rankings, India’s car production grew 30 per cent in 2004. Brazil came second with 17 per cent growth. What’s more, India is just a step away from being one of the 10 largest automobile producers in the world. The country jumped up two places to 11th.
(Akron/Tire Review) Titan International Inc has reported record first-quarter net income of $11.2 million, up 111 per cent from last year’s first quarter. Net sales were $136.1 million for the first quarter, ended 31 March and gross profit was $24 million. Basic earnings per share also set a record at $0.68 for the quarter, the company said. Classified by segment, revenues were $89 million for agricultural, $39 million for earthmoving/construction and $7.5 million for consumer.
The Cambridge-MIT Institute’s Centre for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI), at the University of Cambridge has published a 33-page report investigating the final collapse of the MG-Rover in April 2005. Report authors Dr Matthias Holweg and Professor Nick Oliver investigate the final collapse of MG-Rover in April 2005, and address two main questions. First, what were the reasons for the final collapse, and was this avoidable? Second, who or what was responsible for the circumstances that put MG Rover in such a precarious position, and what critical choices sealed the fate of Rover?
MAHA UK Limited reached a milestone in UK growth when it received its 500th order for a truck brake tester at the recent CV/AT Show. The sale of MAHA truck brake testers in the UK has grown from only 1 sold in 1997 when MAHA UK started trading, to more than 500 in the UK market today.
MAHA UK now claims the position of market leader when it comes to truck brake testers and has recently won the tender to supply brake testers to VOSA for roadside testing. MAHA is the preferred supplier to Scania worldwide and MAHA UK also supplies truck brake testers to all the leading truck manufactures and bus companies throughout the country. MAHA has even supplied a truck brake tester to a workshop in the Shetland Islands.
Commenting on the development Gus Gregory, managing director of MAHA UK said: “The growth of MAHA truck brake testers must prove we have the best product, backed up by a nationwide service department.”