(Akron/Tire Review) Toyo Tire & Rubber Co has reorganised its entire North American operations under a new umbrella company – Toyo Tires International – that will oversee all of its manufacturing, distribution and sales and marketing efforts in the US, Canada and Mexico.
The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has announced the 2005 inductees into the Hall of Fame. These are Eugene Beck Jr., president of Beck Tire International and John Sieff, retired president of S&M Tire Company and Mr. Tire Service.
This year an additional category – that of “Historical Contributors” -has been added for individuals, living or deceased, who have been out of the tyre industry for at least 20 years. There are four inductees; Fernley Banbury, inventor of the Banbury mixer, Theodore Smith, founder, president, publisher and editor of the India Rubber Review (now Tire Review) and Marius Mignol and Pierre Bourbon of Michelin, inventors of the radial tyre.
ArvinMeritor have introduced a steel monolith into the construction of their competitively priced range of EuroCat replacement catalytic converters.
ArvinMeritor’s Catalytic Converter Sales Development Manager, Ian Hesp, said “We are responding to the needs of the garage trade who are crying out for a more robust product. It’s become increasingly clear that ordinary catalysts, using a standard ceramic monolith, are fragile.
Corporate image and brand awareness have always been regarded as important by those involved in marketing. In the fiercely competitive automotive industry getting potential customers to instantly recognise a company’s products and services is a key factor to securing more business.
Four members of Truck Point, the network of independent truck tyre dealers, won awards at the first-ever Truck Point conference. The awards were made by major customers that use the tyres and services on offer from Bridgestone and the Truck Point network.
Chris Deevey, head of purchasing for Ryder Europe, presented the Ryder award to Glyn Cainey, of Dexel Tyres, saying that the company had exhibited levels of service “second to none” and had been pro-active in reducing Ryder’s costs and downtime.
(Akron/Tire Review) According to CBS MarketWatch, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company late Monday filed to raise $350 million in a convertible bond offering. The offer consists of 4 per cent convertible senior notes due in 2034 and shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of senior notes. Goodyear said proceeds of the deal will go to selling stockholders including the Calamos Growth & Income Fund, Citigroup and Aristeia International Limited.
According to Group Tyre, Maxxis is fast becoming one of the most highly regarded ‘premium budget’ brands in the UK. Chairman, John Church, commented on the development: “In the last two years, we have invested major resources in developing the Maxxis brand in the passenger car, 4 X 4 and light truck sectors, promoting its quality and value-per-mile attributes, which have clearly resonated with trade and retail customers alike. These initiatives have assisted in creating a firm foundation of distribution outlets, for the brand in the UK, and we can confirm that the initiatives will continue, as we look forward to further developing the Maxxis brand.”
Bridgestone is urging tyre dealers across the UK to better understand the implications of fitting run-flat tyres. Despite continuing investment in the technology and an increasing number of run-flat tyres on UK roads, there have been reports of a lack of knowledge within the industry about how these tyres could and should be fitted.
10 years after the “dot-com” boom and bust, e-commerce technology is increasingly moving into the mainstream. Government statistics compiled at the end of 2004 show that 69 per cent of UK firms are now using broadband and that 30 per cent of micro businesses are trading online.
Furthermore when these numbers were calculated, the proportion of smaller businesses with websites went up 16 per cent compared with the previous year, bringing the total to 73 per cent. In the same period the number of businesses that saw the benefits of e-technology rose from 8 per cent to 53 per cent.
With this in mind Tyres & Accessories would like ask its readers what they think. How much of your business is handled using e-commerce technology? Click here to state your views.
As the automotive accessories industry grows and assumes even greater importance in both the U.S. and world markets, several automakers have made commitments to participate in the SEMA Show scheduled for November 1-4, 2005, in Las Vegas.
The event will be especially significant as 14 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brands – the highest number of OEM participants in SEMA Show history – will join with their partners in the specialty auto parts industry. In addition to OEM vehicle displays, the participating automakers will give SEMA members unparalleled access to technical data and a hands-on look at the vehicles that provide the basis for SEMA members’ products
As a relatively new market segment the ATV tyre sector is hard to define in terms of numbers. It is estimated that the UK ATV tyre replacement market lies between 40 to 60,000 tyres, but it’s difficult to qualify specific numbers when so few companies compile statistics. Despite this lack of information everyone involved in this area will tell you that ATV tyres, in particular the recreational types, are increasing and there is potential for much growth. Further opportunities within the segment are beginning to show themselves, giving wholesalers and retailers the chance to broaden their portfolios, but there are no realistic forecasts as to their expected success. Tyres & Accessories asks UK dealers whether the ATV tyre sector has the scope – volume and longevity – to become more than just another niche?
UK wholesaler, R H Claydon has, like every other ATV specialist, noticed an increase in sales of competition ATV tyres and believes that their volume will increase in the next two to three years. However, currently the utility side provides it with its volume sales, and the company expects this to remain the case, terming it a “drip feed” segment. According to the company’s corporate business manager, Dick Anderson, R H Claydon’s existing sales are split 90:10 (utility: recreational), but he expects this to shift in the future. Whether sales of recreational ATV tyres will ever equal that of utility the manager could not estimate, but he does believe that due to the sector’s following it will continue to grow for years to come.
Mr Anderson maintains that both the volume and longevity of the recreational ATV market are certain, but what about profit? R H Claydon broke into the ATV sports sector last year and has been joined by considerably more competitors since. The recreational ATV tyre side has, until now, been dominated by a small quantity of companies but the numbers are beginning to grow. “It’s a niche market,” claims the business manager, continuing: “however the profitability has been eroded to some degree over the last few years due to the increasing number of companies present in the market.”
David Williams, ATV department manager, Fieldens, agrees that there has been a significant increase in those involved in ATV tyres. “There was a time when only ATV centres dealt with the tyres however this has changed. Now there are many more companies offering the tyres, even retail chains, and if they don’t stock the tyre they will generally offer to find it for a customer anyway.” Both managers commented that the increasing number of ATV tyre brands on the market (especially those from China) has also had an affect on profitability. Dick Anderson added: “Margins on ATV tyres are acceptable, but have decreased as the tyre’s worth has gone down.”
If the individual profit of an ATV tyre has decreased then it is obviously important that overall volume does the opposite, and that new opportunities to make money present themselves to the wholesalers and retailers involved. According to Quad magazine’s Dave Bradford quadricycles have become a “sales sensation” in Europe and are becoming a more frequent sight on UK roads. This craze has therefore increased the need for street legal tyres; e-marked ATV rubber that offers a performance similar to a passenger car tyre. Maxxis UK estimates that currently 15 per cent of ATV tyres are used on road with the remainder used in off-road conditions. MD Derek McMartin also explained that street legal tyres have become a massive opportunity in America for the company and he expects the same to happen in Europe.
Because ATV tyres have changed in terms of usage over the last five years, the technology behind them has also had to change. ATVs initially raced on turf tyres until they became so popular that ATV racing rubber was developed. As well as that run-flats have been created for the utility sector, so both wholesalers and retailers are expecting big things when it comes to future street legal tyre development.
As far as the ATV specialists are concerned there are plenty of emerging opportunities within the segment for them to get their teeth into. But what they don’t want is every other retailer and wholesaler in the market to take a bite of the cake also! As far as the existing ATV tyre companies are concerned it is a specialist market and an area for the specialist dealer only.
“It’s very much a regionally specific market, and that makes it ideally a market for specialist farm dealers, or on the sporting side specialist ATV dealers,” maintains Mr Anderson. An ATV tyre sales person needs a “sound” understanding of the market to ensure they fulfil the needs of customer, agree both R H Claydon and Fieldens, inferring that it is not an area that simply any retailer can operate in.
According to Mr Anderson, forecasting an ATV tyre stock profile also complicates matters. “With ATV tyres you have to be able to offer a full range because demand can be very varied. It’s difficult to assess the stock profile because there may be eight or nine popular sizes in the utility segment and six in racing, but each range has its own popular fitments, and you want to be able to offer them all. We (R H Claydon) bring in our ATV tyres by container so we can offer a full range, even of the less common sizes, but not every company is in a position to do that. So it’s not an area that every wholesaler and retailer could get into.”
As both the ATV utility and recreation markets develop new branches the market certainly seems to have the capacity to sustain the expected future growth. But whether these new opportunities mature into long-term profits is difficult to estimate at such an early stage. The wholesalers and retailers certainly have faith in the niche’s permanence and future volumes, just as long as it remains that, a niche.
Deutsche Bank analysts are convinced that Continental’s US passenger car division has made losses of up to 200 million euros last year. The closure of Conti’s Mayfield facility was expected to have cost up to 120 million euros alone. Financial experts have abandoned hope for a noticeable and continuous growth. During 2005 the tyre manufacturer is expected to come up with an annual loss of about 100 million euros, says Deutsche Bank, meaning that the shutdown of the Mayfield factory didn’t have its expected positive affect.
ECI International has announced that it will run an exhibition in Southern Africa. Tyrexpo Africa 2006 will take place from 12 to 14 September at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
South Africa represents the biggest domestic market for vehicles in Africa, accounting for some 80 per cent of the continent’s production and constituting approximately 50 per cent of Africa’s purchasing power. It has the largest economy in Africa and has by far the largest and most dynamic automotive manufacturing, retail and aftermarket business environment on the African continent. South Africa’s population of 45 million and a growing tourism industry still represent the continent’s best growth prospects for increasing vehicle sales and aftermarket revenues.
Currently all the major OEM’s in the world are represented in South Africa with seven plants producing 13 brands. There are over 20,000 enterprises active in selling and providing aftermarket support for South Africa’s seven million passenger and commercial vehicles. The distribution of the national vehicle population is mirrored in the location of
Approximately 5,500 garages and filling stations with their associated workshops, 3,300 specialist repairers, 1,100 new car dealerships, 850 used car dealerships, 450 specialist tyre dealers and retreaders, 650 parts dealers and about 280 farm vehicle and equipment suppliers.
Tyrexpo Africa 2006 will be the only independent tyre trade event focusing on every aspect of the tyre industry. If you are a manufacturer or supplier of tyres, tyre equipment or fast-fit equipment, the show will deliver buyers and decision makers across the entire spectrum of the industry. Whether you are targeting retailers, wholesalers, end-users, tyre disposal firms, fast-fit outlets or the accessory trade, your future customers will be at Tyrexpo Africa 2006.
Months after the End of Life Vehicle Directive led to the banning of lead balancing weights for passenger cars in the EU, discussions on the subject continue in the US.
Most recently the US Tire Industry Association (TIA) issued a statement saying it applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) denial of the Ecology Center’s petition for a ban on lead wheel weights. EPA cited “insufficient data” as the reason they will not move ahead on a lead wheel weight ban at this time.