In Malaysia, Titan Chemicals Corpn. Bhd has won a contract from the Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd. to supply butadiene; the raw material used to make synthetic rubber. The operation will begin in 2007 and the five-year contract is worth an estimated 500 million Ringgits (US$ 132.8 million)
The European Commission has officially approved P.A.I Partner’s acquisition of Kwik-Fit, under the EU Merger Regulation.
The new owner of the fast-fit chain manages and advises dedicated private equity funds focused in different industry sectors, from food and food additives, water and waste management services to the production and sale of hydraulic clutch and brake systems and components.
UK garage services chain, Mr Clutch Autocentres, is set to undergo expansion after trials of its new franchise model have been heralded a “great success.”
Changes in the motor maintenance and repair sector led company directors to re-examine its positioning in the market and completely overhaul its franchise model.
Financial director Trevor Steel explains the decision: “Over the past few years, VOSA has tightened up on regulations governing MOT test centres and appears to be clamping down hard on those rogue back street garages it sees as flouting the rules.
Roadsafe has organised a ‘Tread Safely Week’ as part of the UK’s 3mm replacement campaign to take place from 3 – 9 October 2005. An information pack has also been issued in conjunction with this, urging motorists to change their tyres before they reach the legal limit of 1.6mm.
Tread Safely week will see Roadsafe undertaking targeted press activity, broadcast interviews and consumer roadshows to bring home the message of the importance of checking tyre tread depth and considering taking action to replace tyres which could underperform in an emergency situation.
The fall of Slovakian economic minister Pavol Rusko has cast doubt on Hankook’s plan to invest 500 million euros into a new tyre factory. The so-called “enfant terrible” of the government in Bratislava always supported Hankook’s strategy and even offered public subsidies of up to 20 per cent of the overall investment, despite the criticism he received over this commitment.
Just one day before Rusko was sacked by the Slovakian president, the prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda advised his minister to resign amongst allegations of “non-transparent credit transactions”, said a German media report. According to Slovakian analysts, it is likely that the policy of decreasing these incentives for foreign direct investments will continue under a new economic minister. Therefore, the Hankook deal does not appear to have a future. A decision was said to be due by 31 August.
Forbes.com has reported that Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd, Yokohama Rubber Co. and Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. plan to increase prices on their “synthetic-rubber tyres” by four per cent to seven per cent sometime this fall. While none of the companies has made a formal increase announcement, Forbes.com said Japan’s major chemical companies and companies that buy petroleum-based raw material are “scrambling to raise prices of their products” because of fast-rising crude oil prices.
Toyo representative Junko Koide confirmed that the company would increase its prices from the 1 October. The price increases were said to affect passenger car, light truck, and studless truck tyres.
The TIC’s tyre safety awareness campaign is once again taking up the challenge of raising through a series of tyre checks on the roads of the North West of England next month.
The four principle police forces in the North West – Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside – will combine with the council to mount a hard hitting campaign detailing the increased risk of having an accident, particularly in the wet, if a vehicle has worn tyres. Recent research by the AA Motoring Trust indicates that worn tyres contribute to one in ten accidents in wet conditions.
Continental has confirmed its plans to expand the ContiNetwork beyond mainland UK by appointing Modern Tyre Group as the ContiNetwork Partner responsible for the whole of Northern Ireland.
“This move facilitates ContiNetwork’s growth into Ireland and marks the first phase of complete coverage for Ireland,” said the company in response to the news. Modern Tyre Group will be joining a nationwide network of independent truck tyre dealers that provide local, regional and national fleets with tyre management services and rapid-response tyre breakdown assistance.
Continental has strengthened its position as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of original equipment tyres for passenger cars, claiming that one in four new cars leave the factory on Continental rubber. The international vehicle industry supplier can now boast a market share of 26 per cent.
The company ranks number four worldwide in the tyre business with vehicle manufacturers, says Conti, holding a 20 per cent market share in the NAFTA countries alone. In 2004 the manufacturer boosted volume sales to the global automobile industry by 12 per cent, and posted another five per cent gain in the first six months of 2005.
MotoGP is gearing up for action again with the Czech Grand Prix in Brno, Prague. The circuit has hosted motorcycle GP’s since 1987 and has always offered fascinating racing action. Bridgestone has conducted numerous development tests in Brno, and has always scored strong results at the Czech Grand Prix, such as fourth place in last year’s round. The German Grand Prix four weeks ago also marked a significant step forward in Bridgestone’s tyre development programme, with Ducati star Loris Capirossi clocking the fastest lap of the race, and with Kawasaki’s Shinya Nakano scoring a remarkable sixth place, only 4.5 seconds behind race winner Valentino Rossi.
Tyre technicians used the summer break to develop a choice of three or four different front tyres, and seven to ten different rear tyres for Brno. In order to satisfy the different demands of the riders and to cater for all possible weather conditions, a total of 1100 tyres were shipped to the Czech Republic.
The TIC has organised a Super Clinic, to be held at Manchester’s Trafford Centre, in a bid to raise tyre safety awareness. The two-day event is set to take place at on the 16th and 17th September and it is estimated that the clinic will receive some 170,000 visitors located in an arena that has an average footfall of 500,000 people.
Tyre safety checks will take place in the centre’s overflow car park. Batteries, windscreens, lights and wiper blades will also be checked. There will be an average of 40 staff members from the supporting companies and service providers giving expert advice on preventative maintenance, road safety and product information
The event will be filmed for the production of a five minute DVD and will be accompanied by outside radio broadcasts, PR to all local and national automotive media will also take place.
Amongst those supporting the TIC’s tyre safety checks is National Tyres and Autocare, ATS Euromaster, Exide Batteries, RAC, Auto Windscreens, Continental, Michelin, Trafford Metropolitan Council, Manchester Police Force and Manchester Fire Brigade. cma
The Michelin name has become an important reference for lovers of good food and the award of a Michelin star is the ultimate accolade for any restaurant.
Now the company has launched a scheme that aims to raise the bar when it comes to tyre retailing, with the establishment of Michelin Accredited Centres. In an effort to dispel the public’s image of poor facilities and poor service in the tyre trade, Michelin has come up with a set of performance standards for tyre shops and, to achieve recognition, Michelin Accredited Centres have to be independently assessed to meet these criteria.
Approved centres will display a distinctive signage and it is hoped that this will come to be recognised by the public as assurance that their purchase enquiries will be dealt with professionally. According to Michelin, “substantial investment” has been made by both Michelin and the retailers in order to create a clear level of integrity and trust – the key complaints in many automotive customer surveys.
Interstate Tire & Rubber Co. is to officially launch a new high performance tyre – the Interstate Sport IXT-1 – at Tyrexpo Asia, which is being held in Singapore from September 13-15. The new tyre will fit rims up to 18″ and the range contains all popular tuning sizes.
Cooper Tire is recalling several models of tyres in the US according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There is a concern that the tyres affected could lose air pressure causing them to run under-inflated and to wear prematurely says an American news source.
Up to 50,000 of its tyres may be unsafe says the NHTSA. The recall effects the following tyres: Trendsetter SE, Mastercraft A/S IV, Dean Alpha 365 A/S and Starfire Flite-Line IV Tires sizes P195/70R14 AND P185/65R14.
Cooper is offering to replace the affected tyres, which were manufactured between 21November 2004 and 14May 2005, free of charge.