Marco V Molinari has been appointed executive vice president, HNI Corporation. Mr Molinari will continue as President, HNI International, responsible for international business, including HNI International, HNI Asia and the announced the acquisition of Lamex. Mr Molinari is responsible for driving aggressive profitable growth outside of the United States and Canada and will report to Stan Askren, chairman, president and CEO.
When the China International Tire Expo (CITExpo) opened its gates for the second time in 2004, it was already considered to be the potential Chinese tyre show of the future. It appears these estimations were well founded now that the third show in December has reached a size, which makes it the biggest show of its kind in East and South-East Asia. CITExpo even had to move into a different venue in order to accommodate its 150 exhibitors. Overall more than 5,800 visitors have registered with the organisers; two thirds came from abroad and the growing number of foreign exhibitors emphasises the increasingly open Chinese tyre market.
To the organisers of the China International Tire Expo the positive developments of the show have been much more than just good luck. “Most industry experts know our exhibition by now,” says Wilko Fong. The managing director of Reliable International Exhibition Services Co., Ltd., the organising company from Beijing, firmly believes that many of the current exhibitors have already taken part in earlier shows as visitors in order to find out how the land lies. Only now this wait-and-see-approach has actually paid off for the Shanghai CITExpo, with the latest event taking place in the Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center in downtown Shanghai.
At the end of last year the International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) organised its first conference dedicated to tyre related topics. As the name of the event suggests, it mainly dealt with intelligent tyre technologies – meaning run-flat tyres and tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). Participants were invited to take part in a day-long workshop immediately before the two-day conference with the first day completely focusing on new developments. The second conference day featured information about a wide range of different topics like for example tyre/road noise, chassis control and the design of alloy wheels.
Bridgestone Motorsport has announced that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Super Aguri F1 Team for the supply of Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres. The agreement will commence immediately and the team is expected to run for the first time on Bridgestone F1 tyres at a shakedown test in February.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company says it anticipates record sales of almost $20 billion (£11.27 billion) for 2005, with more than $4.9 billion for the fourth quarter. Despite this market analysts, Deutsche Bank, have downgraded their stock rating for the company to “sell.” In addition to record sales, segment operating income is expected to be up between 20 and 25 per cent from 2004.
The manufacturer says it expects fourth quarter segment operating income “to approximate the $238 million achieved in the prior year period.” After deducting $20 million in corporate and general expenses Deutsche Bank estimates consolidated EBIT will come in at “roughly $218 million, well below their $283 million estimate.”
For nearly three decades, the East Anglian company Bickers has been developing the Maxxis brand in a number of niche markets, including motorcycles and scooters, Moto-X, ATV and lawn care. Now, following the establishment of a joint venture between Maxxis and Bickers (Maxxis International UK plc), a concerted effort will be made to develop the brand – especially in the passenger car tyre and LCV markets.
Marco Mandrioli, will assume responsibility for Marangoni Retreading Systems and Materials sales and marketing in Europe, Middle East and Africa effective 1 February 2006. Marco Mandrioli, joined the Marangoni Group after 11 years of experience in marketing and product management at Olivetti and six years as marketing director of the Passini Group. In his new position Mandrioli will coordinate and oversee both Marangoni Tread and Ellerbrock commercial activities in Europe and will assume the position of managing director sales and marketing for the German subsidiary of the Italian Group.
Bridgestone UK’s sales force in the Midlands has been boosted by the appointment of Sally Whittall to the role of area sales manager, replacing Simon Davies who recently took up a new role as national account executive.
Whittall has worked at Bridgestone for the past five years as a pricing analyst in the marketing department, and is planning to use her marketing skills to bring a fresh approach to the sales team.
For Stamford Tyres the Chinese market is not new. There they have a local partner that produces some of Stamford’s private brands such as the Sumo truck tyre. Also, the new PCR private brand “Sumo Akina”, which will be launched by the end of this year, will be manufactured in China. China is becoming more interesting not only as a production base, but also as a potential sales market. China the giant is taking centre-stage for many wholesalers, including Stamford Tyres from Singapore.
Today marks the beginning of the gruelling eight-day 2006 Fulda Challenge. For the UK team, Kate Balchin (from Bagshot in Surrey) and Martin Yardley (from Portsmouth), this means battling the elements in an extreme sports competition in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
The female Metropolitan Police Officer and the Royal Marine PTI travelled to Canada last Friday to begin preparations for the event. They will compete against nine other countries – including Germany, Belgium, Austria and Canada – to win two Klondike gold nuggets and the title of 2006 Fulda Challenge champions. The punishing schedule allows no break for the team as they compete in a wide range of sporting events in temperatures as low as –50ºC.
Amtel-Vredestein NV has confirmed that it has sold its Krasnoyarsk tyre complex to a Russian company, Vostokshinainvest. The company previously disclosed its intent to dispose of the facility in an announcement on 22 December 2005. The Krasnoyarsk plant is a Soviet-era facility that primarily produces truck, agricultural and “C” segment tyres which do not fit the company’s current strategy of focusing on the production and marketing of high-margin A and B-segment tyres used on premium and mid-range passenger vehicles.
Apollo Tyres Ltd is to buy Dunlop Tyres International (Pty) Ltd (Dunlop South Africa) for US$62 million. The all-cash deal will see Apollo take on 100 per cent equity for 2.9 billion rupees (£37.3 million). The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in both countries, including that of the South African Competition Commission, and a number of conditions. The Durban, South Africa-headquartered company also owns subsidiaries in Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. The news follows speculation that Apollo Tyres was interested in purchasing Dunlop Zimbabwe.
UK Equipment Ltd., a fully-owned subsidiary of Snap-on Inc. is changing its name to Snap-on Equipment Ltd., in keeping with the corporation’s global identity. The name change will be effective as of 1 March 2006 and over the coming weeks all aspects of the company’s identity will change to Snap-on Equipment.
These are busy times at Beissbarth UK. First of all there have been two new additions to the Microtec wheel balancing range. The versatile Microtec stationary micro processor controlled wheel balancers feature nine different programmes for passenger car and light trucks up to 65 kilos, with two programmes for motor bike wheels.
Key features of the MT 825 Wheel Balancer include foot pedal brake to fix the balancing shaft, three alloy programmes, three special programmes and two PAX. There are two LED for imbalance direction indicators and two LCD for digital imbalance and status information. The 825 comes complete with an aluminium weight caliper tool for manual fitting of adhesive weights on the inside of the rim.
Kirkcowan-based Kings Coach Hire, located in Dumfries and Galloway, has completed a trial using a set of Michelin and Bridgestone tyres on two similar vehicles operating on virtually identical local bus routes.
The Michelin 17.5 inch XZE2 tyres were fitted to a 31-seat midibuses in March 2005, with the tyre performance on both buses closely monitored. The Bridgestone tyres were replaced after 48,000 km whilst, in comparison, the Michelin tyres are said to have already covered 89,000 km, with a further 4mm of tread remaining.