The Sumo Firenza is reportedly steadily increasing its sales performance in both the UK and European tyre markets and is now considered to be increasingly favoured as a highly competitive choice in the truck tyre sector of the market.
During the past eighteen months Sumo Firenza have exhibited at many international tyre shows throughout Europe introducing its truck tyre range and the UK has proved to be a particularly successful market for the brand which is exclusively distributed throughout the UK by West Midlands based tyre company International Tyres and Trading.
The appointment of International Tyres was made following an extensive survey of the UK truck tyre market with Pat Berriman, Sumo Firenza’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing stating: “We believe International Tyres are able to provide a good trading balance of a professional business profile with impressive national distribution facilities and we are very confident that between the two companies Sumo Firenza will continue to gain momentum in the UK truck tyre sector.”
Tym International has continually improved its truck tyre sales in the last five years, by an average of 41 per cent. This year the company proudly boasts that Triangle brand sales are already up 72 per cent on 2006. Another key part of the company’s offering is its range of Matador truck tyres, which company representatives say can be sold on “name, reputation and quality.” The Matador portfolio starts from the 205/75R17.5 through to 385/65R22.5. The company produces three patterns on most sizes in both drive and steer fitments to meet the needs of customers.
Four years ago, Tym International was invited to discuss importing products produced by the Triangle Tyre Corporation. Like Matador, Triangle’s range is said to be comprehensive to the needs of the UK.
TYM is the only UK company to sign a three-year agreement for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Steve Eke (General Manager) informed Tyres & Accessories: “We at TYM International are continually impressed with the level of commitment Triangle has and with that and the depth of knowledge they have on their products, it is no surprise that the company, indeed the whole of the Chinese economy, is thriving the way it is.”
When asked how an Italian company ended up with English sounding name, the team at Butler reply that the moniker its founders agreed upon back in 1988 expresses one of their goals – to take a different and better approach to client service. And from their premises near the supercar mecca of Modena the company set out not only to provide a high level of service, but also to manufacture workshop equipment they hoped would turn upside-down a number of established ideas about the design and construction of these machines.
Nearly twenty years later Butler still adheres to these principles. The company’s acquisition by the Sa.Mi.Ro. Group in February 2006 has strengthened Butler’s position in the global equipment market and enabled it to continue offering customers a wide range of Italian manufactured equipment. This commitment to retaining production locally and within the Sa.Mi.Ro. Group has been reinforced by the construction of new a new purpose-built 20,000 square metre facility – more than double the size of the existing premises – in the nearby town of Rolo. Butler will transfer its operations to the Rolo site in the first half of 2008.
Michelin North America, Inc. has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Oliver Rubber Company, the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company tread rubber and retreading equipment subsidiary, for $69 million. The acquisition is subject to final due diligence as well as Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice approval. Following the acquisition, Oliver will operate as a subsidiary of Michelin North America, Inc.
According to an official statement on the subject: “This acquisition will complement the manufacturing capability and service network of Oliver with that of the Michelin Retread Technologies (MRT) network, enabling Michelin to extend its reach in the growing commercial retreading market. In 2005 Michelin announced a major expansion of its tread manufacturing facility in Covington, Ga. and, earlier this month, the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Mexico.”
Net income of 66.7 billion won (£35.7 million) has seen second-quarter profit for South Korea’s largest tyremaker increase by 52 per cent. Hankook Tire reported in a regulatory filing that the quarter’s sales also went up, by 8.2 per cent to 559.2 billion won (£300 million). The increased focus on the more lucrative high performance tyre market has been credited as a factor in the company’s positive results. Hankook’s overseas operations have also played a role.
Hankook expects to boost net income by 36 per cent this year to 226.9 billion won (£121.6 million), largely thanks to exports and higher OE sales to luxury vehicle manufacturers.
(Rubber Asia) The China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) acts as an advocate for more than 800 companies operating in the fast growing Chinese market. Recently the organisation’s chairman, Ju Hongzhen, spoke about the current state of China’s rubber industry and what contribution the CRIA hopes to make towards guaranteeing its long-term future.
What is your assessment of the rubber industry’s performance during 2006?
The rubber industry registered healthy and orderly growth in 2006. Rubber production received a boost and large companies as well as large groups emerged as unmistakable winners out of the stiff market competition.
In recent years rubber consumption in China has been on the rise annually. In 2006, it touched 4.5 million tonnes. Natural rubber consumption was 2.1 million tonnes and synthetic rubber 2.4 million tonnes. As for the rubber industry in terms of tyres, in 2006 Chinese radial tyre output grew by 60 per cent, registering a 5 per cent increase over the previous year. Passenger radials and light truck radials produced by foreign manufacturers continued to lead the market, with their market share reaching 70 per cent. Chinese tyre manufacturers are also gradually expanding their market share through the launching new products.
2007 has been an exciting year in the development of Pirelli’s commercial vehicle tyres, company representatives told Tyres & Accessories. Originally designed for the long haul sector of the market, the Amaranto series’ success has led to the extension of SATT technology and enabled Pirelli to develop a new range of tyres for regional haul.
Designed for 17.5” rims, the new FR85 and TR85 Amaranto are due for release in the second half of 2007. Key features of these new products are said to be: excellent mileage; optimum grip; increased tread width; reinforced sidewalls to resist impact; improved tyre integrity and prolonged tyre life.
By extending the existing range of Amaranto tyres into 60 and 70 series; and with the introduction of the new FR85 & TR85 17.5”, Pirelli is aiming to establish a firm foundation on which to build, enabling the future production and development of the highest quality tyres for the transport industry.
Maxxis is continuing to put its 22.5 inch truck tyres through a rigorous testing programme, working with a number of leading UK fleets to establish performance and PPK (pence per kilometre) figures and casing value. “We’re another year down the line with our road tests and the results to date have been extremely positive, exceeding our expectations in a number of areas,” says Maxxis International UK’s managing director Derek McMartin.
“When we launch the full range, Maxxis truck tyres will compare favourably with the current market leaders by offering operators quality, reliability and value for money, and we should be able to report more in the not too distant future.”
The Maxxis range of 22.5 inch tyres is available in steer, drive and trailer applications in sizes 10R22.5, 11R22.5, 12R22.5, 275/80R22.5, 295/80R22.5, 315/80R22.5 and 385/65R22.5.
(Akron/Tire Review) Titan International posted record first half sales of $436.6, up 22 per cent from the same period last year, but dropped only $2.5 million in net profits for the period, down from a $14.2 million net profit in the first half of 2006.
Titan said its total sales for second quarter 2007 were $210.3 million, up 20 per cent from the $175.2 million in sales posted for the second quarter of 2006. Net income for the quarter was $5.0 million, down slightly from 2006’s $5.6 million.
“The second quarter has been very exciting for Titan,” said Maurice Taylor, Titan’s chairman and CEO. “Our sales are up, as they should be from last year’s acquisition. We are expanding our OTR business and adding new OTR products by expanding capacity in Freeport, Illinois. While this is happening in Freeport, certain farm tyres are being transferred to our Des Moines facility.”
(Rubber Asia) Shanghai Tianyee Tire has effected a revolution in leak-proof tyre technology by developing the Tianyee Tyre, a Chinese version of safety tyre which can replace run-flats.
The technology involved is characterised by a 2-3 mm thick layer of synthetic rubber, known as memory polymer, coated on the inside wall of an ordinary tyre. Once a foreign object pierces the tyre, the memory polymer coating will envelop it entirely so that the tyre will not leak. When the foreign object is removed from the tyre, the memory polymer coating will automatically block the hole. As a semi-solid layer, the memory polymer coating helps the punctured tyre remain leak-proof at 20- 100 ° C. Shanghai Tianyee Tire recently showed off the unique properties of the tyre at the 4th China International Automobile & Modified Car Show.
The un-audited financial results released by JK Tyre & Industries Ltd for the quarter ending June 30, 2007 – the third quarter of India’s financial year – reveal good news for shareholders and paint a picture of a company in a strong position.
Revenues of Rs 8,178 billion (£100 million) were recorded for the quarter and the company reported EBIDTA of Rs 725.3 million (£8.8 million), up from the Rs 444.9 million (£5.4 million) achieved last year. Pre-tax profit rose to Rs 312.3 million (£3.8 million), a huge jump from a year ago when profits before tax stood at Rs 56.1 million (£683,700). The earnings per share for the quarter stands at Rs 6.56 (£0.08).
(Akron/Tire Review) The United Steelworkers and the Carlyle Group have reached agreement on a new five-year contract covering the four engineered products plants Carlyle is planning to acquire from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The contract paves the way for completion of the sale agreement between Goodyear and the investment group. The contract covers some 1,600 workers at plants in St. Marys, Ohio; Lincoln, Nebraska; Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; and Marysville, Ohio.
According to India’s Economic Times, tyre companies in the subcontinent plant to invest around £670 million in their operations over the next two or three years. The financial daily reports that this sizable sum will be spent by a number of players including MRF, JK Tyre, Apollo, BKT, Ceat, Birla and Bridgestone. Birla alone is reportedly spending £120 million, while Ceat is said to be making investments worth £97 million and JK Tyre £45 million.
Such a large investment is expected to increase industry turnover from its current £2.3 billion up to £3.9 billion, and much of the increase may come from the production of TBR tyres. While radialisation in the passenger car sector has reached over 95 per cent in India, TBR market penetration remains a paltry 2 to 3 per cent.
Michelin’s European ‘Fill up with Air’ campaign is coming to nine UK locations, the NTDA has reported. The roadshow will enable motorists to have their tyres checked and the pressure adjusted for free. DfT statistics show that 6 per cent of all fatal motorway accidents in the UK are caused by under-inflated tyres. In addition, driving with your tyres under inflated by as little as 8psi causes a three per cent increase in fuel consumption. If everyone pumped their tyres up to the correct pressure, UK motorists would save an estimated £1 billion a year in fuel costs.
Michelin’s ‘Fill Up With Air’ roadshow has been running in Europe for a number of years and offers drivers the opportunity to have a free tyre health check conducted by technical experts from Michelin. The roadshow will take place in the following locations:
Ashford 25/26 July
London 31 July/1 August
Banbury 2/3 August
Liverpool 7/8 August
Manchester 9/10 August
Hull 14/15 August
Stafford 16/17 August
Edinburgh 21/22 August
Oxford 28/29 August
A ‘big manufacturer’ has teamed up with Robson Asset Management (RAM), a private equity company established by former Royal Bank of Scotland finance chief Jeremy Robson, to bid for National Tyres and Autocare. According to the The Times, RAM is leading in the £100 million auction. However, Reuters has reported that there was interest in the auction from Phoenix Equity Partners-backed Nationwide Autos, PAI Partners-controlled Kwik-Fit and Graphite Capital-supported Micheldever Tyre Services.
Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone narrowly missed out on a bid to purchase Kwik-Fit two years ago. Bridgestone representatives continue to be silent on the deal, explaining that their policy is not to comment on speculation. However, Michelin already owns the UK’s largest tyre retail equity, Goodyear Dunlop has put all its efforts into developing its HiQ franchise and Continental is unlikely to about face and re-buy the company it sold as a loss-making business in 2002 – leaving only Bridgestone as a likely contender.
Earlier reports had suggested that Nationwide Autos had already made a bid for National. When news of the National sale broke earlier in July, Micheldever executives flatly denied they were bidding for the company. Kwik-Fit representatives refused to comment in relation to the auction.