CM Manzoni SpA, the Italian rubber compound supplier, is reportedly considering opening a plant in eastern Serbia from which it would supply raw material to Pirelli & C SpA’s tire factory in neighboring Romania. News sources reported the news citing Serbian publication Vecernje Novosti, which itself quoted municipal officials in Zajecar.
Snap-on Equipment has introduced an updated version of its popular wheel alignment guide. The guide aims to simplify the complex subject of wheel alignment, aiming to put jargon, such as “toe-in” and “toe-out” into plain English and introducing the latest alignment technology with detailed information and illustrations.
While most of the western world celebrated New Year at the end of December, both China and South Korea were making plans for their celebrations at the start of February, based on the lunar calendar. Back in 2010 Nexen Tire Corporation announced plans for a 1 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) investment in its largest factory yet in Changneyeong in the same region as its first plant (Yangsan), which along with the company's second plant in Qingdao, China, continues to expand. Just before the oriental entrance into the new decade, Tyres & Accessories had the opportunity to visit Nexen on its home South Korean and adopted Chinese territory and saw how the company is implementing its plans to become a US$2.5 billion company in the next five years.
Singapore based holding company Wealth Sea Pte Ltd has made an offer to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Dunlop India. The aim of this offer, which closes on February 7, is to acquire 1,43,96,575 shares in the company. Although Dunlop India is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange it is controlled to a large extent by the Ruia Group; through the Ruia floated Wealth Sea the group intends to increase its ownership share.
Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera has strongly ruled out the possibility of the new tyre supplier to Formula One favouring the team synonymous with Italian motor-racing Ferrari. However, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who struggled to make an impact in the 2010 season barring an unedifying incident when he allowed title-challenging teammate Fernando Alonso to usurp his position at the German Grand Prix, hopes the new tyres’ characteristics will help him regain some lost form in what will be a pivotal season for the Brazilian.
Goodyear Dunlop’s James Bailey is joining a new Brussels based team headed up by the company’s EMEA communications director Tom Delforge after accepting a promotion to the newly-formed role of director, brand PR for the company’s Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. In his new position, Bailey will promote the Goodyear and Dunlop brands throughout the various EMEA markets; his brand-focused position complements that of fellow team member Jens Völmicke, previously brand and product PR manager at Goodyear Dunlop Europe. In the new role of EMEA region Corporate Communications director Völmicke will be involved with communications involving Goodyear Dunlop as a company, covering a range of subject areas including corporate responsibility and sustainability.
Birmingham-based Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has appointed Marcus Hancock as technical director. Hancock has 21 years’ experience in the tyre industry and joins Dunlop from Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe, where he was general manager for the company’s European Technical Centre with responsibility for overseeing all product development for the region. The company’s former technical director Martin Pye has moved into a new role as head of original equipment sales. He will seek to strengthen Dunlop’s relationship with, and secure new business from customers, including airframers and landing gear manufacturers.
On January 31, India’s Aditya Birla Group disclosed it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Columbian Chemicals Company from One Equity Partners, the merchant banking arm of J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. Aditya Birla has purchased One Equity Partners’ equity in Columbian Chemicals through its associates Alexandria Carbon Black Company and Thai Carbon Black Company Limited, along with SKI Investment, an Aditya Birla Group company.
Maxxis has announced that it will take its MA-Z1 Drift tyre onto the European drifting circuit, with the sponsorship of reigning European Drift champion Mark Luney in the SATS Cosworth team. The SATS Cosworth Supra combines the drifting expertise of the SATS Motorsport team with an engine capable of pushing over 800bhp provided by Cosworth. Mark Luney, who has won the championship two years in a row and was also a contender for the title of Maxxis British Drift Champion in 2010, has signed to drive the car over the course of the year at major championships both in the UK and across Europe.
Germany, like many western nations, has an aging population. This creates challenges for employers wishing to retain their skilled workforce in operating environments that require physical strength and endurance. Continental AG is one such employer, and to tackle this situation it studied the workplaces of 25,000 of its employees within Germany with a view to adapting the jobs carried out to the varying needs of its staff. After completing this study Conti introduced what it calls the “workplace traffic light”, a system of identifying workplaces that are suitable for workers of any age (green), those in need of improvement (amber) and workplaces that are not age-diverse (red). One of these three colour designations has been given to each workplace following a profiling that includes the physical strain involved, concentration requirements, lighting conditions, noise, vibrations, draughts and temperatures. Continental reports that a total of 25 to 30 per cent of the industrial jobs at its sites within Germany are undergoing a redesign to enhance their suitability for older workers.
The first retread product in Bridgestone’s Ecopia truck tyre range has been released through the company’s European Bandag dealer network. The M749 highway drive pattern was released as a retread in January 2011 and utilises the Ecopia casing, which Bridgestone says contributes around 60 per cent to the tyre’s rolling resistance qualities. In announcing the introduction of the M749 retread, the tyre maker commented that “by making the M749 Ecopia available as a retread, Bridgestone can now offer long-haul operators the double benefit of cost savings over the full tyre life and a reduction in the ecological tyre print of the fleet.”
Michelin has reported the success of the maiden competitive appearance of the Michelin Desert Race tyre on the 2011 Dakar. Last Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina Spanish rider Marc Coma and his MRW Rally Factory Team-run KTM and Frenchman Cyril Despres with Team Red Bull KTM finished first and second respectively, both having run on the new Michelin tyre. The tough 9,500km event included 5,000km of against-the-clock action over some of Argentina and Chile's most difficult tracks and trails.
Walmart Canada plans to invest $500 million to add 40 new supercentres, expanding the company’s presence into Manitoba and Quebec, reports Tire Review. The new stores, which will carry groceries and general merchandise, including tyres and automotive service, will be the result of a combination of renovations of existing stores, relocations and the construction of new stores. Details about the stores’ specific locations have not been released.
Marangoni Tread North America has added Presti, AmerSeal, and Counteract products to its supplies and accessory line, which includes envelopes, sealing rings, cushion gum, envelope lube, J-hooks, tire paint and buffing blades, reports Tire Review. MTNA is also adding new Gaither Tool selections to support fleet tyre maintenance needs with a variety of environmentally-friendly product options.
UK two-wheel tyre distributor Bike Tyrestore has announced a new round of price increases from manufacturers Continental and Sava. Continental motorcycle and scooter product prices are to increase by a figure reported to be around 5 per cent. Sava, continues Bike Tyrestore, will implement its price increase selectively on the back of the continuing rise of raw materials costs. Both brands will sell at the increased prices from 1 February, 2011.