Goodyear Tire & Rubber has reported record sales and higher unit volumes for the first quarter of 2011 – and a net profit for the quarter. The tyre maker’s first quarter 2011 net income was US$103 million, up from a net loss of $47 million for the same period in 2010.
Last year a new name appeared in the UK tyre retail scene. At the start of June 2010 point S Development, together with UK Tyre Group, announced the establishment of a local point S network. At the time the UK based point S operation was the 19th national network to be set up in Europe (this number has since grown to 20), with the 50 or so outlets operated by the independent members of UK Tyre Group forming the new network’s initial core. At the time, UK Tyre Group directors shared with Tyres & Accessories that the plan was to increase this network to 100 outlets within two years. This has been achieved in half the anticipated time; after almost a year in the local market, Point S UK reports its plans are progressing very well.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber has called US$350 million of its outstanding 10.500 per cent senior notes due 2016 for redemption on May 27, 2011. The tyre maker intends to use net proceeds from its recent mandatory convertible preferred stock offering to fund the redemption. The redemption will result in savings to annualised interest expense of approximately $40 million, of which about $23 million will be realised in 2011.
According to Titan International chairman and CEO Maurice M. Taylor, momentum from the “outstanding” first quarter the company experienced should “carry over into future quarters of 2011.” Upon announcing sales of US$280.8 million during the three months to March 31, a 41 per cent year-on-year increase, Taylor reported continued strength in Titan’s agricultural tyre and wheel business plus growth in the earthmover and construction tyre business; this sector is, the chairman and CEO commented “really taking off and I believe it will strengthen throughout the year.” He further opined that Titan’s markets are “going to keep moving upwards over the next 18 months.”
Dunlop India has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange of the resignation of Pawan Kumar Ruia as chairman of the tyre maker’s Board of Directors. Ruia’s resignation took effect on January 31, however the BSE was not notified until April 28. The Ruia Group chairman retains his position as director of the company.
In late April Michelin celebrated the official opening of its first retreading facility in Russia. The opening of the retreading plant, located at its Davydovo new tyre factory near Moscow, has been described by Michelin as one of the most important steps in its long-term business strategy for Russia and the CIS. The tyre maker intends to invest some 10 million euros in the facility in the years up to 2015. The establishment of the retreading plant has created 50 new jobs at the Davydovo site.
The first quarter of 2011 will form a “solid foundation” for Continental Corporation’s year as a whole, the tyre and automotive component supplier reported at its annual shareholders’ meeting. The complete report for the first quarter won’t be released until May 5, however at the April 28 event, Continental reported a 20+ per cent year-on-year sales increase during the first three months to more than 7.3 billion euros. EBIT, at nearly 634 million euros, was around 140 million euros higher than in the first quarter of 2010.
The North of England and Scotland’s largest tyre collection firm, Envirotyre, has gone into administration according to various reports. Based on the Kingmoor Industrial Estate in Carlisle, the company provides tyre disposal services to around 1,500 tyre outlets across the region, and was the recipient of the 2010 TAFF Environment Award. Local news source, Carlisle’s News & Star says that the company’s administrators RSM Tenon is urging interested buyers to come forward for the company’s assets, valued at £1.822 million at the beginning of 2010. The company also possesses the UK licence for the Compactyre technology, a “patented, hydraulically-driven compactor that punctures and compresses a tyre to less than one-quarter of its original size”, making waste tyres easier to handle.
Dunlop has announced it will be the “Official Tyre Partner” for the 2011 Isle of Man TT races. Allan Bell MHK, minister for economic development commented: “The TT Races commercial programme continues to grow and it is fitting that in the year of the centenary of the Mountain Course, one of the companies that has become synonymous with the event has become a commercial partner.” Eddy Geerdink, Dunlop marketing director, commented: “Dunlop is delighted to become the Official Tyre Partner of the TT Races. The Mountain Course is one of the world’s toughest circuits and our success in the event over the years has provided us with excellent recognition for the performance and technology of our tyres.”
UK wheel alignment specialist Supertracker has announced the relocation of its headquarters from Sholing in Southampton to nearby Hedge End. The company said increased demand for its increasing product range was the main reason for the change of locations for its entire manufacturing, sales and administration operations. The new address is new and custom built, which will enable further expansion, according to managing director Trevor Lovesy: “Since our launch twenty three years ago, Supertracker has always maintained a policy of continuous improvement in both products and services through natural evolution and ongoing customer demands. Therefore moving to our new office and manufacturing complex – which gives us easier motorway access and interior layout possibilities – is the latest development in this process.”
Management at Point S Development – the France-based operation responsible for developing the international Point S network – have spoken of significant growth plans since late 2009. Many of their goals have already been realised and today Point S is represented by networks in 20 European countries, making it one of the region’s largest retail tyre organisations. With Point S now represented throughout much of Europe, Point S Development is casting an eye across the Atlantic. Plans for expanding into North America on the drawing board since 2009 are now being implemented in more concrete terms.
April 22 wasn’t a good Friday for the statue of Bibendum (the rotund white figure also known as the Michelin Man, in case you aren’t yet on first-name terms) gracing the entrance to Michelin’s Ballymena factory in Northern Ireland. The four-foot tall statue at the County Atrim plant was stolen in the early hours of April 22 and whisked away from the scene in an estate car. According to the BBC, the £2,500 local icon appears not to have left his post outside the Ballymena plant without a struggle, however – one of his feet remains in place.
Although this year’s CITExpo is still several months’ away, the organiser of the Shanghai-based show reports that nearly 200 exhibitors have already booked space. As a result, halls one and two of the Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center are already fully occupied and the organiser says the planned exhibition space in hall three is currently being “booked aggressively.” Reliable International Exhibition Services, the shows organiser, claims it is ready for this, the ninth CITExpo held, to be the largest ever – the 2011 show is expected to have a floor space of over 22,000 square metres and host major Chinese manufacturers plus international brands such as Cooper ChengShan Tire. The 6th Automotive Testing Expo will be held in the week following CITExpo.
Long established as a leading UK tyre distributor, and named Tyre Wholesaler of the Year at the NTDA Tyre and Fast Fit Awards 2010, Stapleton’s reports it has continued to place an emphasis on customer needs in 2011. This emphasis includes a focus on the company’s product portfolio and in ensuring the needs of both large and small van operators are catered for. The result, says Stapleton’s, is an even broader range that encompasses all van tyre sizes – including premium brands as well as a comprehensive range of mid-price and budget products. The company plans to continue developing its van tyre sector further still throughout the remainder of 2011 in line with its overriding ‘working for the customer’ philosophy.
After a two-year absence from the endurance racing calendar, the Le Mans Test Day was revived this year as part of the teams’ preparations for the 79th Le Mans 24 Hours – and Michelin reports that it and its partners profited from the eight hours of testing gained through it. The French tyre maker says its aim was to validate its latest ranges of tyres ahead of the French endurance classic, which will take place on June 11 and 12. The session provided Michelin and its partners with one of the year’s few opportunities to lap round the full 13.629 kilometre circuit, which uses roads that are open to ordinary traffic the rest of the year.