Michelin’s third quarter financial report for 2011 has shown total net sales of 5.1 billion euros and nine-month total sales of 15.2 billion euros, figures that represent positive changes of 10.6 per cent and 17.3 per cent for their respective periods. Sales volumes were up 9.3 per cent, allowing the French giant to proclaim its results “solid” and to reaffirm “that growth in sales volumes should trend towards eight per cent by year end.” The company noted the “slower momentum” of the third quarter, particularly noticeable in the passenger car and light truck tyres segment, which was up only 5.9 per cent to 2.7 billion euros in the quarter. Michelin also said its “pricing policy added 10 per cent to nine-month sales growth”, offsetting “the full-year impact of higher raw materials costs”.
Hankook Tire has established an additional subsidiary in Europe. The opening of the company’s Polish branch in Warsaw is in keeping with the growing demand for Hankook tyres in the European markets. “Thanks to our new subsidiary in Poland we are now also able to provide full service to our partners and customers in the 6th largest tyre market in the European Union. This is in-line with Hankook’s strategy of close market and customer proximity to provide optimal tyre solutions, developed and produced with the very latest in market-specific and innovative technologies, to meet regional requirements and demands,” explains Hee-Se Ahn, vice president for marketing and sales Hankook Tire Europe.
Westlake Tyres, which are manufacturer by ZC Rubber (China largest domestic producer and number 10 in the world), has confirmed that it will exhibit at next October’s Brityrex International exhibition in Manchester. The latest news is being interpreted as a real boost for the 2012 Brityrex exhibition as ZC Rubber is a fast-growing international player with annual sales in 2010 of more than US$ 3 billion.
Continental Tyres has appointed Tracey Hyem as commercial marketing manager. Hyem is no stranger to Continental having been with the manufacturer eight years. Initially joining as marketing communications manager, she then moved into a role as brand manager for passenger car tyres – a position she held for five years – before taking up her current role as marketing manager for Continental’s commercial vehicle and industrial product lines.
Point S and Independent Tire Dealers Group, a US-based organisation that represents more than 350 independent tyre and automotive service locations across 27 states, have announced they will make a “special announcement of global proportions” at the SEMA show in Las Vegas tomorrow. No further details regarding the announcement’s content have been made public, yet tomorrow’s statement should finally shed light on comments made by Point S Development director Jürgen Benz in April; at the time, Benz reported plans for the France-based operation to hold concrete negotiations with potential network partners in the US, and he stated he was “firmly convinced that the first Point S flags will soon flutter in North America.”
Although Continental Tire the Americas only announced in May plans to expand its Mt. Vernon facility in the US state of Illinois, five and a half months later the first tyres from the project were produced, ahead of the anticipated start date. “I am very proud of our great team here in Mt. Vernon,” said vice president of manufacturing Benny Harmse. “Our team worked diligently to ensure the success of this expansion project and it was not only on time, but actually ahead of schedule. Their diligence resulted in the early production of the first tyres from this expansion. This is helping us with the important task of meeting our customers’ demands for Continental and General brand tyres.”
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning that many of Britain’s roads will become more hazardous for motorists as the frosts and local council cuts bite. In spite of the last two winters of severe cold, snow and ice, many councils are planning to cut back on winter road services, including salting. The suggestion is that this could lead to more accidents. Last year there was a 37 per cent increase in the number of cars overturning in snow and ice, according to the IAM.
Michelin Tyre has announced the appointment of former Wedgwood and Austin Reed customer service specialist Mike Lawton as its new commercial director of agriculture, responsible for the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Lawton joined Michelin’s UK operation, based in Stoke-on-Trent’s Campbell Road, in 1999. He will replace Rob Beddis, who is retiring at the end of the month, after seven years in the role.
According to a recent study commissioned by Kwik-Fit, as many as 1.9 million part-worn tyres may have been purchased by UK motorists in this past year – and many more drivers would contemplate buying them. The study of 2,024 UK adults, carried out by ICM Research in September 2011, not only showed that the aforementioned six per cent of car owners fitted part-worn tyres to their vehicles; it also revealed that as many as 19.3 million motorists, or 62 per cent of car owners, would consider buying part-worns.
In order to diversify its shareholder base and attract a greater number of American investors, Pirelli & C. SpA is launching a Level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programme for the United States market. Pirelli has nominated J.P. Morgan as the depositary bank to manage the ADRs when the programme goes operational; this is expected to occur on or about 2 November 2011. Each Pirelli ADR (CUSIP 724256201) will correspond to one Pirelli & C. SpA ordinary share traded on the Milan stock exchange.
Continental’s HSR2 regional tyre range has been expanded by the addition of three new sizes. The German tyre maker has launched the HSR2 XL front axle tyre in size 385/65 R 22.5 for axle loads up to ten tonnes plus sizes 315/70 R 22.5 and 315/80 R 22.5, which offer an axle load of up to eight tonnes. All new sizes have been designed with the coming generation of Euro 6 truck engines and their heavier exhaust gas treatment systems in mind.
Amongst the exhibits at the upcoming Agritechnica show in Hanover, Germany will be the largest agricultural radial ever produced. This behemoth of the farm is Firestone’s new DT23 in size IF850/75R42. Manufactured by Firestone in the USA, the giant DT23 is designed for the latest generation of 500 plus horsepower heavy tractors. With an overall diameter of 2.32 metres, the DT23 has an 850/75 section/aspect ratio and rim size of 42 inches (107 centimetres). It weighs 510 kilograms and has a load capacity of 9.5 tons at speeds of up to 50 km/h when inflated at 1.6 bar.
Bridgestone Corporation has announced it will donate 50 million yen (£408,000) to assist flood-stricken regions in Thailand. The Japanese manufacturer’s operations in Thailand – Bridgestone runs ten manufacturing facilities there – will also donate funds and food to the value of approximately 3.4 million yen to further aid for those affected by the disaster. Upon announcing these aid measures, the Bridgestone Group expressed its “sincere condolences to those who have suffered from the flood” and wished the nation of Thailand a rapid recovery.
Kumho Tire USA has issued the 99th individual tyre price hike in the US and Canada this year, planning to raise prices by up to 8 per cent on its passenger, light truck/SUV and medium truck radials tyres, reports Tire Review.
Continental AG chief Elmar Degenhart has said the company will target above-average profitable growth in BRIC countries, especially in China and other Asian countries, Tire Review reports. In a recent visit to India, Degenhart, executive board chairman, stated that BRIC countries are at the centre of focus for the company‘s growth strategy.