Jim Parker retired on 18 November 2011 after 37 years in the tyre industry. Parker initially joined Kleber in 1974 as a tyre fitter for its competition department. During his time at Kleber, he took on various job roles including being in charge of the day to day running of the competition department and attending most major rally and race meetings, assisting the tyre manufacturer to six consecutive years of winning the production saloon car and production sports car championships. According to the company, Jim Parker was instrumental in the development of the radial race tyre, which was used intensively on tarmac rally events.
As of 1 January Marc Preedy will take over from Nigel Sowerby as Goodyear Dunlop’s Commercial business unit director for the UK and Ireland. In announcing the customer strategy manager’s promotion, Goodyear Dunlop states the appointment “recognises Marc’s major contribution to the business since his recruitment just two years ago.”
Taiwan-based tyre makers including Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. and Kenda Rubber Industrial Co., are expected to see substantial growth in earnings in the first quarter of 2012 due to declines in raw material prices, particularly natural rubber. Furthermore, according to Taiwan Economic News, the European sovereign debt crisis means tyre manufacturers have slashed inventories to get rid of the risk in the prices of stocked goods.
Momentive Performance Materials Inc., has announced its collaboration with Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. on the development of Enasave Premium tyre, which earned the best rating (AAA) for rolling resistance under Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association’s (JATMA) labelling system. Launched at the Tokyo Motor Show, 2-11 December 2011, Enasave Premium is Sumitomo’s flagship tyre in its fuel-efficient tyre range.
Cooper Tire’s keeping mum about the progress of negotiations linked to its Findlay factory, but the union representing workers offers comment on the ongoing saga almost daily. The United Steelworkers reported today that solidarity events in support of the locked out Findlay workers are being planned across the US, and it also shared that workers at Cooper’s recently-acquired ex-Trayal plant in Serbia have already pledged their support and demanded the company end the lockout.
The recent easing of rubber prices was understandably welcomed by tyre manufacturers, yet it represents no panacea for the industry; other costs, notably for energy, continue their upward trend. In India, these issues are accompanied by a weakening rupee. Financial daily the Business Standard reports that despite a 15 per cent fall in natural rubber prices, India’s tyre makers are facing ever tighter operating margins.
In the four and a half years since Hankook Tire’s Rácalmás plant in Hungary entered production, the facility has produced a tyre or two. In fact, the company shares that the 25th million tyre rolled off the production line in November 2011 – and the facility’s current capacity means it will take only half this time to manufacture the next 25 million tyres.
November appears to have been a good month for original equipment passenger car and light truck tyre shipments in Russia. In their monthly market updates, Michelin and Pirelli respectively report a 2.9 per cent year-on-year decline and 3 per cent growth for this segment in Europe – the main difference being that Pirelli’s figures include Russia, while Michelin’s do not. November results for Russia alone were not published by either company. According to the French tyre maker replacement market volumes for the month decreased 2.1 per cent year-on-year, while its Italian counterpart reports the decline as only 1 per cent. Year to date, Michelin estimates the growth in the European passenger car OE and replacement markets as being 6.9 per cent and 7.0 per cent respectively, while Pirelli gives a lower figure of 4 per cent for both.
Pascal Couasnon is to take over as director of the Michelin Group’s Competitions Department upon Nick Shorrock’s retirement on 2 April, 2012, the tyre maker has announced. The 50-year old, who joined the Michelin Group in 1987, currently holds the position of director of technical and scientific communication in the company’s Communications and Brands Department, a role he commenced in 2010.
Even as a few hundred residents of Findlay, Ohio and locked-out Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. workers held a “community rally” this past weekend, Tire Review opines there may be some cracks appearing in the stalemate between the USW union and the tyre maker.
The point S operation in Germany has released an official statement broaching the subject of Jürgen Benz’s unexpected departure from the company. In the German-language document, point S Deutschland GmbH says that on 7 December the company’s Board of Shareholders met with managing director Jürgen Benz and agreed that the two parties’ ideas regarding future collaboration differ too greatly, and thus by mutual consent it will end on 31 December, 2011.
Those who ‘soldier on’ throughout winter on two wheels need all the help they can in maintaining grip. Metzeler says its Feelfree Wintec is the first tyre conceived to allow scooter riders to use their two wheelers in every season, especially in the coldest months. The range was first introduced in 2007 for maxi scooters of up to 650cc and the tyre maker has now added a number of new sizes.
TecDoc launched the Tyredata option to its Catalog parts identification system in May 2011 and it has reportedly been well received by many of its Web Shop customers. However, TecDoc has now added extra functionality so users can search by tyre size as well as by the vehicle.
Tyredata was originally developed to provide fast fits, workshops, factors and car dealers with a single source electronic catalogue that would efficiently identify the original equipment (OE) tyre fitment for a specific vehicle. As with many of the replacement parts supplied throughout the aftermarket, individual tyre manufacturers produce their own catalogues for their specific brands, which although they may contain some cross-reference information, don’t directly identify the OE tyre.
Gebhardt from Bavaria has presented anew tyre rack aimed at tyre manufacturers and wholesalers. ECOTIRErack is entirely manufactured in Germany in domestic production and is designed to feature optimized exploitation of cargo space (a 20 per cent higher exploitation of cargo space for the transport of empties) and high quality.
Getting things done quietly has never been Titan International's strong suit, so the fact the firm apparently bought out two companies back in September may come as something of a surprise. Tire Review reports that Titan acquired tyre and retread mould maker Ohio Machine & Manufacturing Co. and wheel production equipment maker Automation International Inc. Both deals closed in September, according to chairman and CEO Morry Taylor, who disclosed the deals during a 13 December telephone presentation to financial analysts.