In its 2012 annual report, Indian manufacturer MRF Ltd predicts that the country’s domestic tyre industry will grow by eight to ten per cent in the current financial year (to 30 September 2013). This growth will most likely be accompanied by continued pressure on margins should cost issued not be addressed, it adds.
US-based speciality chemicals company Cabot Corporation has announced reaching “another key milestone” in its technology licensing agreement with Manufacture Francaise des Pneumatiques Michelin for use of Cabot’s patented elastomer composite technology in tyre applications. Regular royalty payments to Cabot have now begun and will extend through fiscal 2022.
Italian elastomer firm Versalis and guayule biomass specialist Yulex Corporation have announced the formation of a strategic partnership to manufacture guayule-based biorubber materials. Within the partnership, the companies will launch an industrial-scale production complex in Southern Europe.
Pirelli has launched a communication project for undergraduate, postgraduate and recently graduated students, offering the chance of a two-month paid work placement in Milan, in addition to publication in the manufacturer’s 2012 Annual Report alongside artwork by New Yorker cartoonist, Liza Donnelly. The brief presented by Pirelli is simple: find the most significant word that sums up the values students would like to matter most in their future. Pirelli will send the submissions, accompanied by the students’ explanations of their choices, to a jury in order to select the 10 most representative words. These 10 words, and the accompanying reflections, will then be interpreted by Donnelly, and printed in the 2012 Report.
One of the most recent graduates of Bridgestone’s “Tyre Genius” training course has been promoted to manager of Eden Tyre Sales’ (ETS) Ripley depot. The tyre manufacturer said Simon Rai, 26, demonstrates a wide range of core skills, as well as the ability to think on his feet, vindicating the decision to invest in his development.
Bridgestone has introduced the Racing Battlax V01 racing slick, a motorcycle tyre designed for novices and medium class riders for use on race circuits. The manufacturer says the new tyre has its technological roots in Bridgestone’s latest MotoGP compounds and contact area engineering, giving riders increased handling, cornering, and warm-up performance.
Michelin expects its business to gain momentum in China in the coming years, propelled by a fast increase in vehicle sales. This was the word from Philippe Verneuil, president of Michelin China, upon the opening of the company’s $1.5 billion factory in Shenyang. The facility’s opening has been reported by the China Daily, which writes that the Shenyang plant, Michelin’s largest factory in the world, has an annual capacity of more than 12 million car, truck and bus tyres.
Following single party negotiations, Micheldever Tyres has appointed BNP Paribas Real Estate as its principal supplier for rent review, rating and building surveying services. BNP Paribas said other services are likely to be required, including provision of an extranet and reorganisation of its estates records.
Crisplant, part of Germany’s Beumer Group since 2009 and today a leading global supplier of automated material handling systems, will launch its first automated material handling system specifically customised for the tyre production industry at next week’s Tire Technology Expo. Describing the new Crisplant Tire Tray Transportation and Sortation System, the company says it automates manual handling and provides traceability and tracking of individual tyres through every stage of the production process.
“By eliminating manual handling of tires throughout production, tyre manufacturers can enhance workplace safety and continually monitor and optimise process efficiency,” explains Crisplant managing director Klaus Schäfer. “In creating this new system Crisplant has used the same skills and expertise with which it has helped major distribution hubs worldwide, to transform their business to achieve lower operating costs and higher process efficiency.”
ATS Euromaster will continue to service The Queen’s tyres, having been granted an extension to 2018 of its current Royal Warrant. The agreement was recently reviewed by the Royal Household Warrants Committee and the approval was granted again as a result of the quality of ATS-E’s servicing standards and expertise, as well as the company’s social responsibility. Evidencing this, the Birmingham based company says it provided details of the work it has undertaken to reduce its impact on the environment, and its corporate social responsibility efforts.
December figures for new commercial vehicle registrations show that Europeans just aren’t buying at the moment. According to information supplied by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, registrations of light commercial vehicles within the European Union dropped 24.3 per cent year-on-year during the month to 103,254 units, while registrations of commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes decreased 22.8 per cent to 19,309 units and heavy trucks (16 tonnes and over) fared little better, decreasing 21.7 per cent year-on-year during the month to 14,267 units. Only bus and coach (over 3.5 tonnes) registrations provided respite from this downward trend, increasing 11.9 per cent year-on-year to 3,262 units in December.
During 2012 Continental sold some 20.1 million passenger car, 4×4 and van winter tyres in the European replacement tyre market, the company reports. This figure is approximately 300,000 units above what it sold in 2011 and was achieved despite a ten per cent drop in overall market demand. Altogether the company sold around 21.4 million winter tyres globally last year.
New research commissioned by Green Flag Breakdown reveals Brits have missed 51.4 million working hours in the last week as a result of the poor weather conditions. Over 8.5 million (18 per cent) British adults have been unable to work their contracted hours because of the adverse weather, costing employers an estimated £318 million.
"The shock rise in wholesale costs is just one of the reasons why the Petrol Retailers' Assocation (PRA) has been knocking on the door of the Office for Fair Trading (OFT), since this time last year, to demand a full investigation into the workings of the UK market for road fuel" said Brian Maddersion, PRA Chairman.
Managing director of Motor Wheel Service Distribution, John Ellis has presented expert testimony to the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) during last week’s (22 January) public hearing into the Roadworthiness Package. Acting in his capacity as director of the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA), Ellis presented an introduction and background to the issue, then called for five measures, most prominently the light regulation of the supply chain to enforce existing standards and improved inspection procedures across all EU member states. Ellis, who has pursued the issues confronting the safety of commercial vehicle wheels in the UK over the last few years, said his proposed changes would make for a “far safer” commercial vehicle sector without burdening CV operators with additional costs.