Bridgestone receives ‘Prime’ ISS ESG Corporate Rating
Bridgestone Corporation has gained a ‘Prime’ designation in the ISS ESG Corporate Rating, with an effective date of March 2021. This is the first occasion that Bridgestone has received a Prime rating from ISS ESG.
Goodyear begins ‘new era’ as FIA World Endurance Championship partner
Goodyear’s inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaign in 2020 was the prelude to a new era for the brand in the series. Goodyear is an official championship partner supplying every car in the LMP2 prototype category this season, which begins at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, on Saturday 1 May with a six-hour race. In its comeback season to top-level motorsport, its first action at this level in two decades, Goodyear’s tyres were victorious in Shanghai and Bahrain, and achieved a memorable double podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
BKT becomes LGT World Women’s Curling Championship presenting sponsor
BKT has become presenting sponsor of the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship. Contested on 30 April at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Canada, the World Curling Federation event is the second to receive BKT sponsorship; the OTR and agricultural tyre manufacturer was the title sponsor of the World Men’s Curling Championship in Calgary between 2 and 11 April. BKT said the number of curling enthusiasts has grown significantly worldwide over the last two years and the sport is particularly popular in key markets for the brand, like Canada’s rural population.
Goodyear-Cooper takeover gains Chinese antitrust approval
Goodyear’s US$2.8 billion takeover of Cooper has passed a significant milestone, following the deal’s approval by antitrust authorities in China. According to official filings, the merger between Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company was approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on 23 April 2021.
Yokohama has sold its Hamatite automotive and construction sealent business to Swiss company Sika Group AG in a transfer that is scheduled to be completed on 1 November 2021. Yokohama hasn’t released exactly how much Sika is paying for the Hamatite business, but management expects to post a gain on the sale of about ¥5 billion (£33 million; 38 million euros; US$46 million – after tax). However, the exact amount is said to be “subject to change”.
Continental announces plan for Aachen site – production ending in 2022
Tyre production at the Continental plant in Aachen, Germany will cease at the end of next year, if not earlier. This is one of the outcomes of talks between the company and representatives of Aachen plant employees. Continental has also published details of upcoming retraining programmes.
European EV battery producer, InoBat announces first CV partnership
European electric vehicle battery developer and producer, InoBat Auto (InoBat) has today announced a landmark agreement with SOR, one of the largest producers of city and intercity-buses in Central Europe, with the intention to design, develop and supply batteries for a new urban, intercity and long-distance electric bus fleet.
Continental announces preliminary data for Q1 2021
The Continental Group has released preliminary key data for Q1 2021 ahead of issuing its quarterly statement on 6 May. This preliminary data indicates that Continental achieved consolidated sales of 10.259 billion euros during the quarter, 3.5 per cent higher than the same period of last year, with an adjusted EBIT margin of 8.1 per cent.
Sales of Michelin tyres were 7.5 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier. This rise in sales volumes was driven by 20 per cent year-on-year market growth for truck tyres in the first quarter of 2021 and nine per cent market growth for car and light truck tyres.
Bridgestone acquiring mining tyre management system supplier
Bridgestone is to acquire the Otraco OTR tyre management solutions business from Downer EDI, continuing its growth strategy. The acquisition will be made by the number one tyre manufacturer’s group company, Bridgestone Mining Solutions Australia Pty. Ltd. Bridgestone said the acquisition will accelerate the growth of its global mining solutions business and expand the company’s service network in key markets such as Australia, Chile and South Africa. Bridgestone wants to complete the transaction, valued at 79 million Australian dollars (approximately £44 million), by the end of 2021.
Prometeon increases margin to 13.6% as ‘turnaround’ officially ends
Prometeon Tyre Group (PTG) has declared its two-year turnaround process over and underpins this with its recently-released annual results for 2020. Giorgio Bruno, chief executive officer of Prometeon Tyre Group and Gregorio Borgo, chief operating officer, state that the “turnaround path is ended” and that PTG is “stronger and more resilient,” having been able to “improve margins, protect cash and strengthen asset structure, despite the pandemic.”
Kwik Fit pilots Kwik Fit Club tyre subscription scheme
With the launch of Kwik Fit Club membership, the UK’s largest tyre retail has become the latest to offer a tyres-as-a-service style wheel and tyre subscription offer. Initially, the Kwik Fit Club service is being piloted in the North West and Yorkshire regions, with a national roll out to follow this summer.
Kwik Fit Club membership sees drivers pay a monthly subscription which covers all their tyre wear, including repairs and premium tyre replacement, wheel alignment and six-monthly health checks. They also have the option to include their MOT and servicing costs. Drivers can join the programme and keep track of their subscription through an app, and although they can nominate a ‘home garage’, their membership can be used at any of Kwik Fit’s 600-plus centres across the country.
Michelin validates Carbios plastic bottle to tyre recycling technology
Every year, 1.6 billion car tyres are sold worldwide in total. The PET fibres used in these tyres represent 800,000 tonnes of PET per year. With regards to Michelin alone, this represents nearly 3 billion plastic bottles annually. That’s why the France-based global tyre maker has been looking for ways that bottles can be recycled into technical fibres for use in the company’s tyres. Now, the company has validated that Carbios’s enzymatic process does exactly that, giving Michelin a step forward in its sustainability plans. Indeed, Michelin describes the development as “a major step towards developing 100 per cent sustainable tyres. Michelin has successfully tested and applied”. Michelin is committed to achieving 40 per cent sustainable materials (of renewable or recycled origin) by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.
Tyre industry suppliers Nynas, Cabot and Evonik amongst top EcoVadis ratings
Upstream suppliers to the tyre manufacturing industry Nynas, Cabot and Evonik have received some of the top ratings in the 2021 EcoVadis auditing process. Specifically, these three firms all ranked in the top 1 per cent of their peers, earning platinum status. Meanwhile, carbon black supplier Birla Carbon received the EcoVadis’ gold accreditation.
Air Premia selects Michelin as exclusive tyre supplier
From its base at Seoul Incheon Airport in South Korea, Air Premia will soon start operating regional flights to Vietnam (Hanoi) and Japan (Tokyo), with plans to fly intercontinental routes in the coming years. By 2024, Air Premia aims to have a fleet of ten Boeing 787-9 aircraft fitted exclusively with Michelin tyres. The Air Premia-operated Boeing 787-9 planes will be equipped with Michelin Air X tyres featuring patented Near Zero Growth (NZG) technology.