Conti names ex-Hella exec Frank Petznick as head of ADAS
Frank Petznick (49) will take over the management of Continental AG’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) business unit and become a member of the Management Board of the Autonomous Mobility and Safety business area on 1 August 2020.
Strong focus on agriculture during Covid-19 lockdown – Apollo Vredestein
Apollo Vredestein tells Tyres & Accessories that it has focused strongly on the agricultural sector of the market during the Covid-19 lockdown. Although some of the wider company’s employees were “placed on furlough leave,” its agricultural team was kept functional with some home working facilities provided by the company. Just prior to UK entering lock down, Apollo Vredestein’s UK team, anticipating what had already happened in other European countries, doubled UK stock levels of agricultural products, as reported by Tyres & Accessories. This was also supported by transfer of resources in manufacturing and administration to allow continued agricultural tyre production in the factories.
Bridgestone subsidises training to assist customers ramp up post-lockdown
Bridgestone is providing supported training courses aimed at getting commercial customers back on their feet following lockdown. During the third quarter, the company’s comprehensive range of accreditations – which helped secure three National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) staff training awards in the past five years – are to be offered at heavily subsidised rates to dealers for the first time. By providing the wide range of qualifications, Bridgestone hopes to re-engage with - and empower - technicians and ensure its network of commercial partners provide a premium service when answering fleet calls.
Continental offices raided in emissions scandal investigation
On Wednesday (July 1, 2020), the public prosecutor and Police searched various Continental locations in Hanover, Frankfurt and Regensburg. The searches are related to investigations into the so-called defeat device used by Volkswagen in its diesel engine emissions management system.
Nexen names Edwin van der Stad vice president OE Europe
Dutchman Edwin van der Stad has been appointed as vice president OE Europe at Nexen Tire. Van der Stad brings 30 years of experience and premium level OE management with him to the Korean tyre manufacturer. Prior to joining Nexen, van der Stad spent many years with Bridgestone. Van der Stad’s new role took effect in March.
Workers leave Michelin Dundee factory for final time
Workers at Michelin’s Dundee plant are leaving for the final time today as the manufacturer ends its half-century of operations in the city. The final Dundee-made Michelin tyre was produced on 23 March, as the Coronavirus pandemic interrupted the planned closure of the site. The Unite union agreed to the early end to production, with Michelin honouring all wage commitments until the final closure date, 30 June. The 2018 decision to close the factory was informed by the rapid increase in consumers’ preference for lower-cost alternatives within the smaller size range the factory was equipped to produce. Michelin supported efforts to find employment for staff at the factory, including the relaunch of Michelin Development, which aimed to create hundreds of jobs in Dundee and Angus.
First, analysts warned in mid-May that Conti’s R&D budgets and European tyre factories could face cuts. Then the Hannover-based tyremaker responded by saying it is “intensively” monitoring European tyre demand and production. By June the CEO was warning staff of job cuts. Nevertheless, despite such clear challenges facing the wider automotive industry and beyond, the company is still advancing innovative solutions to the very complex problem. Colleagues at our German sister-publication, Neue Reifenzeitung, which can be found online at reifenpresse.de, found that the so-called “Corona bridge” concept is at the forefront of Conti’s work to address the adverse conditions and save jobs.
Shares in Hankook rally as Cho Hyun-bum becomes largest shareholder
Chairman Cho Yang-rai has sold his 23.59 per cent stake in Hankook Technology Group Co Ltd to his son Cho Hyun-bum. The sale makes the chief executive the largest shareholder of the parent company of South Korea’s largest tyre manufacturer, with around 42.9 per cent.
Ligue de Football Professionel (LFP), the body which governs the French football leagues, officially presented the new identity of the 2020/21 Ligue 2 season this month. And, from 1 July 2020 it will be called Ligue 2 BKT. The title sponsorship agreement runs through to June 2024.
Yokohama Europe puts European distributors under Hiroyuki Shioiri’s chairmanship
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has expanded Hiroyuki Shioiri’s responsibilities for companies across Europe including Yokohama HPT in the UK. Effective 1 July 2020, is now Hiroyuki Shioiri Officer, President of Yokohama Europe GmbH, Chairman of Yokohama Reifen GmbH, Chairman of Yokohama Scandinavia AB, Chairman of Yokohama H.P.T. Ltd., Chairman of Yokohama Iberia, S.A., Chairman of Yokohama France S.A.S., President of Yokohama Austria GmbH, President of Yokohama Danmark A/S, President of Yokohama Suisse SA, President of N.V. Yokohama Belgium S.A. Prior to this appointment Hiroyuki Shioiri was Officer, Head of Corporate Planning Div., Chairman of Yokohama Europe GmbH.
Bridgestone buys iTrack Solutions from Transense Technologies
Bridgestone has bought iTrack, which provides tyre management solutions for the off-the-road (OTR) market, from UK-based Transense Technologies Plc. All employees of the iTrack Solutions business will join Bridgestone as part of the acquisition. No financial details have been released.
Erich Fric becomes Goodyear managing director consumer Europe Central
Following the news that The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has appointed ex-Brisa and Bridgestone executive Hakan Bayman as president of Goodyear’s consumer tyre business in Europe, it has emerged that former Goodyear Dunlop UK MD, Erich Fric has been appointed as Goodyear managing director Europe Central. Both appointments are effective 1 July 2020.
Goodyear names Hakan Bayman as president of European Consumer Business
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has appointed ex-Brisa and Bridgestone executive Hakan Bayman as president of Goodyear’s consumer tyre business in Europe, effective 1 July 2020. Bayman will be based in Brussels and report directly to Chris Delaney, president Goodyear EMEA.