Federal-Mogul completes Honeywell Friction business purchase
Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation announced yesterday that its Motorparts division has completed the acquisition of certain business assets of the Honeywell Friction Materials business. The Honeywell Friction Materials business is headquartered in Glinde, Germany, with significant operations in Romania and China. With the business acquisition, Federal-Mogul Motorparts takes on the Jurid brand name.
Is Unipart Automotive being lined up for sale to Euro Car Parts?
With numerous sources reporting that loss-making parts firm Unipart Automotive is just days away from a rescue plan (which you might read as a sales of the company), and with at least three bidders being associated with the deal, fast-growing rival Euro Car Parts could be seen as a front runner. But first a little background. Following the initial news reports Unipart Automotive was close to calling in the administrators on 8 July, a day later minority shareholder Unipart Group clarified its relationship to Unipart Automotive:
Exide makes appointments, working to bring recycling plant back into operation
Exide Technologies’ Vernon automotive lead battery recycling plant in the US state of California has stood idle since March 2014, when the company was denied an extension to comply with a new air quality regulation (District Rule 1420.1 from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, or AQMD) that requires the plant’s furnaces to operate under continuous negative pressure from 10 April. Mothballing the facility saw 20 salaries employees and 104 hourly workers receiving temporary layoff notices. The company has now released a statement regarding the board’s approval of new orders and Exide’s plans in relation to the Vernon facility.
Continental to discontinue football World Cup sponsorship
According to a German newspaper, Continental plans to step down as a World Cup sponsor. The Hannoversche Allgemeine (HAZ) writes that in future the tyre maker intends instead to solely sponsor regional confederations, such as Europe’s UEFA. This change to the company’s multi-million commitment is also said to apply to the next World Cup. “We have nothing more to do with the coming events in Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022,” the newspaper quoted a Continental spokesperson as saying.
GT Radial quartet to cycle Le Mans 24 Hour for Marie Curie
A quartet of riders from GT Radial are to tackle the Circuit Bugatti in the Le Mans 24 Hour Cycle Race. Brian McDermott, country manager UK for Giti Tire, manufacturer of GT Radial; Ellis Hadley, senior test engineer; Martin Gibson, senior test engineer; and Bertrand Saint-Supery, OEM EU technical director make up the team who will be training hard and raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Reports on FT.com suggest that Unipart Automotive may be close to securing a rescue deal that will save the British car parts supplier from a bankruptcy that would put 1,500 jobs at risk. The company has filed an intention to appoint KPMG as administrators, but its owners are hopeful of reaching a deal for a takeover of the business from one of three shortlisted bidders.
Kumho US plant to specialise in original equipment tyres
As Kumho Tire announced on 1 July, construction of its facility in the US state of Georgia is recommencing after a seven year delay. The tyre maker says the first tyres will be produced in the US$413 million Macon plant in early 2016, and 100 per cent of the tyres manufactured there will be supplied to OEM customers. Kumho adds that when the 4 million tyres a year capacity plant is complete, the company’s overseas manufacturing capacity will be larger than its capacity within Korea.
It appears Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen may be looking to acquire US-based automotive parts supplier TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. A statement issued by TRW Automotive yesterday confirms that it “received a preliminary, non-binding proposal to acquire the company,” however the statement didn’t go beyond saying it was evaluating the proposal. TRW Automotive did not give any details about the interested party; Bloomberg named ZF Friedrichshafen based upon information it says comes from people with knowledge of the matter.
Russian petroleum industry colossus Rosneft reports the closure of its agreement to purchase a 50 per cent share in holding company Camfin S.p.A., which owns a 26.19 stake in Pirelli & C. S.p.A. This acquisition gives Rosneft a 13 per cent indirect share in the tyre maker and the right to nominate candidates for Pirelli’s Board of Directors – a right the company chose to exercise immediately. Five new Rosneft-nominated individuals joined the Board of Directors on 10 July, filling vacancies created by five resignations that were tendered that same day.
This month, online tyre dealer Delticom celebrates 15 years in the business. The company was set up in Germany on 2 July 1999 by former Continental sales managers Rainer Binder and Dr. Andreas Prüfer, together with internet expert Timon Samusch. Initial capital invested in the company was DM 60,000 (approximately €30,000 using the changeover rate), and turnover in the second half of 1999 amounted to DM 1.8 million. On 15 January 2000, the four-employee company (at the end of 2013 Delticom had 254 employees) launched its first B2C portal, the German-market reifendirekt.de site, and the following May it entered the B2B segment with autoreifenonline.de. At its absolute peak, Delticom received 600 orders a day in 2000.
40% of consumers don’t know what tyres are on their car
New data from Innocean Worldwide Europe suggests that low brand recognition levels in the European tyre markets mean challenger brands have an opportunity to step up and occupy increased market share. The research found that some 40 per cent of consumers have no idea what make of tyres is on their car – and almost half of buyers (46 per cent) spend less than five minutes in the decision making process before buying new ones. Therefore the study, which was published on 8 July, adds that because tyre brands are “failing to gain traction in the minds of consumers” this is a “golden opportunity for new challengers looking to shake up the market.”
Taiwanese manufacturer Federal marked its 60th anniversary with a gala party held in the Philharmonie Essen RWE Pavillon. Featuring its product range and long-serving and popular mascot Feddi at its Reifen 2014 stand, Federal’s diamond jubilee was described by chairman Jamie Ma as “just the beginning” in a speech given to business partners at the evening event.
Linglong partnering with IDIADA in China tyre test centre project
On 1 July Linglong Group signed a strategic agreement with IDIADA to partner in the construction of a central Asian tyre proving ground. The agreement was signed between Josep-Maria Farran, COO (chief operating officer) of IDIADA, and Wang Feng, vice president of Linglong Group, marking the start of this strategic cooperation.
Pelmar removing, selling equipment from Fort Dunlop motorsport tyre plant
At the end of May, tyre manufacture at Dunlop Motorsport’s plant in Birmingham came to an end, with car tyre production transferred to Goodyear Dunlop’s Hanau factory in Germany and motorcycle tyre production to the company’s Montlucon facility in France. While some of the machinery from the Fort Dunlop facility will be shipped to other sites, most will be sold off; the Pelmar Group reports that it has been appointed to dispose of equipment from the plant.
Gaither Tool debuts new corporate branding, extends Bazooka range
Gaither Tool’s new corporate imagery made its European debut at Reifen 2014, with the Jacksonville, Illinois company’s European office also showcasing the all-new XL Smart Cart and extended Bazooka product range.