Biomass-based butadiene a world first – Yokohama Rubber
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has announced a global first, the development of a technology for efficiently producing butadiene from a biomass. It achieved this breakthrough via the ‘Bio-monomer Production Laboratory’, which the company established jointly with Riken and Zeon Corporation.
USTMA honours Goodyear & Michelin for injury prevention efforts
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has awarded Michelin North America, Inc. and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company with 2021 Innovation Awards. In the technology category, USTMA honoured Goodyear for its Goodyear motion capture app that performs ergonomic risk assessments. USTMA recognised Michelin for its ‘Bib Bow’ stretching initiative in the culture category.
Pakistan: Chinese tyre makers doubled market share in 2 years
According to authoritative Pakistani newspaper Dawn, Chinese manufacturers now hold an 85 per cent share of the country’s car tyre market, up from 40 per cent in 2018. It also reports that Chinese tyre makers have increased their share of the light truck tyre segment from 40 per cent to 65-70 per cent during the same timeframe, while their share of the truck/bus tyre market has risen from 40 per cent to more than 75 per cent.
Ceat increases shareholding in Indian portal Tyresnmore
Tyre maker Ceat Limited has raised its shareholding in Indian online tyre retailer Tyresnmore Online Private Limited to 44.17 per cent. Ceat paid Rs 24 million (£234,000) to acquire an additional 3.47 per cent in the company.
Jinyu’s Vietnamese tyre plant has produced its first TBR tyre. The milestone for the new facility caps nine months of intense construction, as the project team of Jinyu (Vietnam) Tire Co, Ltd overcome multiple challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic. The facility includes 19 buildings over 130,000 square meters, containing 894 pieces of equipment. The production of the first tyre at 10:08 on 30 March 2021 marks the completion of the production line and lays a solid foundation for the start of volume production in May.
BKT’s Denis Piccolo heading ETRTO agri sub-committee
The ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) has appointed Denis Piccolo chairman of its agriculture sub-committee. In this role the product manager for off-highway tyre specialist BKT is tasked with consolidating the ETRTO’s position and official feedback on requests regarding agricultural tyres. He is also responsible for the data published in the Technical Manual (Standard Manual) and in Engineering Design Information, which contain ETRTO’s official indications for the agricultural sector.
Transaid picked for project to improve public transport provision in Lusaka
Transaid has been selected by the sustainable transport planning and research consultancy, ITP, to support the development of a road map for providing improved public transport services in Lusaka, in a major new project funded by the World Bank. The Zambian capital is one of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, with its metro area population growing by nearly five per cent annually for the last 20 years. Yet it remains almost entirely reliant on minibuses for intracity public transport, supported by a smaller number of buses and taxis.
A ceremony was held on 5 April to commemorate the start of work to build the KamaTyresKZ tyre factory in Saran, Kazakhstan. The plant, a joint venture between Russia’s Tatneft Group and the Kazakhstan-based AllurGroup, is being set up at a cost of US$284 million. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2022 and the facility will be capable of producing 3 million passenger car tyres as well as 500,000 solid steel cord tyres a year.
China’s State Council approves ChemChina, Sinochem restructuring
On 31 March, Pirelli & C. S.p.A. received a notification letter from China National Chemical Corporation Ltd. (ChemChina) stating that ChemChina had received a notice regarding its restructuring and that of Sinochem Group Co., Ltd., (Sinochem Group) from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), a commission of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China.
Yokohama Tire opens 430,000sqft distribution centre in Texas
Yokohama Tire Corporation will open a new 430,000sqft distribution centre in Wilmer, Texas in summer 2021. The company will first distribute Yokohama’s OE tyres from the facility, about 15 miles southeast of Dallas, followed by passenger car/light truck and commercial truck/bus products in 2022. Yokohama operates three other distribution centres in the US: Chino, California; Groveport, Ohio; and Auburn, Georgia.
GRI’s GREEN X Circle connects rubber and crop farmers in Sri Lanka
GRI has held the latest in its series of events organised through its GREEN X Circle initiative. GRI’s Monaragala, Sri Lanka event brought together natural rubber and rice farmers to show their connectivity. Both farming communities are key stakeholders in the GRI value chain, the Sri Lankan speciality and agricultural tyre manufacturer states. The initiative’s purpose is to foster connectivity and collaboration between the two farming ecosystems while placing emphasis on sustainability principles.
Sailun enhancing commercial tyre production across manufacturing footprint
The Sailun Group is ramping up production at its plants in China and Vietnam. The manufacturer brought its newest truck tyre plant in Shenyang, China onstream in November 2020, giving it an additional 3.3 million units of all-steel truck radial capacity. In addition, Sailun plans to invest RMB 719.9 million (£81.3 million) to upgrade production at recently acquired manufacturer Shandong Anchi Tyres in Weifang, giving it the capacity to produce 1.2 million truck and bus radials and 6 million high performance passenger car and light truck tyres a year. Most recently, Sailun confirmed plans for the third phase of expansion at its Sailun (Vietnam) subsidiary.
The “Ever Given” logjam highlights tyre price increases pressures
As the April edition of Tyres & Accessories went to press, the story of the Ever Given – the 400-metre long container ship that got wedged in the Suez canal – was getting a surprising amount of news coverage. The spectacle of a ship the length of four football pitches was enough to capture the attention of many. For others, the anecdotes of tenacious tug pilots and plucky digger drivers trying to free the gargantuan vessel from its unscheduled moorings did the trick. But for those in the tyre trade – and hundreds of other lines of work connected with global logistics – there were solid business reasons for their interest. “How many boxes have you got on the Ever Given?”, one tyre wholesaler asked. “It’s times like this…”, the other comically replied leaving the rest of his reply to the imagination.
Versalis, Bridgestone co-developing high performance tyre elastomers
Enis chemical company Versalis and Bridgestone EMIA are jointly developing raw materials for high performance tyres following an agreement between the firms to collaborate. Versalis, a leader in the production and marketing of elastomers, had previously formed a strategic partnership in North America. Developing this relationship in the EMIA region, the two companies will research, production and supply of synthetic rubber with advanced properties.
Test World gearing up for introduction of European Ice Grip Label
Ahead of May’s introduction of the new-style European tyre label, Test World has begun ice grip testing for customers at its facility in Ivalo, Northern Finland. The existing 3PMSF ‘snowflake’ symbol indicates that a tyre is suitable for both Central Europe and Nordic countries, but Test World says that, in reality, the technical demands of these two markets are very different. Nordic winter conditions are typically far harsher than in Central Europe, with more snow and ice on the roads.