Less than 24 hours after Joe Biden was sworn-in as the 46th president of the USA, “Trump, the presidential limo and its tyres” – first published in August 2020 was amongst our most popular stories of the day. Of course, in normal circumstances we don’t spend too much time considering presidential limousine fitments. However, “Trump, the presidential limo and its tyres” was a follow-up story to the well-documented Twitter bust-up US president 45 (Donald Trump) had with Goodyear. With this in mind, it is worth looking at what we know so far about the Biden presidency from a tyre perspective.
Brexit, Covid and shipping cost increases point to tyre price hikes in 2021
After months of mounting pressure on UK ports, the automotive industry is bearing visible signs of strain. Specifically, Honda UK halted production at its Swindon factory in December 2020 because it couldn’t get the right parts in time to continue production. But the ramifications don’t end there. General UK tyre supply is likely to be impacted too. And the result of the Brexit and Covid market pressures as well as shipping cost increases are likely to result in tyre industry price hikes during 2021.
Using technology to create efficiencies in mobile tyre service
One of the most pronounced effects of the pandemic on the tyre retail business has been the uptick in online and mobile tyre business. RubberHub, a Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) project originating in Canada, launched its beta product in 2019 and went fully goes fully live this month (February 2020), with followers and test users already hailing from around Canada, the USA and the UK. Tyres & Accessories found out more from RubberHub Inc. president and founder, David Mulensteen.
India: Tyre makers’ operating profits to exceed pre-corona levels
According to S&P Global’s CRISIL Ratings, the tyre industry will be one of the few sectors in India where operating profits surpass pre-crisis levels. Examining its rating of the country’s six leading tyre manufacturers, CRISIL forecasts that their operating profit will grow by six to eight per cent in the 2021 fiscal year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021), with favourable input prices and higher realisations helping to offset a four to six per cent decline in volumes.
Vietnam Rubber Group to expand tyre and tube production
Vietnam Rubber Group says it achieved its revenue and profit targets for 2020, reporting profit of VNĐ5 trillion (roughly US$200 million) on sales of VNĐ25.477 trillion ($1 billion), according to the Vietnam News Agency. As a result of these figures, the company reports that its goals include restructuring and increased investment in the rubber sector with possible mergers that would help close the rubber tyre and tube products value chain.
Vietnam-based tyremakers could be “cleared” by US anti-dumping investigation
Vietnamese officials have interpreted the US Department of Commerce (DOC) anti-dumping investigation preliminary conclusions as “very positive” for Vietnam-produced car tyres. There was even hope that cooperative Vietnam-based tyre manufacturers Local newspapers read this mean Vietnamese tyre factories had been “cleared” by the investigation.
GRI breaks ground on phase 2 of $100 million speciality tyre plant
GRI has laid the foundation stone for the second phase of its $100 million manufacturing facility in Badalgama, Sri Lanka. The plant, in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone will expand production of speciality tyres as global demand for its products grows. The company has been expanding rapidly since its $40 million-plus investment in the “world-class” manufacturing facility, inaugurated in 2018. Phase two will include a new mixing facility, expanding the original plant by the end of 2021.
Kumho Tire has the distinction of being the only tyre manufacturer to be honoured with a 2020 China Red Dot Design award. It gained this accolade via the Kumho Majesty 9 Solus TA93, an asymmetric tread summer tyre it adapted specifically for the Chinese market.
Continental extends ContiOnlineContact to OTR and agricultural tyres
Continental has expanded ContiOnlineContact digital online dealer portal to include OTR and agricultural tyres. Continental reports that the portal now lists the entire Off-The-Road (OTR) and agricultural tyre portfolio.
Ferentino tyres, the spiritual children of Marangoni
Following the official opening of the Ferentino tyre factory in Sri Lanka last week, a closer look reveals that the company has even more in common with its European and particularly Italian colleagues than it first appears.
As we reported in January 2017, Onyx Group subsidiary Ceylon Steel bought Marangoni’s car tyre radial processes, technological know-how and production line from Marangoni Group subsidiary a few years ago.
$250 million Ferentino tyre factory opens in Sri Lanka
Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.
Versalis and AGR make tyre-derived product development agreement
Versalis, the Eni-owned elastomer-maker, and AGR, a devulcanization specialist, have signed an agreement to develop products and applications of recycled rubber. According to the two companies, the aim of the November 2020 agreement is to pool their expertise to develop elastomer-based products made from granulated rubber from post-consumer products in order to meet the circular economy needs of manufacturers of tyres and other rubber products.
Sailun boosting Vietnam production to meet demand in Europe & North America
During today’s extraordinary shareholders meeting, its first of 2021, Sailun Group confirmed plans for the third phase of expansion at its wholly-owned Sailun (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. subsidiary. Over a three-year period, the company will invest 3.01 billion yuan (£340.1 million) to equip the site with the capacities to produce 3 million car and light commercial vehicle tyres, one million truck and bus radials, and 50,000 tons of off-the-road tyres per annum.
GRI supports rubber farming communities with Green X Circle
GRI recently held two outreach events with some of the natural rubber farming communities it works with. The events were held under GRI’s Green X Circle initiative which supports Sri Lanka’s farming communities and the country’s vibrant agricultural industry. Identifying a need for extra-curricular sporting activities and equipment for school children in the area, the company distributed cricket, volleyball and badminton equipment to selected schools in Monaragala, Sri Lanka.