At the start of 2021 GRI managing director Prabhash Subasinghe reflected on 2020 and shares his focus for 2021. Beginning with a reflection on the true meaning of resilience – something that is only put to the test only when you go through a year like 2020 – Subasinghe spoke proudly about GRI and the company’s home country Sri Lanka:
“I am humbled and proud of how resilient we were as people, a company, and a country. Our fortitude drove the way we interacted with society and the way we managed our relationships with our stakeholders. GRI showed an incredible amount of resilience in all facets.
Plant closure: Council wants Bridgestone to return investment
Last September, Bridgestone announced it would close its tyre production facility in Béthune, France during in 2021. The municipal council of Béthune-Bruay now claims the tyre maker didn’t fully honour the commitments it agreed to back in 2007, when the municipality contributed towards a 32-million-euro investment in the plant. It is therefore demanding that Bridgestone returns the subsidies it invested.
Pre-Q Galgo appoints Ron Elliott marketing manager
Pre-Q Galgo Corporation has hired Ron Elliott to be its marketing manager in North America. In his role, Elliot will be responsible for leading the marketing direction of the long-term growth strategy for the Pre-Q Galgo brand throughout the United States and Canada.
Tyrata, Inc. has launched Tyrata.io, a cloud-based data portal for its IntelliTread tyre tread monitoring products. Tyrata.io works in combination with Tyrata’s Drive-Over System (DOS) to provide direct tyre measurement and real-time tread wear analysis for large vehicle fleets. According to the company, the solution has no hardware cost and is deployed within hours with no impact to current fleet operations.
Dicastal’s forged and flow-formed magnesium wheels honoured
In December 2020 Dicastal’s forged and flow-formed magnesium wheel programme was honoured at the IMA Annual Award Ceremony. The wheel programme, jointly developed by CITIC Dicastal Co. Ltd. and General Motors, was awarded the 2020 Award of Excellence Process Category.
Chinese wheelmaker opens second production line in Morocco
Aluminium casting and automotive parts specialist, Citic Dicastal kicked off production at its second aluminium wheel factory in Morocco at the end of December 2020. With a budget of 350 million euros, the Chinese wheelmaker aims to double its capacity in Morocco to 6 million wheels and create a total of 1,250 jobs. According to local news reports, the Dicastal-made wheels are destined for vehicles made by the French OEM PSA Group as well as exports.
LafargeHolcim confirms it will buy Firestone Building Products in US$3.4 billion deal
The world’s largest cement maker, LafargeHolcim, has confirmed that it will buy Firestone Building Products from Bridgestone Americas in a US$3.4 billion deal. The sale is designed to enable Bridgestone to “strengthen investments in company’s tyre business and fast-growing mobility solutions business”, according to an official statement.
The ‘Falken says tanks’ promotional campaign is marking its tenth anniversary by extending into 2021. The tyre brand’s German customers will receive a prepaid card ostensibly for refuelling when they submit online their receipt for Falken winter or all-season tyres. The campaign was recognised with a German Design Award in 2020.
Linglong Tire’s Wang Feng an EY Entrepreneur of the Year
Ernst & Young has named Linglong Tire’s Wang Feng one of its entrepreneurs of the year in China. The tyre maker’s chairman and president was one of the ten award recipients at the 15th Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award China ceremony, which was held in Shenzhen on 18 December 2020.
Apollo launches e-commerce portal for car, motorcycle tyre direct sales in India
Apollo Tyres is selling car and two-wheeler tyres direct to customers in its domestic market. The company launched its e-commerce portal in India on 22 December, 2020. The site allows consumers to purchase tyres online and book an appointment with Apollo Tyres’ dealer nearest to their location to get the tyres fitted and serviced. The service is initially available in Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kochi. Apollo plans to expand the service to other cities across the country.
Winter is the season when Nokian Tyres comes into its own, which is fitting for the worlds northernmost tyre manufacturer, and the company is renewing its comprehensive and versatile range of studded winter tyres. At the beginning of 2021, Nokian is introducing its new flagship products: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 studded tyre for passenger cars and SUVs. A special new addition to this product family is a dedicated version for electric vehicles and hybrids. For the first time, Nokian Tyres is also introducing a model especially tailored for the Russian market: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10p studded tyre.
Initial automotive industry reactions to UK Brexit deal
Just before Christmas, the UK Government and the EU announced that they had thrashed out a no-tariff trade deal. Negotiations went down to the wire, but, a mere four and a half years after the UK voting to leave the EU, agreement was approved by both sides.
Michelin and Enviro to build joint recycling plant
USA approves anti-dumping duties on tyres from 4 countries
Anti-dumping duties as high as 98% may be applied to passenger vehicle and light truck tyres entering the USA from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on 30 December that it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of these products.