The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has visited InterKomShina JSC in Shymkent, South Kazakhstan. This company is engaged in the production of tyres for light vehicles and road freighters, agricultural machines and special equipment. InterKomShina claims to be the only tyre manufacturer in central asia.
Michelin representatives have appealed for information regarding the whereabouts of a Michelin Z BTO, which they say was stolen from service facilities during the recent Rally Japan. The incident reportedly took place at the Obihiro service park during the night of 1 October. As you might expect the manufacturer was less the impressed. “The Michelin Group considers acts of this sort to be extremely serious and unreservedly condemns such acts of industrial and technological espionage,” an official statement said implying that the tyre was stolen by a competing manufacturer.
Chinese Retreading Market Presents World of Opportunity
While much has been made about the enormous potential of the emerging Chinese tyre market, the opportunities go further than this alone. For every tyre that is produced and used in the People’s Republic there is a potential money-making opportunity for the retreading and collection aspects of the tyre business.
It is not overstating the situation to say there is huge potential for retreading in China. Currently around 265 million tyres are produced in China each year, across all segments. At the same time the domestic market’s 3 million vehicles currently demand 130 million tyres annually, according to a Hong Kong Trade Development Council report.
Iran’s vast oil-rich, semi-arid landmass stretches out across 1,648,000 square kilometres between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf in the south and the Caspian Sea in the north. Wedged between Iraq and Pakistan Iran is the 18th most populated country in the world with 67,503,205 inhabitants at the last count. Iran’s economy is marked by a great reliance on the oil sector, including petrochemical and natural gas.
The problems Continental faces in the US are more or less ‘homemade’. The problem is there doesn’t appear to be any solution available unless you call a total tactical retreat from the biggest market in the world a solution. In the event that this happens, it is more than likely that the company would call such a decision to cease selling tyres in the US a “strategic withdrawl.”
In 1987 the Continental group did not have the financial resources (and was later unwilling) to spend the amount of money necessary to build up the company’s Continental and General brands. Now the current management has to pay for all the shortfalls left behind by its forbears. Meanwhile, in the midst of all this the US-arm of the group’s tyre division is again going to the dogs with a loss of more than 100 million euros. Nobody believes that a turnaround will take place this year, even though CEO Manfred Wennemer and his colleague Martien de Louw have suggested time and again that it would.
OTR tyre supplier the Roesler Group is considering legal action after allegations of industrial espionage were made against competitor, the US-based Carpenter Co, in South Africa.
Tyres & Accessories has seen security tapes, which the Roelser group alleges show Carpenter Co executives, bribing their way into a Benoni, South Africa, tyre plant. Copies of the original footage are believed to depict executives touring the Quality Tyres facility and examining prototype technology the company was testing on behalf of the German-based Roesler Group. According to the recordings, two men spent 20 minutes on the premises taking photographs and touring the Benoni, plant before leaving.
Cooper’s newly-enlarged tyre and vehicle test centre features enhanced 4×4 capabilities
Across the Texas prairie, in a place where the staff occasionally encounter rattle snakes, Cooper’s 1000 acre Tire and Vehicle Test Center can be found. Originally constructed in 1999, the site has recently been upgraded through the addition of 4x4 and off-road testing facilities. Tyres & Accessories travelled to San Antonio to experience Cooper’s newly enlarged test centre first hand.
The most recent developments at Cooper’s Tire and Vehicle Test Center (TVTC) prove that the $13 million it originally spent on the facility was just the beginning. Now the company has 4x4 testing capabilities and it is likely that there will be further additions in due course. For now the centre’s primary work is product testing and competitor benchmarking.
Michelin recently suffered the theft of one of its tyres during a British Superbike Championship event. A police investigation showed that the theft of one of its most technologically advanced tyres appeared to have been professionally carried out.
In an effort to safeguard its industrial secrets, Michelin is reconsidering its involvement in competitive race series’ outside the MotoGP World Championship.
World Trade Association (WTA) is an international tyre wholesaler, based in Coral Springs, Florida.
The company deals in all brands of passenger car, high performance, light truck and truck tyres and has more than 30 years experience dealing in the global marketplace, shipping tyres all over the world.
WTA is also the worldwide distributor for the Hanksugi Japan range of truck tyres, which are available in both bias-ply and radial construction. They are produced in Shanghai, with the manufacturing process controlled through the Sinochem International Company Limited.
The company formerly know as Firestone East Africa was given a new logo and rename Sameer Africa at a ceremony in Nairobi. The new company will operate as an independent tyre maker, according to reports by Nairobi’s The Nation newspaper.
It would be something of an understatement to say that high raw material costs, the weak dollar and unprecedented competition from the Far East is affecting UK alloy wheel manufacturing. But, in the cases of the selection of companies that Tyres & Accessories spoke to, it is more a question of ingenuity triumphing over adversity. So, in the face of such pressing circumstances, how are UK manufacturers holding firm? Work smarter, not necessarily harder, they say.
If the 8th Moscow Tires & Rubber show is anything to go by, the Russian tyre market looks set to continue its development as a growth market. While the show was marked by growing interest from exhibitors and visitors, the market itself has produced some generally optimistic data and has seen perceptions of the manufacturers’ market approaches improve. All this suggests that the Russian market will continue to develop into a very interesting tyre market, with a strong growth potential.
Indian manufacturer JK Tyre was reportedly one of three large companies that forked out nearly £16 million in sponsorship in order to see the Jordan F1 team hire Narain Karthikeyan. In fact, money was really not a consideration when it comes to F1 sponsorship, the company told the AFP news agency.
Well-known motoring journalist, Robert Collin, has accused Continental of doing “anything to win magazine tyre tests.” In an article published by the Swedish Aftonbladet magazine, the journalist suggests that the company has won tests by supplying “special” tyres.
The apparent motivation for the alleged underhanded behaviour is simple. Winning a tyre test can mean an increase in sales and is therefore big business. The Aftonbladet reports that this effect is particularly marked in countries like Germany and France and so the temptation for manufacturers is great. From a magazine’s point of view, the problem is that when the latest tyres are reviewed, they are generally not available in the shops and so testers have to trust manufacturers when they provide tyres for testing.
Goodyear presented three new high performance Dunlop tyres at the SEMA show in an effort to rejuvenate its North American line up of the fading brand. Independent tyre dealers and consumers that attended the show had the chance to see the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx, the company’s new “flagship ultra-performance tyre” that has already been released into the European market and that performed well in Autocar’s recent tyre tests.
According to Andy Traicoff, director of the Dunlop brand in North America, the tyre has been received enthusiastically from manufacturers seeking “original-equipment tyres for their high-horsepower models.”