The Ford Motor Company in Dearborn has bestowed its Q1 award on Hankooks tyre plant in Taejon, which produces light truck tyres for Ford. The factory is located 130 km south of Seoul and produces 65,000 passenger car and light truck tyres daily.
According to the Washington Post, the Ford Explorer has a higher than average accident rate compared to other SUVs. The report was based on statistical analysis of national and Florida state crash statistics. The report suggests that there is evidence that there may be a vehicle related problem contributing to the accidents.
Second-Half Earnings Forecast Revised Downwards By Goodyear
Goodyear, who predicted a slight improvement in its financial fortunes for the second half of the year, is now forecasting break even or a small loss for the 3rd and 4th quarters, assuming economic factors remain the same. The low Euro vs Dollar situation and high raw material costs were blamed.
Third quarter results from Michelin are stronger than expected with revenues growing by 16.4% to 3,916 Euro or 14.6% if the first nine months 2000 are compared with the same period last year. Taking higher raw material costs and other economic factors into account, an EBIT of about 8% seems to be realistic for this year.
Continental makes her know-how available to Iranian company Kerman Tyre and Rubber Company (Tehran) for the production of truck and car tyre radials. Later Kerman will produce its own brand under this technology plus truck and car tyre radials in an offtake agreement under the Continental brand for the Middle East and Central Asia.
Continental Teves and the Japanese concern Nisshinbo Industries (Tokyo) have now signed the joint venture in the field of brake and chassis systems for the Japanese and Korean markets. Continental holds 51 per cent of the joint venture which will be enhanced to become a far-reaching system supplier. For the years 2004 and 2005 an annual turnover of 300 million Euros is anticipated.
There is a theory that all news stories are born equal. The level of their importance increases as the story reaches the top of the pile on the news editors desk. The Firestone recall moved latent news about possible problems with Goodyear tyres to the top of the pile. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have 58 complaints against Goodyear, 46 of which were filed after the announcement of the Firestone recall. Goodyear is facing a pincer movement, on the one hand being accused of being too slow in their introduction of changes made to the Load Range E tyre to improve safety, and on the other of carrying out a silent recall. Learn more about this in TYRES & ACCESSORIES’s December edition.
Dunlop GmbH (Hanau) expects further turnover and profit increases in the 1999 tyre business. Turnover will rise by almost ten per cent over the previous year to 1.64 billion marks. The pre-tax group profit will be significantly above the 1998 level of 133 million marks. The good business development is due to consistently strong demand for Dunlop tyres both in original equipment and in replacement. High winter tyre sales figures also contribute to this development, representing approximately 20 p.c. in Dunlop’s total German production. Dunlop 1999 winter tyre sales will probably have gone up by 16 p.c. over 1998. Since 1994 Dunlop GmbH has doubled its car tyre sales. During the last few years the Hanau tyre manufacturer has made progress in the high-performance tyre segment far above the market average, and the company operates a profit-sharing scheme for its employees. Against the industry trend, the Dunlop payroll has increased by almost 21 p.c. since 1991, with the number of people working for Dunlop GmbH at the end of November 1999 reaching almost 5,000. If one leaves out the former subsidiary Dunlop TECH, which ceased to belong to the contributing members of the Dunlop GmbH group in the middle of last year, the figure is similar to that of the previous year.
A. T. Kearney and the weekly magazine Produktion held a competition for the best factory of the year. 80 plants were nominated and the winner of the first prize for outstanding manufacturing processes was the Conti Teves factory in Rheinböllen, which produces brake components.
A report by the Consumers Association says that UK franchised motor dealers cannot compete effectively against rivals in every area of business, from new car sales to servicing. When it comes to repairs and sales of spare parts, the dealers cannot match prices and performance of competitors such as the large fast-fit chains, the study concludes.
Finnish tyre manufacturer Nokian has confirmed that the company intends to produce commercial tyres in the USA as soon as possible. The first products will be forest tyres, followed by industrial tyres. A spokesman for Nokian said that it had not yet been decided whether the company would build its own factory in the USA, whether there would be some kind of joint venture co-operation, or whether tyres would be manufactured in an off-take agreement. The Finnish company has been active in the US and Canadian markets for some years.
A lengthy report of a speech by Goodyear boss Sam Gibara, in which he tells of the group’s return to the position of number one tyre manufacturer. The speech encompasses a range of subjects affecting Goodyear – the importance of the Goodyear family and the Goodyear culture, above all the importance of people. The example of Nokian Tyres is held up as, size for size, it is probably the most profitable tyre manufacturer in the world. What Nokian can do, Goodyear subsidiaries can surely do? It is important to get the right mix of products and to shorten the time to market, it is important too to be able to supply customers with what they want, when they want it, and Mr. Gibara acknowledges that, in the past, fill rates have not been all they might be. A decisive factor in Goodyear’s success will be the effectiveness of its multi-brand strategy. Other tyre manufacturers have successfully developed such strategies and Goodyear, with its own name and that of Dunlop, has two very powerful brands in its armoury. Customers differ in their driving habits and incomes and thus they need different tyres to fulfil these various needs. Goodyear has the brands to satisfy all these customers. Finally, Mr. Gibara reiterated Goodyear’s goal to be not only be the number one tyre manufacturer in the world, but the most profitable one. And then he closed the meeting. Except that he didn’t; there was no meeting and there was no speech from Mr. Gibara. The article which can be downloaded in full length as PDF file (size: 2.84 Mbyte, Adobe Acrobat Reader required) is, in fact, an imaginative piece written by Klaus Haddenbrock, outlining what Mr. Gibara could have said on such an occasion. And Mr. Gibara’s reaction? See his letter in reply in TYRES & ACCESSORIES’s April issue.
The Wirtschaftsverband der Kautschukindustrie (German association of tyre and rubber manufacturers) is pointing out the necessity of price increases as soon as possible to offset ongoing increases in raw materials costs (rubber, oil, carbon black).