The American tyre manufacturer plans to close one of its oldest factories, Pneumaticos Goodyear SA, which is located near Buenos Aires. Goodyear has operated a sales office in Argentina since 1915, making it one of the companys oldest subsidiaries outside the USA.
General Motors recently introduced a Precept Technology Demonstration Vehicle at the Detroit Motor Show as part of the project PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles) – a co-operation of American car makers, suppliers and the federal government. The concept car is fitted with the lightest 3.8 kg 16-inch fabricated aluminium wheels by Hayes Lemmerz.
Renault car sales last year totalled 2.29 million; a 7.4% increase. The company also announced that, in the future, it will use Nissans production capacity outside Japan to produce and market Renault cars.
During the so-called tyre safety month organised in Germany for May 2000 motorists are offered a free tyre check. Several associations (DVR, BRV, ADAC, ACE, DEKRA, TÜV etc.) are involved in this initiative as well as ten tyre manufacturers.
Michelin subsiduary Stomil-Olsztyn has announced that it will be reducing ist workforce by 120 people during this year. At the same time, a further 70 full time employees have reverted to part-time. Stomil-Olsztyn are located in the regions of Warmia and Mazury in northern Poland and employ around 4.000 workers who produce passenger, truck, light truck and agricultural tyres as well as tyre fabrics and curing moulds.
Perhaps as a backlash following the BMW/Rover situation, and aided by lower prices for Mercedes and Audi, UK sales of BMW cars fell 20% in April. Sales of Rover cars rose 500% as Rover and its dealers acted to clear stocks because of the uncertain situation.
The Phoenix consortium and BMW have signed a deal to sell Rover to Phoenix. BMW has contributed £500 million to the deal and additional finance has been obtained by American company Burdale Financial. It is expected that 2,000 jobs will be lost, which is fewer than would have been lost under the plan of Alchemy Partners who had pulled out of talks with BMW recently.
Continental AG and Robert Bosch GmbH, together with a number of other companies, intend to create an electronic communication and transaction exchange. The reason is to simplify and speed up business transactions between automotive companies and their suppliers.
There are reports that Michelin is on the verge of forming a joint venture with Chinese tyre maker Shanghai Huayi Group Corporation (SHGC). Michelin would not comment, but SHGC has been quoted locally as saying that the deal has been done and is waiting formal government approval.
Sales are up in the year 2000 and profits have gone like snow in the sun. That, in short, describes the present situation of Continental General Tire in North America. But red figures are not an option. Bernd Frangenberg (59) President and CEO of CGT, vigorously denied the possibility that he could be forced to inform the parent company about red figures at the end of the year. All the necessary actions have been taken to make sure that CGT remains profitable even in a difficult climate, Frangenberg declared Tyres & Accessories. Continental General Tire employs 9000 people and runs 5 factories in the US and 2 in Mexico. Last year’s turnover was about 1.5 bn Euro.