The tyre can no longer be regarded as an isolated part of a car but is integrated into an increasingly complicated network or system. Progress in electronics especially has been revolutionary and has enormous influence on the work of tyre technicians. The engineers have to think in systems and integrate the tyre into all parts of the motive power of the car. Between the two corners tyre wheel system and the engine, is a wide field which the car makers and their suppliers are exploiting step by step. Immediately next to the tyres are modules such as brakes, shock absorbers and axles. Around the tyre is the chassis. The producers of certain of these elements in the past developed their own product without contacting the producers of neighbouring chassis parts. They were driven by their customers in the car industry, who gave information about the performance of the product with the target that all the parts should be compatible. As development progresses, this becomes harder and harder. In the future the suppliers will be forced to cooperate one with another, in order to make the best possible technology available for the car.
Financial Markets Advise Care With Automotive Shares
There is unanimity amongst financial institutes that anyone with investments in automotive shares should be very careful of their investments. The coming quarter does not look too promising; BMW, Peugeot/Citroën, Porsche and Renault (particularly thanks to Nissans better than expected results), should hold their position, but there seems to be no end in sight to the decline at DaimlerChrysler.
With the exception of Peugeot, Porsche and Beru, other share prices from automobile and tyre companies have fallen to an all-year low. Companies in this category include DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, Kiekert, Delco Remy, Delphi, Phoenix and Johnson Controls, as well as Continental, Cooper, Yokohama, Toyo and Goodyear.
Bridgestone Links Up With French Antivibration Specialist
Bridgestone has announced the formation of a strategic alliance in antivibration automotive components with Paulstra, the automotive antivibration sector of Hutchinson, a subsidiary of TotalFina in France. The objective of the alliance is for both companies to jointly develop new antivibration products at both the companies manufacturing plants around the world.
Similar to other tyre manufacturers, on 1st January 2000 Bridgestone/Firestone officially announced price increases of 3% for passenger car tyres and 2% for commercial tyres. The effects of this increase are now visible in the German replacement market.
At the beginning of April Marangoni, the Italian tyre manufacturer, broadened its tyre range in the high-performance sector by seven new sizes within the product programme 2000. Top of the summer tyre series is the Zeta ESC, a low-profile tyre with a directional tread pattern approved for speeds up to 270 km/h, which had five new 17-inch sizes added. Two more sizes were introduced to the second product line, Heron, making a total of 25 sizes in aspect ratios 65, 60, 55 and 50 and speed indices from H to W. On the occasion of these new introductions Marangoni invited the European trade press to Rapallo on the Italian Riviera, where questions were answered not only about the latest additions but also about the past, present and future of Marangoni Tyre S.p.A. When all is said and done, Marangoni is a kind of outsider in tyre production matters, hoping to raise the degree of international awareness and acceptance by its presentation. The production of new tyres (the Marangoni and Stunner brands) for cars, trucks and small transporters is one of the business units of Marangoni Holding, best known for its divisions Marangoni Tread (production of materials and technology for retreading) and Marangoni Pneumatici (retreaded tyres),which last year generated a turnover of 400 billion lire. The Marangoni Tyre share of the consolidated annual turnover of the group of companies is a quarter, according to Andrea Vassura, managing director and board member of Marangoni Tyre S.p.A.
Hayes Lemmerz, the worlds leading supplier of wheels, has announced record 1999 fourth quarter and full year figures in both earnings and sales. The strong expansion of the wheel business (especially aluminium wheels) and the acquisition of CMI are the main reasons for the good results. Hayes Lemmerz also announced the contract for its sixth wheel/tire assembly facility: for BMW in Munich.
Continental spokesman Peter Schwerdtmann has denied reports that Continental and Michelin are planning to re-arrange or discontinue their two-year-old joint venture which includes combined purchasing of raw materials and Michelins share of Barum. The teamwork between both companies is excellent, he said, and the joint venture will continue. Terms to form the basis of a new settlement would have caused problems because of the brand rights for Uniroyal, owned by Michelin, but produced in Europe by Continental, under licence.
Goodyear File Impressive First Quarter Figures For 2000
Following an increase in turnover from US$ 3 billion to US$ 3.5 billion, which incorporates US$ 577 from acquired Dunlop activities, Goodyear has reported a net income of US$ 63.6 million for the first quarter of 2000. The company sold 54.8 million tyres during this period, which is 9.1million more than in the corresponding quarter last year. 8.9 million of this total were manufactured by Dunlop. And as result of this quite impressive report anticipated by the market Goodyear shares have recovered recently.
Jose Ignacio Lopez Charged With Industrial Espionage
Jose Ignacio Lopez, who joined Volkswagen from General Motors in 1993 and was forced to leave three years later, is facing charges in the USA of industrial espionage. Lopez was involved in a car accident in 1998 in which he sustained serious head and brain damage. It is unlikely that Spain will agree to his extradition to the USA to stand trial.
The first production line utilising MIRS technology (Modular Integrated Robotized System), was unveiled by Pirelli chief Marco Tronchetti Provera at an international press conference on 11 July at the companys Bicocca factory. The MIRS process is managed entirely on-line. In the next three years, four more MIRS plants will be opened in Germany, the UK, the USA and the Far East, representing an investment of 500 million Euro (excluding building and servicing costs). Total production capacity will be 10 million HP and UHP tyres a year.