Degussa-Hüls Increases Prices for Rubber Blacks in Europe
Degussa-Hüls AG, worldwide the second largest carbon black manufacturer with production sites in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, again announces a price increase of 25 Euro per metric ton for its range of rubber blacks effective May 1, 2000, in Europe.
Carlos Ghosn, once top man of Michelin in the USA will become President of Nissan, effective 1st April 2000, in addition to his post as Chief Operating Officer. Ghosn is interested in speeding up the Nissan Revival Plan, implemented in October last year.
German Insurer “Allianz” To Sponsor Formula 1 Team
The German insurance company Allianz wants to become involved in Formula 1. As the newspaper Die Welt announced recently, Aliens wants to sponsor the Williams-BMW team. Already with the coming German Grand Prix in two weeks at the Nürburgring, the company label will be on the racing car of the British team. It was mentioned that the insurance intends to invest 50 million DM (£16.3 million) in the team of Ralf Schuhmacher and Jensen Button.
Bryan Liddle has been appointed MD of Kwik-Fit GB. A former professional footballer, Bryan has worked with several large plcs and he joins Kwik-Fit from Associated Heating Distributors, where he was MD.
Lasse Kurkilahti, President and CEO of Nokian Tyres, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Raisio group from September 1st. He will continue as a director of Nokian. The Raisio group is active in the margarine, grain and chemical industries and employs 2,900 people. No decision has yet been made as to who will succeed Mr. Kurkilahti as Nokians President, but Chairman Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said that the search for a replacement would begin soon.
More and more nowadays, we hear that the tyre industry is becoming increasingly global and ever-more companies describe themselves as a global player. But what exactly makes a company a true global player? An in-depth article in TYRES & ACCESSORIES 6/2000 looks at the criteria by which a so-called ‘global player’ should be judged and concludes that the only three companies that merit this term are Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin. The article examines in detail each company’s performance in the world’s most important markets, their market shares and turnover figures, their strengths and weaknesses and their prospects for the future. The article goes on to examine the home markets of the global players (USA, Europe and Asia) and discusses the performances of the lesser players and what is likely to happen to them. Todays global tyre market is one of acquisitions and alliances, mergers and new technological advances. Competition is intense and, in terms of market share, none of the big three seems able to leave its rivals standing, neither is the gap between the big three and the second three growing. Having said that, none of the second three stands a realistic chance of becoming a true global player in the future. The article gives a detailed, objective assessment of today’s tyre industry, together with some speculation concerning what might happen in the future.
Degussa-Hüls AG is doubling capacity at one of its production plants in Antwerp, Belgium for sulphur-functionalised organosilanes. These rubber silanes are used as coupling components when precipitated silicas are used as fillers to reinforce rubber. Together with rubber silanes and rubber carbon blacks, precipitated silicas are the major component in Green Tyres which feature reduced rolling resistance and thus help to cut fuel consumption.
Opening Of New Michelin Agricultural Service Centre
The Michelin Group has officially opened a new agricultural service centre in Germany, handling the Michelin, Kléber, Taurus and Stomil brands. In Germany, the group controls more than one third of the agricultural tyre market.
New contracts for chrome-cladded steel wheels from General Motors and DaimlerChrysler have prompted ArvinMeritor to expand its San Luis Potosi (Mexico) facility. Staff numbers will increase from 300 to 450.
The six tyre manufacturers making up RubberNetwork.com have signed a memorandum of association; a further step in creating the global electronic purchasing marketplace for tyres and rubber, which is on track to be up and running by the year end. The six members are: Continental, Cooper, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli and Sumitomo Rubber industries. On the other hand, Bridgestone has left the project. Asked for the reason by NEUE REIFENZEITUNG magazine, Bridgestone Firestone Europe said that a closer examination indicated that the relationship between costs and savings was not as beneficial as was first expected.
At the beginning of this year the Cruiser tyre ME 880 was introduced by the German motorcycle-tyre producer Metzeler. Now the company also offers ist widest tyre in a second dimension: 240/50 R16 M/C 84V TL.
The Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding – the group which includes the Brisa joint venture with Bridgestone – has sold a 25% stake in another of its joint venture companies. Sabanci has sold 25% of Toyotasa to its partner Toyota Motor Corporation for US$ 109 m, leaving Sabanci with a stake in the company of almost 25%.
In a step at rebuilding consumer confidence in the Firestone brand Bridgestone/Firestone announced an extension of its limited warranty and 30-day money back guarantee in the United States. The range covered by the warranty will be extended from 53 product lines to 97 covering almost all the companys products. The programme will replace tyres that become unusable for any reason attributed to workmanship or factory defect for the first three years of ownership, the first four years after manufacture, or until the tyre tread depth is worn down to 1/16th of an inch, whichever comes first. The 30 day money back guarantee remains as it says, if the customer is unhappy, he will get his money back if he returns the goods within 30 days of purchase.
In a move unconnected, according to Bridgestone/Firestone, to the recall, production is being cut at three tyre production plants in response to oversupply. Cutbacks will affect LaVergne, Tennessee, Oklahoma City, and at Decatur, Illinois. Some 450 employees are also being laid off indefinitely at the Decatur plant, centre of attention in the recall.
Some shareholders are calling for the resignations of DaimlerChrysler chairman Jürgen Schrempp and head of the supervisory board Hilmar Kopper, following the recent controversy and lawsuits resulting from alleged misrepresentation at the time of the merger of the two companies.