Michelin is to lose 473 jobs from its workforce of 2,700 at its factory in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK, mostly among those producing passenger car tyres. This is part of Michelins overall European strategy to improve efficiency. Michelin sees a long-term future for Stoke and this year will invest £11 million in updating the factory, which was opened in 1927.
Edouard Michelin, CEO of the French tyre giant, can see opportunities for technical alliances with competitors, a French magazine reports. As an example, he cites the new tyre and wheel system Pax, which will be presented jointly by Michelin and Pirelli in Geneva.
Pirelli Buy Energy Cable Activities From BICC General
With the acquisition of the energy cable activities from BICC General for US$216 million Pirelli is strengthening its world-wide leadership in this particular business which will bring it up to US$ 3.4 billion in turnover. Their nearest competitors are Alcatel (sales - US$2 bn) and Sumitomo (sales - US$1.5 bn).
Cooper-Avon has announced that it will be making 80 staff employees redundant in Europe. Locations affected are the Melksham (UK) HQ and offices in Switzerland, France and Germany. The cuts are blamed on the high level of the Pound and large numbers of imported tyres from the Far East and have been made, says Cooper-Avon, to reduce costs and increase job security for the remaining 900+ employees.
Continental Changes Agricultural Tyre Organisation
Werner Flebbe has been made responsible for Continentals entire agricultural tyre business. Marketing and sales worldwide will be managed by Thorsten Bublitz and OE business worldwide by Fritz Reupert. Reuperts successor for aftermarket business is Rainer Lüpkes.
The ContiTech division of Hanover-based Continental AG experienced the most successful business year of its history in 1999, according to the company.The year 1999 marks a big step forward – in results, globalisation and concentration on core businesses, was the way the year was summed up at a press conference by Manfred Wennemer, board member of Continental AG with responsibility for the ContiTech division and chairman of ContiTech Holding GmbH. In 1999 ContiTech increased its turnover to 1.72 billion Euro (previous year: 1.70 billion Euro), a plus of 0.7 p.c. This would have been about 2.5 p.c. but for changes in the contributing units,some of which were sold. Turnover per employee amounted to 112,000 Euro, approximately four per cent higher than the 107,000 Euro of 1998. In non-automotive sections the general economic situation led to some decline, but business with Europe’s car makers was approximately four per cent above the previous year’s level. The 1999 ContiTech turnover was made up about 64 p.c. in the automotive sector and 36 p.c. outside it. Operating profit (EBIT) also improved. The strong growth can be attributed, among other things, to a significant reduction in the extraordinary items and reserves for restructuring, which had depressed the 1998 result. On the contrary, the 1999 year saw one-off profits, especially from sales of individual segments. Wennemer emphasised that these positive effects on the results were caused by ContiTech’s restructuring measures. Read more in NEUE REIFENZEITUNG 5/2000.
ECI International Ltd., the company which purchased the rights to the Tyrexpo Asia show, has announced that the exhibition will next be held at the newly-built Singapore Expo Centre from 11-13 September 2001. TYRES & ACCESSORIES will be a sponsor of the event.
Automotive suppliers Meritor, among other things one of the worlds largest steel wheel producers, and Arvin Industries will merge to form ArvinMeritor. The companies have combined revenues of $ 7.5 bn. The new company will create a premier global supplier of integrated systems, modules and components. Meritor shareholders will receive approximately 65.8 percent.
Hayes Lemmerz has combined its sales and marketing forces of fabricated and cast wheels in North America. President of the new unit is Ronald Kolakowski, Richard Miller has been appointed vice president and four sales directors are responsible for NA oe customers.
The BTE wheel, made from synthetic material, is no longer available from distributors F&F Hybrid-Rad but can be obtained direct from the manufacturer in the small German village of Grube (Schlewig-Holstein).
Delphi Automotive has exclusively ordered membranes from ContiTech Elastomerbeschichtungen GmbH. They are to be used in pressure sensors for fuel injection systems. This year ContiTech will produce 40,000 of these membranes for the US-based automotive supplier, in 2001 the number will be doubled.
British retread tyre manufacturer Colway Tyres offers its customers the new Formula Colway range for market segments previously regarded as the domain of second tier replacement tyres – such as the fleet car and van sectors – of large new tyre manufacturers.
In the UK, the National Tyre Distributors Association and the Tyre Industry Council have given their backing to InterTyre. InterTyre is a trade exhibition, organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which will run in conjunction with the European Automotive Trade Show at the end of April next year. The Tyre Industry Council is also a sponsor of Tyrexpo Europe, the rival exhibition which will take place six weeks earlier.
Uniroyal is entering the forthcoming winter with two new winter tyres. The Uniroyal MS plus 5 is a comfortable winter tyre optimised for wet, wintry weather and developed for vehicles of the compact and the middle class, whereas the Uniroyal MS plus 55 sets new standards for fast, powerful cars with regard to aquaplaning resistance, grip in snow and ice as well as handling in the wet. Both types of tyre have a modern silica tread compound, which makes it possible to minimise the conflict between performance in the wet and on snow and ice. With 12 available sizes (Q- and T-rated), the new MS plus 5 covers about 75 per cent of this market segment. The new MS plus 55 Uniroyal is available in 13 sizes, with speed ratings T (up to 190 kph) and H (up to 210 kph). Thus, the wet-weather specialist is already covering the majority of market demands with the sizes in the launch programme. The new tyres have rounded-off tread blocks with slanted circumferential grooves to ensure faster water displacement. Wide, shoulder transverse grooves ultimately drain the water from the contact patch. In combination with a large amount of natural rubber, the new silica formula provides a distinct improvement in the wet-weather performance of the new winter tyres from the rain tyre company. Find out more in NEUE REIFENZEITUNG 10/2000.