After procuring 26.25 percent of Beru’s shares, the Carlyle Group has now made a buyout offer. Carlyle offered 30 Euros per share but Beru has rejected this take-over attempt, which Carlyle calls. Beru management believes this undervalues the company and has quoted 40 Euros as a realistic share offer for a company worth around 500 million Euros. Some months ago Beru AG, of Ludwigsburg, Germany, acquired AMI Doduco, Europes leading company in tyre pressure control systems.
Michelin has embarked on a major new marketing programme that is designed to further enhance their position as the leading tyre brand in the UK. The campaign involves a series of television commercials using the catchphrase Show me the logo which will centre around customers demanding the Michelin brand when purchasing tyres.The campaign will be supported through dealership promotion.
The BMW factory at Spartanburg (South Carolina), in which in addition to the Roadster ever more X5 off-road vehicles are produced, will soon face production capacity problems. A higher vehicle output could also benefit American wheel suppliers such as Superior Industries or Alcoa/Reynolds.
In this year Mercedes wants to establish a so-called Express-Service covering the range from exhausts to brakes. Within one hour customers utilising this special service are assumed to be on the road again.
USA Replacement Tyre Market – Michelin To Raise Prices
Following price increases of between 3 and 5% by Cooper, Goodyear, Pirelli and Yokohama in the US market, Michelin is increasing its prices of passenger car and light truck tyres by 5%. Tyre manufacturers need a minimum price increase of 3% merely to compensate for the 8% increase in raw material costs (rubber, oil, carbon black).
At the beginning of April the sixth round-table conference about tyres and tyre technology organised by the Tip Top Stahlgruber company took place in Munich. This year’s 85 participants came from many varied backgrounds: There were tyre dealers, retreaders, material suppliers, representatives of associations (ADAC, BRV, DEKRA, TÜV etc.), scientists and representatives of the vehicle and tyre manufacturing industries. Some of the highlights of the event included Hans-Jürgen Drechsler, deputy managing director of the BRV (Association of Tyre Traders and Non-Industrial Vulcanisers), speaking about development tendencies in the tyre trade with plenty of figures to back up the claim that the general tendency to concentration in the tyre trade is accelerating and manufacturer dependence or orientation also on the increase. Dieter Hatzfeld, formerly Michelin, now in a leading position with RuLa GmbH, the truck tyre cold cure retreader, spoke about the lop-sided pricing policy in the truck tyre field. The gist of his talk was: The price relation between new and retreaded tyres is no longer right. The subject of Mobile Fitting was also under discussion. Long-term participation in the truck tyre business means participation in the large fleet business and offering comprehensive service schemes, Drechsler said. Norbert Schygulla (Deutsche Goodyear), Michael Zoeppritz (Bridgestone/Firestone), Dr. Bernd Löwenhaupt (Dunlop), Ludwig Nelke (Michelin) and Hugo Verschoore (Butler Engineering) then introduced their own companies’ tyre run-flat systems (EMT, DSST, PAX) complete with practical fitting and maintenance suggestions. All in all, the range of subjects was far-reaching, offering something interesting for each of the guests present. Read more in NEUE REIFENZEITUNG 5/2000.
Alloy Wheels International (AWI), a subsidiary of South African company Murray & Roberts, has closed its Cardiff plant because of an expected fall in demand from oe customers Rover Cars and Land-Rover and reduced competitiveness because of currency problems. 250 jobs are lost.
North Americas Accuride Corp. (Evansville/Indiana) is an enormously profitable producer of steel and aluminium wheels for trucks and recorded a record jump in sales to more than 500 million US-$ in 1999. Founded by Firestone in 1905, the company was sold in 1986 to Phelps Dodge Corp., cooperated with Goodyear 1992 and was sold again in 1998 to investment group Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR). Now the automotive supplier has its eyes set on the European market for investments, maybe also in aluminium wheels for cars.
The monthly census of the German tyre dealers association BRV showed the following results for May 2000: Compared to May 1999 the turnover of German tyre retailers decreased 0.9%. In the passenger car tyre segment the decrease was 5.4% and retreading business had to face a decrease of 9.6%. Only the light truck and truck tyre segment showed an increase (+ 2.7%).
A San Francisco-based specialist law firm is exploring the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Goodyear in Ohio and is contacting dependants of the crash victims. Goodyear has been the exclusive tyre supplier for Air France Concordes since 1995. Therefore the which crashed recently was equipped with Goodyear tyres, too. Whether or not a blown tyre caused the disaster is still not known and a Goodyear spokesman said its way too early to make any assumptions or comments.