September registrations: Market shifts towards private ownership of hybrid cars
Overall registrations remain under great pressure, but the latest new car sales figures point to another bumper month for electric vehicles. Meanwhile, diesel-fuelled internal combustion engine vehicles have taken the biggest hit. There are also signs that vehicle ownership preferences are changing. But what does this mean for the shape of the car market that feeds aftermarket tyre sales?
The last time Tyres & Accessories interviewed online tyre entrepreneur, Mike Welch, his latest venture Tirescanner was making in-roads in the US tyre retail market. Such was the concept’s growth that Welch had been pitching the business to investors in a bid to move onto phase two of Tirescanner’s development. Roughly a year later, T&A asked how things are progressing:
Could continuous pyrolysis deliver savings for tyre manufacturers?
Waste rubber generated by tyre manufacturing could deliver increased energy savings and business opportunities according to IRR Waste 2 Energy. The company’s continuous pyrolysis technology, which is fully commissioned and in operation at its parent company Carlton Forest Group’s Worksop headquarters, has delivered “tangible results” in both “energy generation and the production of by-products such as pyrolysis oil and carbon char,” the company states. These materials can be refined further to produce high grade engine oil and recovered carbon black (RcB).
Iran’s tyre manufacturing output refocuses on heavy tyres
The tyre manufacturing output of Iranian factories increased 26 per cent in the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (1399 and specifically the period between 20 March and 21 August 2020) compared with the same period last year. Such growth is consistent with the Iranian tyre industry’s 10-year plan to double in size by 2025, which was publicised in 2015. And it also corresponds to earlier optimism related to Iranian tyre market growth, but what do the latest figures tell us about the product mix of the Iranian national tyre production base?
Guizhou Tyre raises 1 billion yuan for Vietnam tyre factory in private share issue
On 4 September 2020 Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd’s board of directors approved plans for a private share issue. The plan was to raise 1 billion yuan in funding via the sale of now more than 200 million shares to 35 selected investors. By 11 September, the company had received the green light from the state-funded Guiyang Industrial Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd. that it would purchase no less than 43.5 per cent of the issued shares.
Toyo given free land as part of 364 million euro Serbia tyre factory investment
The Serbian state is set to give Japanese tyre manufacturer Toyo 637,455 square metres of land worth roughly 3 million euros for its newest factory. According to a Serbian State Aid Control Commission decision, the countries Tax Administration calculated that – based on a land valuation of 5 euros per square metre, Toyo will have to employ 523 workers indefinitely by 2023.
Béthune tyre factory closure ‘the only viable path’: Bridgestone
Tyres & Accessories contacted Bridgestone for its response to the statement put out by French authorities following its decision to shutter its tyre factory in Béthune, France. Bridgestone addressed the characterisation of the closure as a “premeditated murder,” the idea that the plant has been deliberately allocated low-margin products, and that the plant had been passed over for investment.
Linglong’s Serbia factory faces local environmental opposition
Environmental campaigners have been protesting against Linglong’s Zrenjanin, Serbia tyre factory. At the same time the construction work, which has been variously described as either an 800 million euro or US$994 million project by different sources, has also been involved in certification disputes.
18 and 19-inch 4×4 tyres sizes experience price recovery
4x4 tyre sales may have fallen due to the effects of coronavirus and lockdown, but prices in certain key sizes are actually higher than they were before those challenges presented themselves at the start of the year. Tyres & Accessories spoke to tyre market and pricing data experts Encircle Marketing in order to learn the details.
When you break the data down by size, a number of interesting trends are immediately identifiable. Firstly, there was a clear pre-lockdown price fall in February. The average price of a 255/55 R19 V tyre, for example, fell almost £6 from £138.10 to £132.86 between January and February. However, the average price of this size recovered to a point higher than the January starting point in March (£138.90).
Having received approval back in June, Qingdao Sentury Tire has successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is now listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (China) as of 11 September 2020. 11 per cent of the companys shares were valued at 1.31 billion yuan (162 million euros; £149.859 million) by investors, resulting in a theoretical total valuation of 1.47 billion euros. The offered shares offered were oversubscribed 2887 times over. But what is the company planning to do with its newly-raised funds?
Visitors to the LAMMA show way back in January were amongst the first anywhere to see Alliance’s new standard tractor radial, the Agri Star II. The new tyre came to market a few months after this, but corona lockdowns got in the way of a more thorough launch – until now.
Alliance: Performance & price make 372 VF an ‘unbeatable’ package
The Alliance brand has gained a strong position in certain segments of Europe’s agricultural tyre market. Alliance Tire Europe claims a leadership market share of up to 30 per cent for row crop applications and a 20 to 30 per cent share for implement applications. But Alliance’s primary ambition is to break into the tractor segment in a bigger way. In recent months it introduced a couple of products to support this drive.
4x4 retail tyre sales have long been a growth area and the UK market constitutes one of the leading lights in Europe. More recent growth has been driven by similarly strong SUV vehicle sales as well as consumer switches towards all-season products. At the same time, more practical and off-road-orientated vehicles have also been supporting 4x4 tyre sales.
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All-season tyre growth, especially for premium brands – GfK
The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has made 2020 an annus horribilis for the UK car tyre market, with a near quarter-long lockdown slashing miles driven, original equipment sales due to prolonged factory closures, and reducing sales opportunities further with the government’s MOT exemption. However, tyre businesses have begun ramping up again in response to the reopening of business sectors, people returning to work, and the possibility that private car usage could become increasingly popular as commuters avoid public transport – though the trend for working from home could create more than a headwind for any growth in miles driven. Perhaps the greatest driver of UK car tyre sales growth in 2020 could be the projected spike in MOTs in the autumn, as the period of exemption expires for many pandemic affected motorists. Halfords Autocentres estimates that there could be an 85 per cent jump in demand for MOTs in October - click here for Tyrepresss own analysis of the MOT situation. Why is this important in a feature about all-season and winter tyres? As we are about to see, the all-season tyre segment continued its impressive growth over April 2019 - March 2020.