Cabot Corporation has said that its Chinese “output capacity” will rise 25 per ecnt along with the operation of a plant in Xingtai, Hebei province. However the company is also quoted by local news sources as saying that it will not seek to go public and make acquisitions in China.
For the first time in 20 years the UK hosted the International Rubber Research and Development Board’s International Rubber Conference in 2013. The return to the country is well-timed; the Malaysian Rubber Board’s Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2013, effectively elongating the IRC into a week-long event culminating in a well-attended visit to the picturesque Brickendonbury Estate near Hertford, where TARRC is now based, and which for 20 years was the home of the IRRDB. On Monday 24 June the event, jointly organised by the IRRDB, the MRB and TARRC, opened in Mayfair’s Millennium hotel, with the morning sessions in particular providing topics of interest to tyre manufacturers.
Several media outlets plus supporting information from Tyres & Accessories’ own sources are reporting that at least two private equity firms are preparing considering bids for Warburg Pincus LLC's majority stake in Alliance Tire Group (ATG). The potential deal is said to be valued at around US$400 million.
Standard & Poor’s has upgraded Indonesian tyre maker PT Gajah Tunggal Tbk’s debt rating from ‘B’ to ‘B+’. Explaining its decision to do so, the financial services company observes that Gajah Tunggal’s competitive cost position and leading share in the Indonesian tyre market temper any weaknesses that may arise from the company’s “aggressive” capital structure, limited financial flexibility and the cyclical and cost competitive nature of the tyre industry.
Boasting a stronger presence at 2012’s Autosport show than on its debut the previous year, Maxxis International UK took the opportunity of the motorsport calendar opener to showcase the breadth of its product range. Managing director Derek McMartin said: “During our first visit to Autosport International last year our aim was to generate greater awareness by telling people all about the Maxxis brand.
After announcing the winners of this year’s TAFF awards, the NTDA’s David White used his annual chairman’s speech – which has become a bit of a “state of the union”-esque moment for the UK business – to announce the news that the association has decided to make its REACT licence to fit qualification mandatory for members. According to the chairman, this decision was agreed in the association board meeting that preceded the evening dinner. However reporting always sits better in context, so here is an edited version of the complete speech for those that couldn’t make the event in person:
Moody's Investors Service has placed PT Gajah Tunggal Tbk's B3 corporate family and senior secured ratings on review for possible downgrade. According to a report published in Indonesia Today, this review action follows “the payment of a dividend to shareholders seemingly in contravention of the covenants of its restructured bonds launched in June 2009, and the resulting alleged claim of covenant breach by an anonymous bondholder.”
US publication Tire Review reports IndyCar teams are petitioning Bridgestone Americas to reconsider its position with the race series. Following the tyre maker’s March 4 announcement that its sponsorship and Firestone brand tyre supply contract would not be renewed after 2011, a “near-unanimous” vote is said to have been taken amongst teams to “stick with Firestone – regardless of the price.”
Marwan Arbache, a former Michelin executive, has been found guilty of trying to sell industrial secrets to the company’s main competitor Bridgestone. The court hearing in Clermont-Ferrand reportedly delayed sentencing until 21 June 2010. Arbache faces a maximum 10-year jail sentence and a heavy fine.
The case came to trial after Bridgestone tipped off Clermont-Ferrand based Michelin that the company had received an email offering to sell them confidential tyre manufacturing information for about US$150,000 (£99,000; 115,000 euros). The email, sent in July 2007, signalled the beginning of an exchange that could have, said Michelin representatives, “delivered a serious blow to the company” if he had succeeded. Further details of the allegations involved in the case were uncovered in what the companies reportedly called "Operation Fukuda" – a sting operation which saw officials posing as Japanese clients.
In addition to the branding opportunities implicit in motorsport involvement, the HiQ brand’s continued presence in British Touring Cars allows it to continue using the championship to further its charity activities. The fast-fitter praised the thousands of British Touring Car Championship fans this week, after it was announced they had helped to raise a staggering £50,000 for Breast Cancer Care. Not only that, company representatives told Tyres & Accessories that the upcoming season would see HiQ raising funds for the Teen Cancer Trust in 2010 – funds which will go towards a new wing at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Tyrepress.com has today published the joint media information pack between the tyre trade’s number one website and its most popular magazine: Tyres & Accessories. The pack includes advertising rates, subscription information, a full features list for 2010 and full contact details for the company. The eBrochure is published electronically and can be accessed in full screen by clicking the front cover at www.tyrepress.com/media.html. Tyres & Accessories has been published electronically since August 2009 on the new tyrepress.com website. It is available to all subscribers, up to the January 2010 issue.
Compressor company, Thorite has taken to the web to market its latest range of products with five YouTube videos demonstrating some of its best selling pneumatic products in action. Four of the videos are hosted by Thorite’s genial marketing manager, Richard Vaughan, and cover subjects such as: “Choosing a Suitable Compressor”; “Compressor Use & Maintenance”; “Choosing and Using an Air Nailer”; “Thorite Portatyre Portable Tyre Inflator”; and “Thorite Trelawny Long Reach Scaler.”
Michelin is planning to invest 700 million (£610 million; $989 million) in China by 2012 in order to build a passenger car and truck tyre manufacturing plant. Construction of the factory, which will be built in Shenyang where Michelin already has another plant, will double the company’s annual capacity in China. In addition Michelin also plans to invest 300 million euros (261 million; $423 million) in a greenfield passenger car tyre plant in Resende, Brazil, which will start producing in “early 2012.”
The owner of a new £100,000 fast fit centre in Helston is promising motorists a revolution in automotive care, after officially opening his forecourt to the public. Justin Roberton, who already runs successful operations in Truro, Bodmin and St Austell, is looking forward to welcoming motorists to a new centre in Clodgey Lane, Helston. The red ribbon was cut with HiQ’s retail director Juergen Titz on Saturday 9 January and both men predicted a bright future in the town.
The centre features modern, award winning branding and state-of-the-art facilities, even including a baby changing unit and a children’s play facility.
On January 4, Toyo Tire U.S.A. announced its intention to increase truck tyre prices by up to seven per cent, effective February 1. This announcement follows the company’s December 4 statement that prices on all its consumer and commercial tyres would rise by up to six per cent as of January 1, 2010. On both occasions the increases were said to be the result of escalating raw material costs.