A German court has ruled that certain Aeolus truck tyres infringe an EU design patent held by Continental. The matter has been resolved by an out-of-court settlement that covers damages and a recall of the products in question.
Having published its definitive decision on Chinese-produced truck tyre dumping, the European Union has also rejected claims that Pirelli is not related to either China National Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd (CNRC, which is owned by ChemChina) or Aeolus. Therefore, any tyres made by any of the related companies in China have to be subject to comparable import tariffs.
Thanks to an internal document sent to EU member states and national tyre trade associations, we now have a clearer idea about what form the European Commission’s final anti-dumping measures against Chinese truck and bus tyres may take. The Commission favours a system of fixed, per-tyre duties similar to the preliminary duties introduced in May; the silver lining for Chinese tyre makers is that it has recommended these duties be reduced.
Following statements from Aeolus suggesting “Aeolus moves production to Egypt and/or Turkey“, Prometeon Tyre Group has announced that the project to transfer the production of tyres in the production plants of Prometeon Tyre Group, “is still under initial assessment by the two groups, as it is part of the broader integration project of the two companies”.
Aeolus Tyre Co., Ltd. has emphasised its continued commitment to European markets. In a statement, the Chinese tyre maker describes its progress with the Aeolus brand within Europe as a “remarkable” achievement and stresses that the “unique position” it has claimed within the market will continue despite the introduction of anti-dumping duties. To facilitate this, some Aeolus tyre production will be relocated outside of China.
The Aeolus truck tyre range, including the latest additions to the Aeolus Neo series, will be on display at The Tire Cologne. These ‘neo’ fitments include the Aeolus Neo Allroads, which is being released in steer (S, S+) and drive axle (D, D+) versions and also as a trailer tyre (T, T+).
Heuver Tyrewholesale, distributor of the Aeolus truck tyre range in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, France, Denmark and Romania, reports record sales of Aeolus truck tyres in these markets last year. Sales were up ten per cent compared with those achieved in 2016, a result helped by the introduction of the first products into the Aeolus Neo range.
The integration of Prometeon Tyre Group (the former Pirelli Industrial business) and Aeolus Tyre Co. Ltd has stalled after Aeolus’ pending acquisition of a 90 per cent stake in Prometeon failed to gain overseas acquisition approval from Chinese authorities before the 31 December 2017 deadline.
Aeolus has launched its third generation of truck and bus radial tyres in a large dealer event on the shores – and water – of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Readers of Tyres & Accessories will know that this location is highly appropriate for the Chinese company; the introduction of the new, extensive product range comes at a moment when the ChemChina produced brand is preparing for its future positioning as a second-line sister range to Pirelli in the commercial segment. While the exact relationship of Pirelli and Aeolus continues to be fluidly complex, the Italian brand’s recent separation of its commercial tyre operations under the Prometeon Tyre Group banner give a good indication of where Aeolus commercial tyres are heading.
With one industry insider calling ChemChina’s acquisition of Pirelli “a genius move”, it would have been remiss of us not to take the opportunity to spend time with new Aeolus general manager Giovanni Pomati and find out more about how the changes affect the best-known ChemChina brand (Aeolus) and the company’s views on the latest changes in the Chinese marketplace during Tyres & Accessories recent visit to China.
As we have all heard by now, following the high profile acquisition of Pirelli by ChemChina (whose Chinese tyre manufacturing plants include respected truck and car tyre manufacturer Aeolus and well-known OTR tyremaker, Torch) what we used to refer to simply as Pirelli has split itself in two. The part focusing on car and other consumer-orientated high-performance products retains the Pirelli name, while the remaining parts of the business (which were previously known as Pirelli Industrial) are in the process of being merged with their Chinese opposite numbers, subject to approval by the relevant authorities, and folded into a new entity – Prometeon Tyre Group. Autopromotec was Prometeon’s first public outing, so Tyres & Accessories interviewed chief operating officer (COO), Murilo Fonseca, during the recent Autopromotec exhibition in Bologna to find out more about the strategy behind the moves.
Prometeon Tyre Group (the former Pirelli Industrial business unit) is to make its first public appearance at the Autopromotec fair. Prometeon is hosting a multi-brand stand with Pirelli-branded and truck, bus and agricultural products as well Aeolus-branded truck, bus and OTR tyres. The news follows the announcement on 13 April that Pirelli’s Industrial activities will […]