On 4 August 2022, Aeolus announced it was ready to sign a supplementary agreement with China National Tyre & Rubber Co., Ltd (CNRC). Through that agreement, CNRC has entrusted Aeolus with a 38 per cent stake in Prometeon Tyre Group S.r.l. (PTG).
Progress has been made in the relocation of Aeolus’s Qingxu County, Taiyuan City, China tyre factory. Specifically, the Qingxu county government has already determined the factory’s new address. A few days ago, the relevant departments invited a design team to inspect the factory’s new location and discuss the relocation project’s design plan. At present, the design unit is preparing a feasibility proposal.
Aeolus and Doublestar recently reported operating results for the first half of 2022. Both show sharp declines in net profits for the two companies that have controlling interests in global tyremakers Prometeon and Kumho respectively.
Chinese listed tyre companies have successively released their 2021 annual reports in recent weeks. Here, Tyrepress analyses these annual reports’ comparing developments in revenue, operating conditions and overseas factory strategy. And the short story is Linglong remains the largest tyremaker amongst the top 10 listed Chinese tyre companies and that Sailun is the fastest growing.
Aeolus has launched its new NEO Urban D bus tyre in size 275/70R22.5. The tyre has been specially developed for the drive axle. Jeroen Vos, Aeolus product manager comments that the new addition “allows us to offer a complete range of tyres for city buses, in a variety of sizes and patterns.” The tyre is available in much of Western Europe via Heuver, which has distributed the brand since 2004.
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.