Now Yokohama has confirmed its acquisition of Trelleborg Wheel Systems (TWS), we can talk more definitively about the rationale behind the purchase. There are several drivers behind the acquisition, but they all boil down to Yokohama’s desire to increase global leadership and rebalances its product mix.
During the summer Alliance Tire Group began showing off its Agri Star II Alliance 372 Agriflex+ VF and lines. The first of these debuted at the LAMMA show in January, but both tyres came to market during the first corona lockdown. Tyrepress.com saw these products in action on a farm in Germany a couple of months back, but the UK’s second lockdown put paid to plans for a real-world 372 VF launch over here. So instead of togging up in extra-thick jackets and pulling on our wellies, on 1 December we headed over to the virtual farm and caught up with ATG and Kirkby Tyres, who exclusively distributes the Alliance brand in the UK and Ireland.
Yokohama’s Prometeon bid: Delayed by Covid, but nearing completion
Today Yokohama announced that it is consolidating its OTR tyre businesses into Yokohama Off-Highway Tires, which could be read as a prelude to the announcement Yokohama’s bid for the Prometeon tyre business. Roughly a year after the story broke, Yokohama’s bid for Prometeon isn’t the best kept secret in the tyre industry. Tyres & Accessories first heard talk of Yokohama’s bid for the ex-Pirelli industrial and commercial vehicle tyre business back in July 2019. The news was reported world-wide after we broke the story in September 2019, followed days later by third-party confirmation from the Chinese side of the deal. At that time, the deal was set to go public by the end of 2019. A few months later at the start of 2020, the timeframe switched to an end-of-first-quarter 2020 deadline. Then the coronavirus pandemic happened. And in the months that have followed things have gone quiet. So, where is Yokohama’s bid for Prometeon up to? The latest news is that deal is still on-track, but that there have been a few changes along the way. Here, Tyres & Accessories brings an update on the status of the acquisition and offers a different view on the deal by looking at it from a South American perspective.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. is set to build a new plant at Atchutapuram Industrial Park, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India to expand ATG’s (Alliance Tire Group) tyre production capacity. The new plant will have a daily production capacity of 55 tons (rubber weight), with planned capital investment totalling US$165 million. Construction will start in the third quarter of 2020 and the new plant is scheduled to come on line in the first quarter of 2023.
AGCO has named Alliance Tire Group, Ltd North American Direct Materials Supplier of the Year during its 2020 online North America Supplier Event. Alliance was recognized by AGCO for “performance in cost, collaboration, innovation, account management, coordination and flexibility”. AGCO officials noted that Alliance – the only tyre supplier recognized during the event – exhibited strong coordination and alignment with AGCO and improved factory efficiency.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd’s first half 2020 profit might have declined 92.5 per cent compare with the same period of the previous year to 1.3 billion yen (£9.321 million; 10.322 million euros, US$12.220 million), but the company did remain profitable as all tyre manufacturers have faced serious headwinds due to coronavirus. Operating profit fell 86.8 per cent to 2.9 billion yen. And salves fell 20.6 per cent to 247.1 billion yen.
Alliance has introduced three new sizes for its 644 Forestar III tyre. The forestry tyre has earned an excellent reputation since its launch last year. The tyre has undergone extensive field tests against a premium forestry tyre competitor on a harvester in the Czech Republic and on a forwarder in Latvia. During the tests, customers were impressed with the overall performance of the Forestar 644, singling out the tyre’s traction and stability in challenging conditions. Alliance says the test results show that the tyre stands comparison with the premium competition, while offering value for money. The tyre is now available in sizes: 710/40-24.5, 710/55-28.5, and 780/50-28.5. These have been added to the previously launched sizes: 600/50-22.5, 710/40-22.5, 600/55-26.5, 710/45-26.5, 750/55-26.5, and 800/40-26.5.
ATG has extended its leading range of Galaxy brand radial tyres for small tractors used in gardening, orchards and vineyards. The Galaxy Garden Pro offers nearly 50 per cent greater tread depth than typical R3 tyres – Galaxy calls it an R3+ tyre – with a solid-to-void tread ratio of 49:51 to promote self-cleaning. It is available in 23 sizes for rim sizes between 12 and 30, including five newly launched sizes. ATG says Galaxy now covers the segment of smaller and medium utility tractors in the segment.
The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. posted a 258 million yen loss during the first quarter of 2020 compared with 9.1 billion yen in profit in the same period of the previous year. Meanwhile operating profit fell 90.4 per cent, to 1.2 billion yen. Sales revenue declined 13.6 per cent to 129.1 billion yen.
The new Galaxy Mighty Trac ND is a freshly-developed L-4 tyre for skid steer loaders, which is designed to equally excel “on hard surfaces like roads or paved farm yards as well as sticky mud, loose sand, or snow”. The Galaxy Mighty Trac ND is available in sizes 10-16.5NHS and 12-16.5NHS. A 14-17.5NHS variant is currently under development.
From the start of 2020, all Galaxy solid tyres come with a five-warranty. Announcing this extended warranty, Alliance Tire Group (ATG) comments that the Galaxy solid range thus enjoys “one of the longest warranty periods in the industry.”
Alliance Tire Group (ATG) has expanded the Galaxy Yardmaster forklift tyre range with the addition of higher ply rating tyres for five key sizes. The new additions are sizes 21X8-9 (16 PR), 7.00-12, 7.00-15 and 7.50-15 (all 14 PR) and 250-15 (20 PR).
Last year, Alliance Tire Group (ATG) launched the Alliance 585 for telehandler, backhoe and compact loader applications. The tyre maker reports that the initial size 460/70R24 tyre is already a bestseller within its range – and it has now added an extra five Alliance 585 sizes.
STARCO has taken on distribution of the Alliance and Galaxy agricultural, forestry and construction tyre lines in Switzerland under a newly-negotiated agreement with Alliance Tire Group (ATG). As authorised partner for the representation and distribution of Alliance and Galaxy tyres throughout this market, STARCO will provide its warehouse and distribution facilities as well as its expertise and skills in order to make ATG’s products more accessible to Swiss customers.