With its AU$48.7 million (£26.7 million) acquisition of Tyres 4U assets in Australia and New Zealand, National Tyre & Wheel becomes one of the region’s largest tyre wholesalers and the largest independent, multi-branded wholesaler in both countries. The transaction was finalised in August and more than doubles National’s distribution centre footprint in the two countries, with its nine company-owned and four third-party facilities complemented by 11 Tyres 4U centres in Australia and three in New Zealand. Combined tyre volume for the Australian financial year ending 30 June 2020 exceeded 2.5 million units, with a revenue of $450 million (£247 million).
Australia’s JAX Tyres is now entirely owned by Hankook Tire. On 23 January, the South Korean firm acquired a 100 per cent stake in the franchise network of tyre retailers from its principal shareholder, company chairman Fred Hurrell, and others. The deal covers 83 outlets in the eastern states of Australia. While Hankook Tire hasn’t disclosed the sum it paid for JAX Tyres, Pulse shares that market observers estimate a KRW 100 billion (£68.8 million) price tag for the transaction.
Following on from its debut in almost 50 markets since the start of 2015, including its European premiere at the IAA motor show, the rollout of Hankook Tire’s Laufenn brand continues. Hankook Tire has stated an aim to sell Laufenn tyres in 70 countries by the end of this year, and the latest markets to receive the range are Australia and New Zealand. A total of seven Laufenn summer and all-season lines will be sold in these two countries.
Today marks the start of New Zealand’s inaugural Tyre Awareness Week. The initiative is driven by government agencies, tyre makers and industry bodies and aims to encourage motorists to check tread depth and condition, and to maintain tyres at the correct pressure. NZ Tyre Awareness Week is supported by a dedicated website, www.tyresafety.org.nz.
Football sponsorship has been a favoured means of brand promotion at Continental since it became a Champions League partner in 1995, and in addition to its numerous global, regional and national commitments it has now signed up as an official sponsor of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015. At the centre of this deal with the Asian Football Confederation is a championship taking place in Australia between 9 and 31 January 2015; teams from 46 countries will be involved and match coverage will reach up to 2.5 billion spectators.
The project to expand Evonik Industries’ production of precipitated silica at its facility in Thailand is complete and officially opened on 14 March. The company says it invested a ‘lower double-digit’ figure in the expansion project, and while it hasn’t indicated the new capacity at the Maptaphut (Rayong Province) site, Evonik’s global capacity for precipitated silica, fumed silica, and matting agents now stands at around 500,000 tonnes. As well as supplying the tyre and automotive industries, Evonik will ship its precipitated silica to customers in the food, animal feed and paint and coatings sectors.
By the middle of this year, Hankook Tyre Australia will distribute its products directly to retailers throughout the country. The company previously used a number of state-based distributors to supply the Australian market but began consolidating these operations some years ago. Now all regions aside from Western Australia are supplied directly from Hankook, and between now and 31 May 2014 Hankook Tyre Australia will “work closely” with local distributor Koast Tyre in this remaining market towards “a seamless transition” to direct distribution.
Kumho Tyre Australia has become the new naming rights sponsor for the Australian Junior Rally Challenge, further expanding the company’s backing of the ECB Australian Rally Championship. Kumho is already the championship’s official tyre supplier. Announcing the company’s participation as naming rights sponsor, Kumho Tyre Australia’s national marketing and training manager, David Basha, said “Kumho believes in the future of the Australian Rally Championship and backing the Junior Challenge is all about nurturing the future stars of the sport who will help build interest in the championship overall.
An industry-driven tyre stewardship scheme was launched by the Australian Government today. The scheme is backed by the Australian Tyre Industry Council and has been established with funding from tyre importers Continental, Goodyear Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo and Yokohama. It aims to tackle the environmental challenges arising from used tyres.
Singapore-based Omni United has appointed Tyre & Tube Australia (TTA) as the official Australian market distributor of its Radar Tires brand. The company says TTA began distributing Radar tyres to its network of around 150 tyre dealers on 1 October 2013.
In late November, a Bridgestone Australia-sponsored AU$9.5 million (£5.3 million) patient accommodation village designed to support regional blood cancer patients and their families was officially opened in Adelaide’s north-east. The Bridgestone Australia Leukaemia Foundation Village offers free specialised accommodation and support services to patients and their families, mostly those from regional areas who often have to spend months away from home while undergoing treatment.
Decades ago, the advertisement that Bob Jane’s company ran on Australian television claimed ‘not even the tyres can believe the low prices’; now Judge Besanko can’t believe them, either. In the Federal Court of Australia this week he found that the companies Jane established after leaving Bob Jane Corporation have “engaged in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive,” and infringe on Bob Jane Corporation’s trademark rights. To remedy this, Besanko ruled that Bob Jane may no longer use his own name to sell tyres or related products and services.
Kumho Tyres Australia has renewed its support for the Australian Rally Championship. The company has been involved with the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship for the past four seasons and has now committed to being official tyre supplier up until at least 2016.
The organiser of the Australian V8 Touring Car Series has confirmed Kumho Tyres Australia will continue as control tyre supplier until at least 2016. The supply agreement’s renewal continues an arrangement that began in 2008; as before, during the next three seasons Kumho will provide on-track support to competitors during all rounds.
Bridgestone New Zealand has entered into sponsorship partnerships with two organisations looking after the country’s native flora and fauna, and its best-known bird in particular – the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park and the Motuora Restoration Society.