OK so the fact that China is the world’s largest tyre producer, the largest car maker, has the largest population and is likely to be the largest economy soon means that it is massively premature to write off the People’s Republic. Rapid growth and the huge scale of Brazil, Russia and India means these markets are still should be the focus of much attention. However, many international businesses have already latched onto this. So if everyone is competing for what they perceive as the same low-hanging fruit other opportunities could be going missing…or at least that is the question that is being raised in banking circles.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has revealed that car manufacturing rose 1.3 per cent in July and is up 3.7 per cent over the first seven months of 2011. Commercial vehicle output has not been able to match the upwards creep of car manufacturing, with a decline of 5.9 per cent in July, down 5.1 per cent over the January-July period. UK engine production is stable, dipping just 0.4 per cent in July and up 4.0 per cent for the year-to-date. Vehicle production in the UK is less fragile than much of the UK economy thanks to strong exports.
As Tyres & Accessories' November issue went to press President Barrack Obama and David Cameron were out banging the drum for American and British business in India and China respectively. 24 hours after Obama set foot in the subcontinent, the Sunday Telegraph's resident cartoonist was portraying the leaders of two of the richest countries in the western world as beggers seeking scraps from two so-called “emerging markets.”
Toyo Tire & Rubber has announced the joint establishment, along with Mitsubishi Corporation, of a Russian tyre sales subsidiary. The new subsidiary, known as Toyo Tire Rus LLC, was formed on October 23. According to the Japanese manufacturer, Toyo Rus LLC was established primarily for expanding the brand presence of Toyo tyres and improving the brand’s position in this growing and increasingly motorised BRIC market.