On August 1, 2017 China National Chemical Equipment (CNCE; also known as ChemChian) and Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (Fraunhofer) under Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft signed a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Munich. According to the MOU, the two sides will cooperate with each other in the fields of new chemical materials, intelligent manufacturing, automation and information technology.
In parallel with presenting its full-year 2016 results, Pirelli has revealed further details of its complex ownership structure and how it is splitting its consumer and industrial tyre business into two separate entities.
The latest news is that, as of March 2017, TP Industrial holding (which owns the newly renamed PTG, which was called Pirelli industrial until recently – more on that later) has been separated out from Pirelli’s consumer tyre business. In practice this means the assignment of TP Industrial holding to Marco Polo, Pirelli’s sole shareholder. According to Pirelli, the assignment will “ensure that Pirelli and TP Industrial can pursue their own independent paths to growth and independently developed strategies”.
Reuters reports that ChemChina did not bid for Kumho Tire, citing a ChemChina executive. told Reuters, denying South Korean media. Roughly 10 parties are said to have expressed an interest in buying a controlling stake in Kumho, which is the world’s 12th-biggest tyre manufacturer. Analysts suggest the deal could be worth around 1 trillion won ($870.02 million).
ChemChina is said to have expressed interest in Kumho Tire Co., according to Korean news source. Citing “industry sources” Pulse News said ChemChina “signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with creditors of Kumho Tire last month and began preparing for an official bid. The Chinese company selected Boston Consulting Group to advice on the deal.”
Say Pirelli and the first things you think of are high performance cars and stylish marketing. However, Pirelli’s truck tyre of the business has received renewed attention in recent years, especially in light of last year’s takeover of Pirelli by ChemChina. A key part of that acquisition was based on the belief that, while Pirelli is the undisputed technology leader of that relationship (especially in terms of car tyres), ChemChina’s group of companies is known to be at its strongest in the commercial vehicle or “industrial” side of things. Since then, there have been renewed efforts to develop Pirelli truck tyre position in the UK, Europe and globally – a position that is likely to be augmented by addition production capacity (via the ChemChina group companies) in China as well as their brands. Set against this backdrop, Pirelli recently highlighted its partnerships with well-known truck fleets – notably Travis Perkins group here in the UK, a company it has supplied for 20 years.
The China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) reports that its subsidiary Pirelli “recently” held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new facility in Mexico. It shares that the US$360 million has been invested in the new plant so far, and by the end of 2018 the total investment figure will exceed $600 million.
As senior management from Aeolus Tyre disclosed during a Reifen 2016 press conference, the Chinese tyre maker will soon be part of the world’s fourth-largest industrial tyre manufacturing company. This new tyre firm, which has yet to be named, will exist under the umbrella of state-owned concern ChemChina. In addition to Aeolus Tyre, the company will be comprised of Pirelli, which ChemChina acquired last year, and the Italian tyre maker’s new sister companies, Qingdao Yellow Sea Rubber and Double Happiness.
Germany’s Continental AG is said to be discussing the potential acquisition of Kumho Tire, and is just one of several tyre makers apparently interested in purchasing the company. News of this development comes at a time when Kumho Asiana Group chairman Park Sam-Koo’s efforts to regain control of Kumho Tire have run into difficulties.
Pirelli has launched its new tyre line for commercial vehicles, the R:01 Triathlon, at Reifen 2016. Designed as third generation products, the tyres provide performance characteristics not only to replace the existing R:01 II, but also to overlap the winter W:01 and long-haul H:01 ranges. While the new tyres are “not designed to replace” Pirelli’s specialist models, the manufacturer’s CEO Europe, Renato Zilli told Tyrepress that the R:01 Triathlon range represents its recognition of users’ “variable needs” and the evolution of European goods transportation; in 2010 the ratio between regional, long-haul and winter applications was 76:20:4, while in 2015 this has changed to 81:15:4. Commercial tyres featuring all-round performance are naturally attractive to dealers as an aftermarket solution, but European fleets also require adaptability between the more popular regional applications and long-haul routes, taking in different climates.
ChemChina’s Aeolus Tyre will exhibit in Hall 3 at Reifen 2016 (stand A45), with a larger booth than in 2014 displaying its major product ranges. Thomas Wohlgemuth, European sales and marketing manager at Aeolus Western Europe (Consumer Tyres), is looking forward to the exhibition: “What we will show our international customers is a future-proof company with a clear strategic direction. We would also like to further establish ourselves as a strong and reliable commercial partner.”
Under its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ the government of China aims to redirect overproduction within certain key industries to other countries, particularly those in Eurasia, and one project being set up in response to this strategy is about to begin in South Asia. The Jamuna Group, a Bangladesh-based private enterprise active in a number of sectors, is establishing a tyre factory within the country with technical assistance from companies belonging to state-owned chemical firm China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina).
Pirelli has begun plans to sell truck and bus tyres in the United States and Canada through a new entity, TP Commercial Solutions LLC. The move represents an expansion into North America of Pirelli’s industrial business unit, currently headed at the group level by Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera.It also follows plans to separate Pirelli’s car and truck tyre businesses, which was initiated in practice by a stock market filing published on 21 March in China. This filing saw China National Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. (ChemChina’s tyre division known as CNRC) announce it had signed a “material asset reorganisation framework agreement” with Aeolus Tyre Co., Ltd including the creation of a China-based Pirelli TBR company.
Pirelli’s Chinese owner ChemChina has officially entered into negotiations relating to the separating out the Italian firm’s truck tyre business in order to combine it with Aeolus and the three other ChemChina-owned tyre businesses.