According to US government-funded news service Radio Free Asia (RFA), North Korea is facing a shortage of tyres that is forcing many vehicles off the road. RFA explains that the tyre shortage results from the two-year-long border closure and trade ban with China imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. It adds comments from sources who say domestic tyre production is “negligible” and importing these products has been “almost impossible.”
Last year, new car registrations grew by a marginal 1.0 per cent on a pandemic-ravaged 2020, as 1.65 million new cars entered the UK market. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) underline the ongoing impact of Covid and the semiconductor shortage on the industry, with the market down 28.7 per cent on pre-pandemic 2019, representing the second worst year since 1992.
COVID-19 is limbering up to cast its shadow over us for a third year, and exhibition organisers are cancelling or postponing shows scheduled for the early months of 2022. Agricultural sector fair the LAMMA Show is the latest to announce that it won’t take place on the previously announced dates.
Hindsight is said to be 20/20, yet this isn’t a faculty that helped the tyre industry this year. Early optimism driven by vaccine rollouts quickly turned to despair as sideways-parked container ships, skyrocketing sea freight prices, rising material costs and supply shortages delivered blow after blow. As we enter the final quarter of the year we have a much clearer view of what’s going on, and what we see is that tyres will be pricier in the coming months – assuming we can get our hands on them.
UK car production fell 41.5 per cent in September, the third consecutive month of decline, with 67,169 cars manufactured – the worst performing September since 1982 – according to the latest figures released this week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Year-on-year comparisons of financial performance tell us arguably more about global events than an individual company’s economic trajectory at the moment. Thus, it came as no surprise a few months back when Michelin reported much healthier first-half results compared with pandemic-riddled 2020. Similarly, eyebrows aren’t raised now when the company notes the impact of rising materials, shipping and energy costs as well as a shortage of semiconductors and labour shortages upon its performance in Q3 2021.
The organiser of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has announced the event’s cancellation for a second year. Comité permanent du Salon international de l’automobile states that it was “forced to postpone the event to 2023” due to “industry-wide issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The UK new bus and coach market grew by 231.1 per cent in the second quarter after a near standstill in 2020, reports the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). But although all vehicle types saw double- and even triple-digit increases on 2020, the market remains subdued.
Firestone returns to the All Points East festival as sponsor for a third time over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The event returns to London’s Victoria Park after a year’s absence, and the Firestone Stage will be ready to entertain.
Within the next few hours, production will recommence at Hankook Tire & Technology’s Geumsan plant in South Korea following a 48-hour pause that began on 24 July after a number of workers tested positive for Covid-19. Health authorities have set up a test centre at the plant and intend to test around 3,000 employees early this week.
Data released by the UK car industry throughout the pandemic has shown the negative impact of Covid-19 on sales of new and used vehicles, but new research shows the figures could have been worse. A study for Kwik Fit indicates that as 3.8 million drivers said Covid-19 caused them to put off a planned car purchase. However, this was partially offset by the fact that 3.2 million drivers were prompted by the impact of the pandemic to buy a new or used car.
Registrations of new cars in June grew 28.0 per cent year-on-year to 186,128, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)’s latest figures. The monthly performance was again artificially lifted through comparison with June 2020, when the UK began to emerge from the first pandemic lockdown and showrooms in England opened up at the beginning of the month.
The organiser of The Tire Cologne 2022 is encouraging potential exhibitors to take the plunge with an early bird discount, which can be obtained until 30 June. Koelnmesse comments that initial indications and registrations “all point to the trade fair being another strong business event that will live up to its ambition.”
It’s no surprise that considerably more new cars were sold throughout the European Union in May 2021 than during the corresponding month of last year. Indeed, upon reporting the 891,665 new registrations for the month, a 53.4 per cent year-on-year increase compared with May 2020, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) notes that the bar was set low by the lockdowns and various restrictions in place throughout Europe a year ago. In order to place the latest registration figures into context, the ACEA points out that no less than 1.2 million passenger cars were sold within the region in May 2019, 26.7 per cent higher than last month’s figure.