Against the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic, Michelin Group reported sales of 20.5 billion euros in 2020, down 15.2 per cent. Segment operating income was 1.9 billion euros, representing 9.2 per cent of sales. Net income amounted to 625 million euros and was thus 63.9 per cent lower than in the previous year.
Jukka Moisio is “extremely proud” the Nokian Tyres team’s response to the challenges it faced in 2020. But no amount of pride can compensate for sales and income lost due to lockdowns and other restrictions. As expected, the Finnish tyre maker reported reduced sales and earnings for the year.
Nothing holds a candle to trade fairs when it comes to meeting up and sharing experiences. This past year may have shown us what life without tyre shows looks like, but it hasn’t offered us much in the way of alternatives.
Good news stories have been thin on the ground of late, but when ZC Rubber describes 2020 as a “remarkable year,” it means it in the very best sense of the word. The tyre maker elaborated on why the previous 12 months were so positive at its China Distributors Conference, which took place on 30 December. As well looking back on its achievements, ZC Rubber presented its vision for further digital innovation and gave a sneak preview of products arriving in 2021.
Back in April, Tyres & Accessories spoke to leading supplier of freight forwarding services to the UK tyre sector, Maritime Cargo Services about the perfect storm of circumstances complicating life for tyre importers. Then it was difficult to anticipate the logistical problems the industry would face by the end of the first quarter – at least far enough ahead to sidestep the issues entirely. Even armed with the expectation of disruption, the pressure has built at British ports throughout the year, especially in the last quarter as Covid began to spike again. As a result, Honda UK’s suspension of production became a high-profile symptom of the catalogue of issues causing bottlenecking and ultimately delays in the supply chain. With the end of the Brexit transition coming amidst the second spike of Covid-19 transmissions on 31 December, T&A asked MCS again about what difficulties distribution businesses need to plan for this winter.
The fourth session of the virtual Tyre Industry Conference centred on tyre recycling and the circular economy in the year of coronavirus. Joined by the Tyre Recovery Association’s secretary general Peter Taylor OBE and Mark Murfitt, the managing director of the UK’s largest tyre recycler, Murfitts Industries, our discussion focused on issues affecting collection and processing of end of life tyres in the UK, the impact of the pandemic, the damage caused by non-compliance, and future developments in tyre recycling. The UK’s tyre recycling sector witnessed a number of investments in 2020 from companies such as the newly formed Norwegian outfit Wastefront’s intention to build a pyrolysis facility in Sunderland and the UK’s Powerhouse Energy Group’s Cheshire DMG syngas plant. So noticeable was this trend that Tyrepress published its first ever Digital Feature based largely on the trend – a magazine-style online feature collecting the latest news from the segment in one place. The interest in this unglamorous but vital segment would perhaps represent a surprise to some, but several developments led to this flurry of activity.
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car manufacturing output fell 18.2 per cent in October. 110,179 units left UK factories during the month, 24,490 fewer cars than were made in October 2019, with the impact of coronavirus and fresh lockdowns at home and overseas subduing demand in many key markets.
BKT has set up one of the first-ever contactless E-ICU, COVID-19 treatment facilities to be built in India outside of a hospital. The centre is located at the tyre maker’s Bhuj site, and its doctor and eight healthcare workers are responsible for treating workers and their families affected by coronavirus.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a five-month extension to the furlough scheme is good news for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes described the decision to prolong the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which pays employees 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, a “welcome lifeline” in a challenging environment of car showroom closures and lockdown. But he stresses that government support won’t suffice to keep the country’s vehicle manufacturers afloat.
Trade fairs can be corona-safe. This is the message from Koelnmesse, organiser of The Tire Cologne, and to prove this it set up a model exhibition bristling with measures for keeping exhibitors and visitors healthy.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has been shortlisted for the ‘COVID Champion Award’ at the 2021 Learning Awards, for the support they have given to garages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This award is a new category for 2021, created to honour and pay tribute to those that have shown great strength and a deep passion for helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The threat of coronavirus and our response to this has changed much in the last six months of year, and a study conducted on behalf of Kwik Fit shows that car buying plans are no exception. While the end of the first lockdown saw a rise in car sales due to pent up demand, it seems the pandemic has changed the vehicle purchase intentions of as many as 13.9 million UK drivers.
This autumn could bring with it a new rash of tyre dumping and site abandonment warns Britain’s Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). The association has warned that there are several factors of which the public, our regulators and the tyre trade should be aware. The TRA’s latest comments follow a previous warning that market conditions were likely to have such consequences earlier in the year.
In spite of COVID-19, Prinx Chengshan managed to increase its net profit in the first half of 2020, a feat aided in part by a prompt response to the pandemic. Sales revenue for Prinx Chengshan (Cayman) Holding Limited and its subsidiaries in the six months to 30 June 2020 came to RMB 2,844.0 million (£317.2 million), 1.0 per cent less than in the same period of 2019. Gross profit rose 9.9 per cent year-on-year to RMB 606.3 million (£66.7 million) and net profit increased 1.6 per cent to RMB 265.3 million (£29.2 million).
The UK’s new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined by 73.4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that 4,151 units were registered between 1 March and 30 June 2020. Just 328 buses and coaches joined UK roads during the quarter.