This year, retreading materials manufacturer Vipal Rubber is celebrating what it views as an important milestone – 15 years of operations in Eastern Europe. Vipal’s activities within this region began with the opening of a distribution centre in Slovenia in 2006, and today it supplies treads and other retreading products to approximately 50 customers there and in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland as well as to markets in the Balkan and Baltic regions.
Having received approval back in June, Qingdao Sentury Tire has successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is now listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (China) as of 11 September 2020. 11 per cent of the company’s shares were valued at 1.31 billion yuan (162 million euros; £149.859 million) by investors, resulting in a theoretical total valuation of 1.47 billion euros. The offered shares offered were oversubscribed 2887 times over. But what is the company planning to do with its newly-raised funds?
According to Clear International, demand for trailers grew by 3.6 per cent in Eastern Europe in 2018. The market has grown every year for the last six years, but that growth has been quite modest. Nevertheless, trailer sales in 2018 were the third highest on record, only surpassed in 2007 and 2008. The forecast for 2023 is that registrations of new trailers will be close to setting an all-time record.
Market analysts at Clear report that the Eastern Europe trailer market has been hit by a severe downturn in the Turkish market for commercial vehicles. The forecast for Turkey in 2017 is for a fall in trailer demand of 29 per cent on the back of large declines in 2015 and 2016. Political instability had already undermined business confidence in early 2016 and then in mid-year there was an attempted military coup. This had a dire and worsening effect on business investment. As a result, a further 19,700 trailers have been wiped from the Turkish forecast.
Recession, sanctions plus the plummeting oil price has had a devastating impact on the outlook for trailer demand in Russia. A year ago Clear International’s analysis suggested 24,000 trailers were wiped from the forecast published in March 2015. Six months ago a further 8,000 trailers were removed from the prognosis. In the current forecast yet another 4,000 trailers have been removed from the Russian outlook.
The Kwik Fit Group has agreed a partnership deal that sees the Kwik Fit tyre retail and fast-fit brand expand into Italy. Under the terms of the agreement, 200 centres are set to open over the next decade.
The expansion is based on a franchise agreement with CDG-ONE, part of Segema S.p.A., a leading tyre distribution group in Italy. Segema imports and distributes Yokohama tyres in Italy through Yokohama Italia S.p.A. and GiTi Tyres through Magri Gomme S.p.A.
The instability in Ukraine plus the plummeting oil price has had a devastating impact on the outlook for trailer demand in Russia, according to new research published by Clear. Nearly 24,000 trailers were wiped from the last forecast for the 2015 – 2019 period in the report issued in March 2015. In the latest forecast a further 8,000 trailers have been removed from the forecast for Russia and the Ukraine.
Nokian Tyres already operates 13 production lines within its facilities in Russia and only has space to install one more. Company CEO Ari Lehtoranta says arrangements have been made to implement this extra line, and looking further ahead the company is “preparing plans” for its next factory. During a conference call on 8 May, he outlined the options the tyre maker was considering for this additional plant as well as the timetable for the related decision process.
As reported last month, Michelin is gearing up to make some changes to its Exelagri dealer network in Europe. In a UK-market press release, the tyre maker describes these changes to its agricultural tyre dealer programme as “ambitious growth plans” and says its enlarged, 1,000 outlet network aims to gain a 50 per cent share of the agricultural tyre market by 2024. While the release does not specify where this growth will take place, Tyres & Accessories understands that Exelagri growth efforts will focus on Eastern Europe.
A new study from Frost & Sullivan says that Eastern Europe and Central Asia offer very interesting opportunities for the light vehicles sector which includes passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The study analyses this market in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and finds that by 2021 the annual light vehicle sales volume in these eight countries is expected to reach nearly one million.
The instability in both Ukraine and Syria has had a real impact on the outlook for trailer demand, indeed the East European trailer market is said to be flatlining in 2014. According to a new report produced by Clear International, nearly 7,000 trailers have been wiped from the forecast for the 2014/15 period. That is in addition to the reductions made to the last forecast in March this year following the annexation of Crimea. The forecast reductions affect Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Latvia, plus Turkey which borders Syria.
Apollo Tyres’ board has approved plans to build a new tyre factory in “Eastern Europe”, with 500 million euros earmarked for the project. According to the company, the greenfield project will see the tyre manufacturer invest half a billion euros over the next years, funded by “accruals and debt at the company’s European subsidiary”. The capacity is expected to be 16,000 passenger car radial (PCR) tyres a day and 3000 truck and bus radials a day.