The member of Parliament for Erdington, the constituency when Goodyear Dunlop is based has criticised the “outrageous and irresponsible” way in which the tyre manufacturer has opted to close its Dunlop Motorsport factory in Birmingham. Jack Dromey (Labour) said the closure confirmation came two days after a summit with business secretary Vince Cable.
Dunlop is set to transfer its European motorsport tyre production to plants in France and Germany, following confirmation from the company that there are no viable plans for its manufacturing operation to stay in the UK when the lease for its Erdington home expires on 1 September 2014. The company reports that it has begun consulting with affected employees and Union representatives of the Erdington site. 241 jobs, mainly in the manufacturing part of the operation will be affected, however company representatives told Tyres & Accessories that Dunlop remains committed to motorsport tyre production and as such wants to retain talent – especially in specialist fields such as research and development – wherever possible.
Pending a final decision on where it will relocate when its current Fort Dunlop lease expires, Dunlop Motorsport’s continued presence in Birmingham remains uncertain. MP for Erdington Jack Dromey has urged Goodyear Dunlop to make a decision soon, and to consider the long history the Dunlop name shares with the city and the UK when it does.
While it sounds too dramatic to talk about seismic activity in the tyre market, the ongoing long-term effects of the various financial crises are continuing to be felt. At a continental level this has meant continued queries about how the largest tyre makers can better balance supply and demand in Europe. However it is also difficult to say how much of this conjecture is actually manifesting into any kind of practical reality. Indeed, at times like these people can get over-creative in their analyses, along with any legitimate market observations. That said, and without wanting to sound like a seventies pop song, it is as if we can feel the slow undulations of the terra firma under our feet.
Despite an illustrious history dating back to 1917, 30 May could mark the end of an era for Dunlop as officials confirmed that its motorsports tyre manufacturing operation will have to find a new home away from the historic Fort Dunlop site from 2014 if their new landlord doesn't lease it back to them again. According to the landlord, Canmoor, the site has been sold to neighbouring Jaguar Land Rover. Therefore it looks likely that Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (a completely separate company from Goodyear Dunlop) will be the only tyre manufacturing operation remaining in Birmingham after the end of the current lease. Dunlop's annual motorsport tyre output is currently believed to be around 200,000 units. 180 manufacturing staff are employed there along with roughly 120 tyre testing, sales and marketing personnel.
HiQ franchise Easy Autocentres’ branches in Erdington and Kettering say they are benefitting from their investment in Pro-Align’s £30,000 wheel alignment systems. HiQ says there has been an increase in wheel alignment work of up to 50 per cent at each centre that now uses advanced Pro-Align machinery. Pro-Align says its systems help to improve motorists’ fuel economy, while also spotting defective and dangerous tyres at an early stage, thus reducing the potential of serious accidents.
The marketing manager at HiQ’s largest franchise has raised £500 from a 5K run completed with her sister for Cancer Research UK. Emma-Jane Kisby, marketing manager for Easy Autocentres, and her sister Claire Murray, completed the Sutton Park Race for Life, to the delight of their friends and family.
Dunlop, Aston Martin Racing’s official global GT2 Development Partner, is to work closely with the British manufacturer over a three-year period in order to develop the Vantage GT2, which the Dunlop supported team JMW Motorsport will race in the 2010 Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hour. According to Dunlop, an intensive testing programme gets underway this month ahead of the opening Le Mans Series race, the 8 Hours of Le Castellet, on April 9-11. Participation in a number of selected high profile events may be added to the team’s calendar at a later date.
Goodyear has introduced a new agricultural club for farmers nationwide. The Goodyear AGRI Club has been set up to encourage the sharing of best practice and industry news throughout the UK's farming community. Free to join, the Goodyear AGRI Club offers members regular e-mail and postal newsletters as well as tyre offers and opportunities to join the Goodyear team at farming shows across the country.
Following the reassertion of its pledge to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Goodyear now has the finishing line in sight as company employees’ hard work comes to fruition. Earlier this year Goodyear pledged to raise £50,000 for the building of a specialist play area for patients of the Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Service. The work has now been completed and Goodyear’s managing director Mark Brickhill joined BCH chairman Jo Davis to find out how the space has made a difference to the lives of those patients.
Brickhill commented, “The play area at the hospital looks wonderful and it’s great to finally see it being enjoyed by the patients. Family safety and innovation are at the heart of our business and so there is a natural affiliation between us and the development of a play area for the CAMHS patients. After speaking with some of the children and hearing how much they are enjoying the new space, I’m sure that all at Goodyear will be spurred on to reach our final £50,000 target.”
Pneu-Logic, a UK subsidiary of Advanced ID Corporation has signed a new agreement with a leading European based aircraft tyre manufacturer. Under the terms of the deal, Pneu-Logic will supply and integrate its RFID technology and FastCheck Software with the tyre manufacturer’s business practices. Initially valued in excess of US$750,000, additional terms of the agreement are expected in a joint press release in the next two weeks.
Earlier this week Pneu-Logic entered an agreement to provide its FastCheck tyre products to Entyrety Ltd of Erdington, Birmingham, a leading provider of training and support services for the automotive and related industries. Using the FastCheck software, the new paperless system was developed by Pneu-Logic, working in collaboration with Entyrety engineers. The new paperless solution automated the old, manually compiled, paper based report, taking days and significant costs out of the fleet audit process. A major step forward for the European tyre and automotive industries, both companies anticipate the sale of over 50 of the new auditing systems within the next year.
Thirteen employees of Goodyear Dunlop are staging a four-day, 320-mile endurance cycle ride to benefit Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The challenge will start from the company’s head office in Erdington on 18th September, and will see riders raising much-needed funds for the leading medical facility.
The manufacturer pledged to raise £50,000 to fund the development of a specialist play area for the Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at the hospital earlier in the year, a target the company is on track to meet, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the firm’s thirteen Lance Armstrongs and Victoria Pendletons.