Nokian Tyres has shifted away from its Vianor retail franchise concept in Germany. The Finnish tyre manufacturer said that it is “continuing the close cooperation with our former Vianor dealers in a new, but similarly intensive way under our Nokian Authorised Dealers (NAD) marketing concept.” The move comes shortly after Nokian sold its US Vianor Tire Centers business to Point S, and signifies a move away from the Vianor branding outside the brand’s domestic-plus Nordic region, where Vianor is established with 186 Vianor Equity locations. Anna Hyvönen, SVP, Nordics & Vianor, told Tyres & Accessories that the company is enacting its plans to “optimise” its Central European and North American distribution network via NAD, “focusing on the quality of the partners and providing excellent support and benefits.”
Environmental campaigners have been protesting against Linglong’s Zrenjanin, Serbia tyre factory. At the same time the construction work, which has been variously described as either an 800 million euro or US$994 million project by different sources, has also been involved in certification disputes.
The European Union has added natural rubber to its list of critical raw materials, a document that was published on 3 September 2020. Listing the main global production centres as Indonesia (31 per cent); Thailand (18 per cent); and Malaysia (16 per cent), the EU underlined that 100 per cent of European requirements are imported and that tyres and rubber components are the principal uses.
4×4 retail tyre sales have long been a growth area and the UK market constitutes one of the leading lights in Europe. More recent growth has been driven by similarly strong SUV vehicle sales as well as consumer switches towards all-season products. At the same time, more practical and off-road-orientated vehicles have also been supporting 4×4 tyre sales.
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The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd’s first half 2020 profit might have declined 92.5 per cent compare with the same period of the previous year to 1.3 billion yen (£9.321 million; 10.322 million euros, US$12.220 million), but the company did remain profitable as all tyre manufacturers have faced serious headwinds due to coronavirus. Operating profit fell 86.8 per cent to 2.9 billion yen. And salves fell 20.6 per cent to 247.1 billion yen.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company reported a second quarter 2020 net loss of US$6 million on 3 August 2020 compared with net income of $9 million in the same period last year. Net sales decreased 26.9 per cent to $496 million. Operating profit was $5 million, or 1.1 per cent of net sales, compared to operating profit of $32 million (4.7 per cent of net sales) in 2019.
Goodyear has been marketing its passenger car tyres in Germany directly to end users for fitting by a listed partner for roughly six months. And for years before that there has been a noticeable trend towards online selling. Following on from our online preview article, Tyres & Accessories’ German group publication Neue Reifenzeitung interviewed David Anckaert, vice president Commercial Europe at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and began by asking: is it too early to draw initial conclusions? And where’s next?
Continental has reported second quarter 2020 consolidated group sales of 6.620 billion euros. This equates to -39.8 per cent drop year-on-year. Pre-tax profits (EBIT) came in at -9.6 per cent of sales (-636 million euros). However, sales in the Rubber Technologies division, which includes tyres, were 2.962 billion euros and the adjusted EBIT margin was 1.2 per cent (around 36 million euros). Thus, Continental’s tyre business has managed to remain profitable despite the obvious pressures of the coronavirus context.
Apollo Tyres is aiming for leadership in the premium two-wheeler segment in India with the inauguration of a dedicated two-wheel cross-ply and tyre manufacturing operation. India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and still has a headroom for further growth. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand has increased as people move away from shared/public transport and gradually moving to own a personal vehicle. However, while India is at the forefront for Apollo’s venture into the two-wheel segment, the company is also hinting that it plans to export two-wheel tyres to Europe and North America.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has appointed ex-Brisa and Bridgestone executive Hakan Bayman as president of Goodyear’s consumer tyre business in Europe, effective 1 July 2020. Bayman will be based in Brussels and report directly to Chris Delaney, president Goodyear EMEA.
ZC Rubber is launching its second generation of Westlake WSA2LT, WAS2, WDA2LT, WDA2, WSM2 and WDM2 all-steel truck and light truck tyres into the European market effective 1 July 2020. According to the company, the range is designed for “European fleets who seek both tyre performance and cost saving”.