Giorgio Luca Bruno will succeed Marco Tronchetti Provera as chief executive officer of Pirelli. In a statement published on Monday, Pirelli investor Camfin S.p.A announced that Bruno will take responsibility for the operational implementation of the group’s strategies, freeing Tronchetti Provera to guide group strategy and oversee the implementation of the Pirelli business plan as executive vice-chairman, a role he is confirmed to hold until spring 2026. Camfin views the transition as one that ensures the “continuation of the managerial culture of Pirelli.”
Continuing our ongoing series of Torque from the top special interviews with influential industry figures, here Tyres & Accessories hears from Keon Park managing director, Kumho Tyre UK, who shares Kumho’s perspective on the challenges and triumphs of the last couple of years as well as the well-known brand’s hopes for the future.
Triangle Tire has scrapped its plans to a build roughly half-a-billion dollar tyre factory in North Carolina, USA. According to the company, the project which had been strongly supported by local government officials in North Carolina was ended amicably with mutual consent.
Announcing its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, tyre maker and automotive technology firm Continental states that it “performed well” during the period despite “an increasingly turbulent market environment.” It describes its Q1 2022 tyre business as “strong.”
Times have been tough in the last couple of years, but if the growth of the top 25 tyre retailers in the UK is anything to go by, the nation’s leading tyre retail businesses are taking triumph from adversity. Of course, Halfords’ acquisition of National Tyres and Autocare’s parent company at the end of 2021 makes up a big part of the new UK tyre retail landscape, but it is clear that adding branches to existing networks (either by organic growth or by acquisition) is a common theme across the board.
Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs imposed against Chinese-produced truck tyres in 2018 must be annulled, according to a judgement published by the European Court of Justice on 4 May 2022. Tyres & Accessories understands that the verdict can be appealed between now and July, but unless that appeal is successful, the annulment of anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese-produced truck tyres will result in increased imports and sales of those products.
Those of you in London and the south of England are advised to look upwards next week, for the Goodyear Blimp is returning to our skies. Goodyear tells us that the Blimp will be above London and the surrounding areas on 11 and 12 May. From there, the icon will travel to Brands Hatch for the second round of the British Touring Car Championship on 14 and 15 May, where it will provide aerial coverage of the race.
This year the top 25 table has been characterised by growth virtually across the board. However, something that stands out in positions 15 to 25 is that there have been a couple of new entries onto the ranking in addition to this. Exemplifying stability in the market, In ‘n’ Out Autocentres appears to have remained in 15th position with 27 branches.
As reported yesterday, Maria Röttger will succeed Anish K. Taneja as president and chief executive officer of Michelin Europe North, effective 1 June 2022. Michelin shares that Taneja has decided to “move to a new role outside the company.”
The effects of the Ukraine war are not present in Nokian’s first quarter reporting, published on 28 April. The company has seen good levels of Q1 growth versus 2021, especially in its car tyre sales, but also in its commercial tyre business. However, with the manufacturer highly leveraged on Russian manufacturing and European sanctions against the country ramping up, it has announced to investors that all bets are off regarding its 2022 forecasts. The negative effects are largely related to passenger car tyre sales – Nokian explains that its “Heavy Tyres” are produced in Finland. It adds that while it has stopped the distribution of these products in Russia, “Nokian Tyres has never sold tyres to the Russian army, and the Russian Federation is not a customer of Nokian Tyres.”
Bridgestone has launched the semi-slick Bridgestone Potenza Race, its first ever tyre day tyre for the replacement market. In testing conducted by TÜV SÜD at the 6.115km Nardo circuit in Italy, the tyre was able to improve upon average times set by three leading competitor tyres over three laps by an average of more than two seconds. It was also ranked second for longevity, and delivered class-leading dry braking at Bridgestone’s European proving ground. The Potenza Race is homologated for public roads, but with performance focussed on track days. Developed and manufactured in Europe, the Potenza Race will be available in 13 popular sizes between 17 and 20 inches from June 2022, supporting the most commonly sighted hot hatchbacks and sportscars at track days.
Reports suggesting UK transport secretary Grant Shapps is once again considering changing MOT frequencies to two-yearly intervals began being published on the evening of 26 April 2022. On the morning 27 April, Shapps was refusing to rule out those changes. Whenever the transport secretary came up with the plans they are old news which has been repeatedly debated, consulted on and ultimately rejected. Such proposals are also “ill-advised” according to the National Tyre Distributors Association, whose chief executive Stefan Hays blasted Shapps’ alleged MOT proposal in a statement released at noon on 27 April.
On 25 April 2022, the UK Government announced a further tranche of trade sanctions against Russia. The new sanctions, which were introduced by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, include import bans on silver, wood and high-end products like caviar. At the same time, the government has raised tariffs by 35 percentage points on items from Russia and Belarus, including diamonds and “rubber products”. Additional duties of 35 per cent were already introduced on “new pneumatic tyres, of rubber” on 25 March 2022.
During 2020, the whole of the sell-out market declined albeit not as badly as was feared. Still, with the exception of some distinct niches – such as instances in the logistics industry where tyre service providers were kept busy throughout the lockdowns – everyone was affected. SUV tyres were no different and saw overall value and volume figures fall 12 per cent, according to market analyst GfK’s January to December 2020 panelmarket data. 2021, however, was almost the mirror image of 2020 with the value of UK 4×4 and SUV tyre sales up 12 per cent compared with the equivalent full-year 2020 data. In other words, SUV tyre sales returned to growth mode in 2021, something that sets 2022 up for an even better year for those selling SUV and 4×4 tyres.