Hankook Tire has appointed Hyung Yun Kim managing director of its factory in Hungary. Kim succeeds Seong Hak Hwang, who has managed the Rácalmás production site since 2017 and will now take up a new role within the company.
Earlier this year Apollo Tyres announced it would transfer much of the remaining car tyre production in Enschede, the Netherlands to its factory in Hungary. To accommodate this change, the tyre maker has approved a HUF 4.4 billion (£11.2 million) investment to modernise and expand consumer tyre production at the Gyöngyöshalász site. Hungary’s government is supporting this project with a HUF 1.4 billion (£3.6 million) grant.
Apollo Tyres had to accept a drop in its turnover and earnings in the half-year to 30 September 2020, with the notable exception of sales in Europe. The company’s global sales in the first half of its current April 2020 to March 2021 financial year were Rs 70.62 billion (£728.85 million), 13.9 per cent less than the sales it gained a year earlier. Net profit dropped 71.1 per cent year-on-year to Rs 650 million (£6.71 million).
Production at Apollo Tyres’ factory in Hungary will partially recommence tomorrow, a month after the tyre maker scaled back production there and in its Enschede plant in the Netherlands in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2018, Bridgestone Europe announced that three of its tyre plants in Spain – Bilbao, Puente San Miguel and Burgos – had begun sourcing 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources. This programme has been extended to other facilities in the region, and the company shares that the Tatabanya plant in Hungary and Stargard and Poznan plants in Poland will be moving to 100 per cent green electricity.
Bridgestone EMIA will either temporarily close or reduce production plants across its European manufacturing network in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its Béthune plant in France and the Bari plant in Italy will be closed until 6 April.
Apollo Vredestein is scaling back production at its European plants in Hungary and the Netherlands in addition to “taking measures to protect our workforce in line with government health advisory and measures” against coronavirus/Covid-19.
Some 750 jobs will be lost due to restructuring at the Apollo Vredestein tyre plant in Enschede, the Netherlands over the next couple of years, and Dutch politicians want to know if the European Union has contributed in any way to the chain of events that will lead to some of Enschede’s tyre production relocating to Hungary. MEPs from Dutch political party the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) have asked the European Commission to clarify certain points.
News reports from Hungary suggest Hankook Tire has put on hold plans to set up a truck tyre production unit at its Rácalmás plant. English-language publication the Budapest Business Journal writes that fellow business daily Világgazdaság shared this news with its readers yesterday.
Bridgestone has inaugurated the newly expanded warehouse at its tyre production plant in Tatabánya, Hungary. The new 10,000 square metre addition to facility’s warehousing was set up as part of a HUF 9.2 billion (£25.2 million) investment to develop the Tatabánya site and increases storage capacity by 180,000 tyres. The plant’s warehousing can now store up to 600,000 tyres, a growth that is expected to aid Bridgestone’s business with original equipment customers.
Passenger car tyre production and capacity at Apollo Tyres’ Gyöngyöshalász plant in Hungary has steadily grown over the past two years. These respectively reached 2.1 million and almost 3 million units a year by the end of March 2019, and Apollo is still ramping up in Hungary. It’s a different story in Enschede, some 700 miles to the west, but Apollo Tyres says it isn’t preparing to end car tyre production in the Netherlands any time soon.
Hungarian oil and gas company MOL Group is setting up a new rubber bitumen plant in Zalaegerszeg, in the west of the country. A foundation stone for the facility was laid in May; when complete next year, it will be able to produce 20,000 tonnes of rubber bitumen for road building applications.