Russian car manufacturers have requested government support in order to help maintain staffing levels during the ongoing Russian financial crisis. According a report in Russia’s Kommersant, Kamaz, AvtoVAZ and Sollers have filed requests to their respective regional governments to access funds to help keep employment for workers.
A group of “leading rubber processors from China” are set to visit Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar to survey sites to establish rubber plants in the next week or so. Thailand’s The Nation reports that about 10 rubber processors from Shandong province and representatives from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade are scheduled to visit Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand between 19 and 25 November.
The group reportedly consists of around 50 representatives from both companies and government agencies. It will reach Thailand on 23 November where it will stay for two to three days with a view to considering “opportunities to invest in the South and Northeast, the country’s major rubber tree growing areas”.
The organisation representing India’s tyre makers has called upon its national government to encourage rubber replantation and offer rubber growers subsidies to plant new trees. According to news published by the Press Trust of India, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA) wants these measures implemented in order to address the reluctance of growers to plant new trees, which can’t be tapped for their first six to seven years. Without encouragement, the ATMA fears growers will continue to tap older, lower-yielding trees; the association comments that this practice is profitable for growers due to the high prices natural rubber currently commands.
The European Commission has authorised €57.9 million of regional investment aid for Hankook Tire Hungary Manufacturing and Trading Ltd. This will be used to erect a second greenfield facility alongside Hankook’s plant in Rácalmás, which entered production in 2007. The new consumer tyre facility will produce ultra-high performance tyres, sealant and run-flat tyres, and these products will be sold globally.
OK so the fact that China is the world’s largest tyre producer, the largest car maker, has the largest population and is likely to be the largest economy soon means that it is massively premature to write off the People’s Republic. Rapid growth and the huge scale of Brazil, Russia and India means these markets are still should be the focus of much attention. However, many international businesses have already latched onto this. So if everyone is competing for what they perceive as the same low-hanging fruit other opportunities could be going missing…or at least that is the question that is being raised in banking circles.
Carlisle-based tyre brand Dmack has secured an investment of £3.5m from private equity managers Maven. The injection of funds will help to fund the next stage of its growth, according to Dmack, boosting its production capacity and range of road-going and motorsport tyres.
A controlling interest in Kings Road Tyres Group (KRT) has been acquired by a strategic investment group with members in China, Europe and North America. The UK management team, which bought out the company in the second half of 2011, will “continue to retain a significant equity position in the company and will maintain responsibility for day-to-day operation of Group businesses,” said a statement issued to Tyrepress by KRT today. The company said that the deal would “secure significant new equity investment” for KRT, which it said would help it develop its position as one of the leading players in the UK tyre industry.
German-owned fast-fit network A.T.U. reports reaching a “decisive milestone in its financial repositioning.” The loss-making company’s management and majority shareholder (private equity group KKR) have reached a lock-up agreement with more than 80 per cent of its key bond creditors to reduce A.T.U.’s debt by more than €600 million and inject some €100 million of fresh equity into the firm. In addition, A.T.U. has received a senior secured, 2018-due credit line of more than €75 million from HayFin Capital Management.
Motorists are set to benefit from a more effective road network and will have a greater say in how their roads operate. Turning the Highways Agency into a government-owned company will improve efficiency and reduce running costs, with taxpayers expected to benefit from savings of at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years.
As Tyres & Accessories' November issue went to press President Barrack Obama and David Cameron were out banging the drum for American and British business in India and China respectively. 24 hours after Obama set foot in the subcontinent, the Sunday Telegraph's resident cartoonist was portraying the leaders of two of the richest countries in the western world as beggers seeking scraps from two so-called “emerging markets.”
UK coalition government business secretary Vince Cable has ruled out further publically financed direct support for the UK car industry. Additionally he cast doubt on plans made by the previous Labour government that would have subsidised early purchases of low-emission vehicles in 2011. Cable told London’s Financial Times on 29 June, “We don’t want to go around the country waving a cheque book.”
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures state that by 31 March, 372,401 new cars had been registered through the scrappage scheme, accounting for 12.2 per cent of all new car registrations in March. In addition, the scheme accounted for 3.2 per cent of the total van market in March, with 6,577 new LCVs registered through the scheme since it began in May 2009.
The UK's streets and car parks could see thousands more charging points for electric and plug-in hybrid cars thanks to £30 million of Government funding. Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis today invited cities and businesses to join together to bid for the money which will help fund the installation of charging points on streets, car parks and in commercial, retail and leisure facilities.