A ceremony was held on 5 April to commemorate the start of work to build the KamaTyresKZ tyre factory in Saran, Kazakhstan. The plant, a joint venture between Russia’s Tatneft Group and the Kazakhstan-based AllurGroup, is being set up at a cost of US$284 million. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2022 and the facility will be capable of producing 3 million passenger car tyres as well as 500,000 solid steel cord tyres a year.
Askar Mamin, the prime minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, recently hosted the general director of PJSC Tatneft, Nail Maganov, for talks relating the construction of a new tyre factory in Kazakhstan.
PJSC Tatneft and JSC Allur Group of Companies are establishing a joint tyre manufacturing facility in Kazakhstan. The factory will produce passenger car, light truck and truck tyres. The planned production capacity is 3 million passenger and light truck tyres as well as 0.5 million truck tyres per year. Production is expected to start in 2022. The project will create about 800 jobs, according to Tatneft.
The tyre plant built in Uzbekistan by Uzkimyosanoat State Joint Stock Company and partners, with technical assistance from Linglong Tire is complete, and Linglong says it is now focused on appointing a product technical team and working towards helping the plant achieve its production goal of 3 million passenger car radials and 200,000 cross-ply agricultural tyres per annum.
Following the implementation of US import tariffs in the last year (car tyres 2015; truck tyres 2016) and the widespread recognition of vast oversupply in the Chinese manufacturing base, there has been talk of consolidation of tyre industry in the People’s Republic for some time.
In the last few weeks however, it has become apparent that several Dongying, Shandong-based tyre manufacturers (especially those found in the Gungrao district) have experienced serious difficulties resulting in bankruptcies, buyouts and mergers. Now the consolidation trend appears to be gathering speed.
Deruibao Tire was the first to go pop more than a year ago, taking the private brand orders of some well-known wholesalers and importers with it, before its assets were taken on by fast-growing Qingdao Doublestar in what some characterised as a shotgun wedding, but was also a sign of things to come. Several local Chinese news sources named Dongying-based Hengyu Tire as the next to go (with the latter apparently declaring bankruptcy on 14 February), followed by the smaller and younger O’Green and Watson Tyre factories.
At the same time, various Chinese tyre distributors report that Yongtai Chemical’s tyre operations have shut down. Company representatives were not available for comment. However, we do know that Yongtai-owned Covpress (a Coventry-based panel metal supplier to well-known OEMs including Jaguar Land Rover) has entered administration. And furthermore, DMack – which had made itself popular selling World Rally Championship tyres made at Yongtai Chemical – switched production of its tarmac competition tyres to Cooper Tire Europe’s Avon Motorsport division in Melksham in mid-August (see “Yongtai Chemical-owned Covpress in administration” for further details).
Things are tough in China, but not every company is going under. While some are struggling others are expanding quickly. During the course of the recent Reifen China exhibition in Shanghai, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Qingdao Doublestar representatives and found our more about the company’s ambitious plans for rapid change despite the turbulent market conditions.
A new study from Frost & Sullivan says that Eastern Europe and Central Asia offer very interesting opportunities for the light vehicles sector which includes passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The study analyses this market in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and finds that by 2021 the annual light vehicle sales volume in these eight countries is expected to reach nearly one million.
According to Indonesian news agency Antara News, tyre maker PT Multistrada Arah Sarana – manufacturer of the Achilles, Corsa and Strada tyre brands – has signed a contract to build a production facility in Kazakhstan. The agency quotes Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Indonesia, Ashkat Orazbay, as stating that “a contract has been signed between Multistrada Indonesia and a Kazakhstan-based company to build a tyre factory.” Antara News did not report the name of the Kazakhstani company or give any further details about the project.
As Iranian business envoys court representatives of the various global markets at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, details of the country’s recent tyre market development have also emerged. Of course, the Iranian enterprise bigwigs have been intent on smoozing with the self-styled “masters of the universe” in order to make business in-roads now that certain automotive and petrochemical economic sanctions have been lifted by the west. During a recent interview with the BBC one such envoy described Iran as a very developed and highly educated market poised for further development, but it also has to be said that the geo-political environment makes things complex.
According to unverified news published by Indonesian business publication Kontan and repeated in English by Reuters, tyre maker PT Multistrada Arah Saran has cancelled its plan to build new plants in Egypt and Kazakhstan this year. Even Go, investor relations officer at Multistrada, said this decision was taken due to concerns about political instability and security within the Middle East region.
Nokian Tyres has announced it will open four new Vianor Industrial outlets in Sweden at the start of next year, and the company says it also plans to expand the concept into Russian and Kazakhstan. At present 34 Vianor Industrial outlets are in operation; Norway is the currently the largest single Vianor Industrial market, with 16 outlets, followed by Sweden, with 12 outlets. The Ukraine and Nokian’s home market of Finland each boast three Vianor Industrial outlets.
Eurotire has opened up a new location in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Karaganda is located in Kazakhstan’s northeast mining region, an area rich in both coal and hard rock mining. Seeing as Eurotire’s focus is on providing the world’s emerging mining markets with OTR bias and radial tyres/OTR tyre services, the company obviously saw the value of the latest move.
A new facility owned by the Kazakhstan Rubber Recycling company has become the Central Asian country’s first end of life tyre recycling plant to enter operation. The facility, located in the capital city of Astana, is equipped with machinery built by Germany’s MeWa Recycling Maschinen und Anlagenbau and holds a capacity of around 11,000 car and truck tyres per annum.