Brazilian retread materials manufacturer, Vipal used Autopromotec as the platform to announce that it is re-purposing one of its Brazilian production plants. At the same time the firm launched a couple of new treads. The 25th edition of the show coincides with the fact that Vipal itself turns 40 this year, making it something of a multi-celebration for the company.
Perhaps the most important news for European and other export markets is the Brazilian company’s decision to repurpose one of its three manufacturing sites to focus exclusively on products destined for international exports. “This is an important decision that Vipal is taking regarding the foreign market. Thus, we will be able to provide all the required structure to serve with excellence over 90 countries around the world," said Plinio de Luca, Vipal's sales and marketing director say before the show.
Yokohama Tire Corporation’s (YTC) new Yokohama Tire Mexico (YTMX) subsidiary officially began importing consumer, commercial and off-the-road (OTR) tyres in Mexico on 1 May. Incorporated in Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico, according to the company, YTMX is squarely positioned to give YTC long-term strategic advantages. With this in mind YTMX’s president, Gary Nash, answered questions about what those advantages are, the long-term vision for the company and the positive impact dealers can expect.
Brazilian retread materials manufacturer, Vipal has announced plans to launch a couple of new tread products at this year’s Autopromotec. The 25th edition of the show coincides with the fact that Vipal itself turns 40 this year, making it something of a double celebration for the company.
Lanxess’ Rhein Chemie business unit has opened a new production facility at its Porto Feliz site in Brazil. The facility produces ‘Rhenoshape’ high-performance curing bladders for use in tyre manufacture and has an annual capacity of approximately 170,000 bladders. Rhein Chemie says the plant employs state-of-the-art production technology incorporating the latest developments in bladder technology. The new plant will be joined by a further new facility next year; this will manufacture ‘Rhenogran’ pre-dispersed polymer-bound rubber additives and have an annual capacity of 1,800 tonnes. Altogether, Lanxess is investing around 10 million euros at the Porto Feliz site and creating up to 60 new jobs.
Vulcanisation is known to be bottleneck in tyre production that can significantly influence a factory’s output. Siemens specialises in the field of automation and as such it aims to provide the tyre industry with “greater efficiency” in this particular area. The company displayed its product range at February’s Tire Technology Expo in Cologne, Germany, and Tyres & Accessories spoke with Stefan Morgenstern, senior business development manager for the company’s Industry Automation division, about the ways Siemens can enhance efficiency in the tyre manufacturing process.
The organiser of the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo reports that numerous well-known industry names have committed to exhibiting at this year’s show. Companies making an appearance on the exhibitor list include Sailun Tires, Triangle Tyre, Cooper Tire, Continental Tire Mexico, Bridgestone Tire Costa Rica, Goodyear Central America, Sumitomo Rubber Latin America Ltda., Double Coin Latin America, Euromaster, S.A. / Michelin, GT Radial Tires, Titan Tire Corp., TBC International, CEAT Limited, BKT and Aeolus.
When Autopromotec 2013 takes place at the end of next month, the organisers are hoping it will be their biggest yet. Complete exhibitor details were not available at the time of going to press, but early indications suggest the show is on-track to achieve this goal. For example, six months before its scheduled opening, certain sections of the international automotive equipment and aftermarket product trade fair were already fully booked. And the momentum seems to be coming from our part of the industry. Indeed the tyre and garage equipment pavilions were amongst the first to sell out.
In the introduction to Lanxess AG’s 2012 annual report, Board of Management chairman Axel Heitmann comments that “when Lanxess became an independent company eight years ago, few people believed it would have a successful future. That’s why I can look back on the 2012 fiscal year with particular pride. There is hardly any other year in our history that demonstrates more clearly just how successful we have become since 2005, despite many predictions to the contrary.”
During a management meeting in late February, Marangoni CEO Massimo De Alessandri discussed the company’s recent performance. In terms of the economy, he described last year as a “very tough year in Europe and above all in Italy.” Despite these conditions, he reported a rise in profitability for the Marangoni group thanks to the performance of its core retreading and tyre industry machinery businesses.
For the year ended 31 December 2012, Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. recorded net sales of 710.2 billion yen (£4.9 billion), a year-on-year increase of 4.9 per cent. Operating income, at 69.7 billion yen (£481.5 million), was up 29.3 per cent on the 2011 result, while ordinary income of 67.4 billion yen (£465.1 million) represented a 34.9 per cent rise. Net income for 2012 amounted to 35.5 billion yen (£237.9 million), a 24.9 per cent year-on-year increase.
In prior years the US-based off-road tyre specialist Titan International has expanded not just through organic growth, but also through strategic acquisitions. And according to company chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor, the shopping tour is not over yet. The next goal is the 50-year old Indian steel wheel manufacturer “Wheels India Ltd.”, a TVS Group company.
The sword of Damocles has hung over Goodyear’s production site in Amiens, France for years now. Most recently, in 2009 the American tyre maker openly discussed plans to end the production of passenger car tyres in Amiens-Nord; the site suffered from “uncompetitive costs,” the company said. Two years ago Goodyear attempted to emulate the deal it made in Latin America and sell the Amiens plant’s agricultural tyre production to Titan International. But all plans for the Titan-Goodyear deal collapsed at the end of 2011. Titan chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor pulled the ripcord and withdrew from Europe, visibly frustrated by the union representatives in Amiens.
Recent reports published by financial analysts suggest Goodyear could be forced to restructure its business in the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
Reporting on an investor’s presentation given in Detroit, Deutsche Bank market watchers relayed that Goodyear cautioned that financial targets established two years ago – specifically US$1.6 billion segment operating income by 2013 – would be “difficult to achieve if current European market trends persist”.
After four years as president of Kumho Tire North America, J.B. Kim is to return to Korea and head up the company’s original equipment sales division and Korean market replacement sales division. The position left vacant by Kim in the US will be filled by Hai Eok "Harry" Choi.
A new distribution partnership between Lehigh Technologies and specialty chemicals and logistic solutions provider Andes Chemical Corporation will expand Lehigh’s geographic reach into Latin America and give the US-based company increased opportunities to meet growing demand for its micronised rubber powder (MRP).