After hiatus last year, the NTDA’s Tyre Industry Awards will be back in 2021, according to the association’s chief executive Stefan Hay.
The Awards are scheduled to be presented to the winners at a ceremony sponsored by Sailun at the NTDA Annual Dinner, which is due to take place on the evening of Thursday 7 October 2021 at the ICC Birmingham, following the daytime Tyre Industry Conference sponsored by GB Tyres Ltd in association with Linglong Tire.
Following last month’s preview of the 2021 report, Brand Finance has released its full Tyres 10 ranking. According to the 2021 table, the tyre sector has taken a hit over the last year, with all 10 brands losing brand value. Brand Finance unsurprisingly puts this decline down to the pandemic-related behavioural changes: “Owing to the lack of travel due to lockdowns, car sales are declining, which means tyre brands are selling less units, resulting in a drop in market equity across the industry. Furthermore, since the economy has been riskier in general over the past year, investor risk has increased, triggering a rise in the cost of capital.”
The three summer products in Linglong’s ‘Master’ series are the Comfort Master performance tyre, Sport Master ultra-high performance tyre and the Grip Master C/S performance line for SUVs. For winter, Linglong will offer the Nord Master studless tyre.
Shandong Linglong Tyre Company’s share price reached a record high of 53.80 yuan on 10 February 2021 just before the Chinese New Year. The price drew back in the days afterwards, but the peak represents an all-time high for Linglong that is over 40 per cent higher than the company’s previous record of 38.18, which was set on 22 July 2016.
Towards the end of last year, Linglong Tire announced it would bring its new Hubtrac tyre brand to Europe. The tyre maker also intends to sell this commercial range in the USA, taking advantage of its production site in Thailand and under-construction facility in Serbia to avoid the country’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese products.
On 19 January 2021, 26 Members of the European Parliament wrote to Oliver Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations about concerns relating to “growing Chinese influence in Serbia and the impending environmental damage resulting from several heavy industrial projects in Serbia by Chinese owned companies”. The group are particularly interested in scrutinising Serbia’s apparently “generous” subsidies and environmental compliance protocols.
Linglong Tire brought its Hubtrac brand to market in October 2020. The release will see more than 150 stock-keeping units (SKUs) launched in European market in stages. The new brand will be produced at Linglong’s global production bases including its Thailand and Serbia plants. The European market-orientated range has been designed with the forthcoming 2021 tyre labelling update and enhanced retreadability in mind.
Shandong Linglong plans to increase the capital of its Linglong International Europe Serbian unit by US$174.1 million (146.6 million euros) for the construction of its tyre factory in Zrenjanin, northern Serbia. When finished the factory will require 1,200 employees and produce 13 million tyres per year.
A signing ceremony between Linglong Group and Qingdao University of Science and Technology (QUST) on 10 November paves the way for long-term cooperation between the two parties. So far Linglong has shared only a few details of the agreement, however it appears it covers training programmes as well as technological exchanges.
Shandong Linglong Tire recently unveiled a new range of bio-based rubber tyres. Developed in joint collaboration with Beijing University of Chemical Technology over the past three years, the tyres utilise a number of sustainable rubber ingredients.
Environmental campaigners have been protesting against Linglong’s Zrenjanin, Serbia tyre factory. At the same time the construction work, which has been variously described as either an 800 million euro or US$994 million project by different sources, has also been involved in certification disputes.
The five-year-old sponsorship arrangement between Linglong Tire and German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg has been given a further boost with a two-year extension of the 2019-initiated sleeve partnership. The continued presence of the Linglong logo on the left sleeve of players’ jerseys through to 2022 complements a partnership that also includes advertising on stadium LED boards, cam carpets, matchday hospitality and digital services.
On July 10, Linglong Tire signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Tencent Cloud and Huazhi. As a result, the three parties will cooperate on smart marketing and industrial digitalization based on “the world’s first industrial Internet platform for the tyre industry, aiming at helping Linglong realize the transformation from traditional manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing, while seizing the aftermarket and improving the overall digital marketing and service level.”
Linglong Tire signed a cooperation agreement with the Jinan Municipal People’s Government on 17 July 2020. As a result, Linglong Tire will settle its research and development and technological innovation base in the central district of Jinan. According to the agreement, the two parties will cooperate in terms of science and technology as well as personnel matters. The relevant leaders of Jinan and Linglong’s chairman and president Wang Feng attended the signing ceremony.