Kumho Tire representatives have confirmed reports that the South Korean tyremaker has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi tyre business Black Arrow Tire Co (Blatco). However, the two parties differ on the degree of progress made with the talks.
Various news sources are reporting that South Korea’s Kumho Tire signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia-based Blatco (Black Arrow Tire Co. as part of the Saudi-South Korean Business Forum on 18 January 2022. As many as 13 agreements were signed during the Saudi-South Korean Business Forum, of which 10 were signed by oil major Saudi Aramco.
Vipal Rubber has restructured the commercial coverage area of several key regional subsidiaries, and as a result, its European branch office is now serving important markets in North Africa, such as Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, as well as main business partners in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The retreading materials and tyre repair specialist made this change to capitalised on the branch’s closer geographic proximity and similar time zone, and thus greater ease in carrying out technical, after-sales and training visits.
In January 2019, the ground was broken on the US$614 million Roadbot tyre plant in Abu Dhabi. Local news sources described the project as a milestone in the capital of the United Arab Emirates as recently as January 2020. However, the project has since hit a roadblock as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tyres & Accessories has seen documents that show how recent progress has been limited, though initial steps seem to have progressed well. Specifically, the official letter from Roadbot Tyre Industries dated July 2020 confirms that all the necessary planning applications, architectural designs and structure drawings have been approved and completed. Yet critical machinery work came to a standstill in March 2020.
Pyramids Tires, a new tyre manufacturer based in Port Said, northeast Egypt, saw its first tyres roll off the production line on 9 May 2020. The factory currently manufactures motorcycle, forklift and agricultural tyres as part of the first phase of the plant’s development. The second phase, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, will see the company add passenger car, truck and OTR tyres to its portfolio.
The 18th edition of Automechanika Dubai, which was scheduled to run from 7-9 June 2020, will now take place from 19-21 October 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The postponement comes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as containment measures restrict movement across international borders, and impact the global economy.
Davanti Tyres has appointed Najib Chakhtoura sales director for the Middle East and Africa, in order to establish a “permanent presence” in the region. Chakhtoura is tasked with developing relationships with new and existing distributors to increase the brand’s global reach and sales volume. He previously held senior roles developing premium brands across the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and North and East Africa. Chakhtoura will establish a new regional office for Davanti to introduce the brand into new territories across North, East and West Africa, the Gulf States and the wider Middle East.
Various road and climatic conditions are encountered within the Continental Tire division’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, and for this reason, it is introducing commercial trailer tyres that reflect regional requirements. The first of these is the Conti Hybrid HT3 WR.
Yokohama’s Geolandar M/T G003 tyres for SUVs and pickup trucks will be fitted to the Korando DKR driven by Oscar Fuertes Aldanondo and Diego Vallejo for Ssangyong Motorsport/Sodicars Racing on the 2020 Dakar Rally (5-17 January). The same car and drivers came in third in the T1.3 petrol 2-wheel drive class in the January 2019 event, and will take on competition in the same class this year.
Goodyear will be the official tyre supplier to two top teams in the upcoming Dakar Rally. The rally returns to its roots in the desert on 5 January in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the shift to a new continent presents new challenges to tyre suppliers, drivers and vehicles. The 2020 rally will run over sand dunes, rocky canyons and wadis or dry riverbeds, all on standard truck tyres. Goodyear has a strong record on the rally in recent years, with Petronas De Rooy Iveco occupying podium places, including two first places, with Goodyear as their tyre and development partner.
Apollo Tyres Ltd has entered the Saudi Arabia tyre market in cooperation with Al-Jomaih Tyres Company Limited, the exclusive distributors for the Kingdom. Apollo Tyres reports that it will be focussing on the large and growing truck-bus radial and passenger car tyre market, aiming to capture “a sizeable market share” in each of these segments.
From 1 January 2020, Bridgestone’s India business will fall into the EMEA Strategic Business Unit (SBU), transferring from the China, Asia-Pacific SBU. As a result, Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa (BSEMEA) will become Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa (BSEMIA), one of four SBUs globally, alongside Bridgestone China, Asia-Pacific, Bridgestone Americas, and Bridgestone Japan. According to the company, the integration of Bridgestone India into EMEA comes as a result of Bridgestone EMEA’s “ongoing transformation capitalising on the opportunities digitalisation offers to pioneer mobility solutions that meet the needs of customers for convenience, efficiency and sustainability”.
As of 1 October, Mete Ekin is vice president of Bridgestone Emerging Markets. In this role he oversees Bridgestone EMEA’s businesses in Africa, the Middle East and Russia. The former regional managing director Middle East and Africa reports to Paolo Ferrari, chief executive officer of Bridgestone EMEA.
Michelin has opened new Africa, India and the Middle East (AIM) operations headquarters at the Dubai Airport Freezone in Dubai.
The official opening ceremony took place at the new headquarters in the presence of dignitaries including Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, director general of Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA); Marc Pasquet, president for Michelin, Africa, India and the Middle East (AIM); and Raja Rabia, Consul General of France. The new facility will be managing 87 offices across the region.