Bridgestone Corporation reports that its North and Latin American subsidiary is expanding several key leadership positions in order to strengthen its core tyre business and to accelerate the execution of its sustainable mobility solutions strategy.
Marty Krcelic, president and chief operating officer (COO) of TBC Brands and executive vice president of TBC Corporation is set to retire effective 30 June 2021. Under his leadership, TBC Brands has become one of the largest distributors of proprietary brand tyres in North America. Geoff Doster will succeed Krcelic to lead TBC Brands as senior vice president of sales. His responsibilities will be expanded to include oversight of TBC Brands operations, customer service, commercial truck tyre sales and equipment and non-tyre sales.
Yokohama Tire is returning as the title sponsor of the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 for the fifth consecutive year. And this time the tyremaker is bringing along elite drivers such as Justin Lofton and new Team Yokohama member Tanner Foust for the 54th running of the iconic rally, which takes place on the famed Baja peninsula 25-29 April 2021.
Kumho Tire has shared further details of the planned production capacity increase at its facility in Vietnam, as well as news of an associated project in the USA. The tyre maker says the US$305 million investment will double capacity at the Binh Duong Province site by 2023. This means that annual output should reach at least 9.3 million tyres per annum by that time. As previously stated, the project will commence in the third quarter of this year and run until the early part of 2023.
The largest player in the USA’S tyre recycling sector will soon have a new owner. Global investment firm The Carlyle Group has agreed to sell Liberty Tire Recycling to ECP, a 2005-founded investor across energy transition and decarbonisation infrastructure assets. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. The parties have not disclosed financial details.
Apollo Tyres aims to gain a foothold in the North American commercial vehicle market with tyres produced at its plants in Europe and India. The roll-out of commercial vehicle tyres in the USA and Canada follows the introduction of a comprehensive passenger vehicle range, but this time the tyre maker will market its products under the Apollo brand rather than as Vredestein tyres. Apollo Tyres says the launches of both ranges have been preceded by years of in-market research and planning.
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has awarded Michelin North America, Inc. and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company with 2021 Innovation Awards. In the technology category, USTMA honoured Goodyear for its Goodyear motion capture app that performs ergonomic risk assessments. USTMA recognised Michelin for its ‘Bib Bow’ stretching initiative in the culture category.
Bridgestone Corporation reports that its Bridgestone Americas, Inc. subsidiary has completed the sale of Firestone Building Products to Holcim Participations (US) Inc, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim Ltd. (LafargeHolcim). According to the Japanese company, the US$3.4 billion transaction will “advance Bridgestone’s efforts to deliver value to customers and society as a global leader providing tyres and advanced mobility solutions.”
General Tire has announced a voluntary exchange programme involving a maximum of 612 passenger vehicle tyres that were produced at the company’s Mt. Vernon, Illinois plant and sold in the UK replacement tyre market. The affected tyres are specific DOT and mould numbers of these products: General Tire Grabber AT³ LT235/85 R16; General Tire Grabber X³ LT265/70 R17. Affected tyres will be replaced free of charge.
Bridgestone Americas is providing a one-time, US$100 payment to all of its more than 33,000 employees in the USA who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The company is also exploring options to deploy a comparable programme to employees in Canada and Latin America as the vaccine becomes more widely available. Bridgestone is among the first major employers in its industry to initiate a financial payment to employees who decide to be vaccinated.
Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) has announced car and light truck tyre price increases in the United States. The price increases, which range up to 7 per cent, are set to take effect as of 15 April 2021.
Continental Tire the Americas is recalling more than 90,000 Continental, General Tire and Barum tyres in North America that have been over-cured and are thus at risk of developing breakages in the sidewall area. A separate recall of approximately 12,000 Cooper and Mastercraft tyres in North America is taking place due to a possible low tread gauge in the tyres’ shoulder slot area which could cause tread separation and sidewall failure.
The day after Goodyear announced that it is buying Cooper Tire for north of $2.5 billion, Fitch Ratings affirmed its Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT) and its Goodyear Europe B.V. (GEBV). Fitch also affirmed its ratings on a number of specific funding lines. Both moves can be interpreted as partially affirming the Goodyear Cooper acquisition’s strategic logic – something that was described as compelling by the senior executives of both companies.