Good news stories have been thin on the ground of late, but when ZC Rubber describes 2020 as a “remarkable year,” it means it in the very best sense of the word. The tyre maker elaborated on why the previous 12 months were so positive at its China Distributors Conference, which took place on 30 December. As well looking back on its achievements, ZC Rubber presented its vision for further digital innovation and gave a sneak preview of products arriving in 2021.
In the final week of 2020, ZC Rubber launched its new ‘Flagship Series’ line, which as the name suggests will serve as a premium product within its four tyre brands, Chaoyang (Arisun), Westlake, Goodride and Trazano. Flagship Series arrives first in the Chinese domestic market ahead of its global rollout in the coming year.
Earlier this year Apollo Tyres announced it would transfer much of the remaining car tyre production in Enschede, the Netherlands to its factory in Hungary. To accommodate this change, the tyre maker has approved a HUF 4.4 billion (£11.2 million) investment to modernise and expand consumer tyre production at the Gyöngyöshalász site. Hungary’s government is supporting this project with a HUF 1.4 billion (£3.6 million) grant.
Figures recently published by the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) show that its members produced almost 242 million tyres in all segments of the replacement market in 2019, two to three per cent fewer than the 248 million tyres produced a year earlier.
Sales of tyres produced by European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) members decreased year-on-year in almost every product category during 2019. The ETRMA describes the market last year as “weak”, and this is particularly the case for the original equipment segments.
Linglong Tire has begun making car tyres at its newest factory in China. These first Linglong Crosswind 4×4 HP tyres from the Hubei Linglong Tire Co. Ltd. car tyre plant in Jingmen were produced on 30 December, five weeks after the production of truck and bus radial tyres commenced. Company employees and local dignitaries were on hand to witness the occasion.
Rosava shares its pride in being the first tyre maker in the CIS region to develop and offer a passenger car tyre for 20-inch rim diameters. This CIS first it the Premiorri Solanzo S Plus in size 235/55 R20.
Passenger car tyre production and capacity at Apollo Tyres’ Gyöngyöshalász plant in Hungary has steadily grown over the past two years. These respectively reached 2.1 million and almost 3 million units a year by the end of March 2019, and Apollo is still ramping up in Hungary. It’s a different story in Enschede, some 700 miles to the west, but Apollo Tyres says it isn’t preparing to end car tyre production in the Netherlands any time soon.
As of 1 July, Brussels-based Continental subsidiary Continental Benelux has taken over exclusive distribution of Continental car, van and industrial tyres in the Netherlands from Continental Banden Groep (CBG). Continental Benelux is already responsible for the Continental commercial vehicle tyre range in this market, having taken on direct distribution five years ago.
We’ve been following the progress of Algeria’s first homegrown tyre company, and in March reported that the Iris Tyre plant had completed its first test phase. Now the new tyre maker is ready not only to gain a foothold in the domestic market – Iris Tyre intends to export its output to numerous markets. It will present its range at the CITExpo trade fair in Shanghai next month.
During a conference call held this month, the chief financial officer of Apollo Tyres Ltd. confirmed that passenger car tyre production at the Apollo Vredestein plant in Enschede, the Netherlands would be reduced as capacity for these products grows in the company’s new, more cost-competitive facility in Gyöngyöshalász, Hungary. However, this trend shouldn’t be seen as a transfer of capacity, as the plan for Enschede going forwards is for its continued utilisation, with greater emphasis placed upon other segments.
According to information published by Pirelli and based upon regional association and third-party data, the European car tyre market grew six per cent year-on-year in May 2018. Overall growth occurred courtesy of strong performance within the aftermarket, which during the month was ten per cent higher than a year earlier; the market for 18-inch and larger sizes were up 20 per cent. The original equipment market in Europe declined five per cent year-on-year in May.
A new Cooper summer tyre line for small to mid-size cars has been unveiled. Called the Cooper CS7, the new tyre is the successor to the 2010-launched CS2 range. Cooper Tire Europe says the latest-generation product is quieter than its predecessor and has “been developed to incorporate technological features that make driving both enjoyable and economical.”
An open relationship after 22 years of monogamy: German wholesaler Reifen Gundlach has lost exclusive distribution of the GT Radial passenger car tyre range in Germany. Although remaining a close bedfellow of brand owner Giti Tire, from the start of the coming winter season it will share this bed with three other wholesalers.
According to a news report from Japan, production capacity at the Sumitomo Rubber (Hunan) Co. Ltd passenger car tyre plant in Changsa, China will treble by 2020. Nikkei Asian Review writes that Sumitomo Rubber Industries will invest some 30 billion yen (£205 million) in its subsidiary to increase daily output from 20,000 to 60,000 pieces. The publication adds that the company aims for a daily capacity of 100,000 passenger car tyres in China, an amount that anticipates growing demand for fuel-saving tyres.