In response to a “rapidly and profoundly” changing passenger vehicle market in North America, Michelin has decided to end production at its Ardmore tyre plant in Oklahoma. Michelin North America idled operations at the factory from the morning of 26 October to begin the process of presenting details to the workforce. It expects to resume operations early on 28 October, but “over the coming days and weeks” Michelin representatives will discuss separation conditions with each individual employee.
JK Tyre & Industries intends to significantly increase its capacity to produce passenger car tyres. During an earnings call this month, managing director Anshuman Singhania confirmed that the tyre maker’s Board of Directors has approved an Rs 5.3 billion (£54.0 million) expansion of PCR capacity at its Banmore plant. Along with a recently commissioned debottlenecking programme, this will increase PCR capacity there by 35 per cent from its current level of around 9 million tyres per annum.
Prinx Chengshan has unveiled a new flagship passenger car tyre range in the company’s home market. Called “华” (Hua), the Chengshan tyre is crammed with innovations that the manufacturer claims elevate it to the standards of international first-line brands. In addition to offering high durability, wear resistance and mileage potential, as well as low rolling resistance, Prinx Chengshan points out aesthetic highlights – Hua is the first domestic tyre line in China to feature velvet textured sidewalls.
Bridgestone Corporation is expanding production capacity at four of its passenger car tyre plants in Japan. With an investment of approximately 8.2 billion yen (£52.8 million), capacity at the Tochigi, Hikone, Hofu and Tosu facilities will increase by approximately 6,200 tyres per day by the end of 2025, an amount that equals more than ten per cent of current capacity.
Reporting market trends for the month of June, Michelin notes that the current shortage of semiconductors strongly dampened recovery within the global automotive industry, which impacted upon sales of original equipment passenger vehicle and light truck tyres.
STARCO is expanding its remit as distributor of the Kenda passenger car tyre range. It took on responsibility for these products in the Swiss market three years ago, and will now begin distributing Kenda passenger car tyres in Poland.
Earlier in the year, Sailun Group announced it was evaluating the feasibility of producing car tyres in Cambodia, but the plans its Board of Directors approved this month are for a larger and costlier plant than originally reported. Planned capacity has risen 80 per cent, and the proposed investment almost doubled.
Nokian Tyres is increasing production capacity for passenger car tyres at its factory in Finland approximately 30 per cent by adopting a four-shift production schedule. To accommodate this capacity increase, it will hire around 70 new workers for passenger car tyre production in Nokia, Finland. Recruiting begins immediately and four production shifts will be in action by the start of August at the latest.
The USA will continue to apply anti-dumping and countervailing duties to passenger vehicle and light truck (PLT) tyres from China. The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) decided against ending the charging of duties, which have applied to these products since 2015, after determining that doing so would “likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.” Unsurprisingly, the United Steelworkers union applauds the decision.
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.