Production at the Apollo Tyres Ltd. OTR tyre factory in Limda, India has “fully resumed” after being stopped by industrial action, the tyre maker reported on 24 September. Apollo Tyres had announced on 20 September that tyre making at the Limda plant in had stopped due to “certain concerns amongst shop floor employees” relating to the renewal of a long-term settlement agreement.
Goodyear is cutting up to 50 per cent of the jobs at its tyre factory in Fulda, Germany, which will result in “a similar sized” cut in tyre production, the tyre manufacturer announced today. Since around 1100 people are employed at the Fulda tyre factory, that means around 550 jobs will be cut. The news comes as a result of Goodyear’s review of its manufacturing footprint.
On 2 March 2023 the Department of Industry and Information Technology of Shandong Province stated that it agreed to Zhucheng Yong’an Rubber Technology (Yong’an Rubber) to undergo a “capacity replacement” at its tyre production facility. The company in Zhucheng, Weifang, plans to dismantle the production capacity of 300,000 all-steel radial tyres and 5.46 million semi-steel radial tyres and launch a project with an annual output of 70,100 tons of OTR tyres. The Chinese government calls this behaviour “capacity replacement”, meaning that a company must withdraw its equivalent production capacity if it wants to build a new project. Tyrepress’ sister website, Tyrepress China notes that Yong’an Rubber had undergone bankruptcy and reorganisation in 2020-21, having been acquired by Sailun.
UK commercial vehicle production grew 92.2 per cent in the second month of 2022, with 8,278 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches rolling out of British factories. However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) notes that this result compares with the worst February on record last year, when supply chain shortages, new customs processes and prolonged lockdown measures posed significant challenges to production. Production in February 2022 was still 10.3 per cent lower than the 9,233 units built in pre-pandemic 2019.
The crisis currently unfolding in Ukraine is placing logistics and transportation in Europe under strain, and like many manufacturers, Michelin Group is facing “major” issues supplying its plants and delivering to customers. The company says it will work to “optimise operations and adapt flow management” by stopping production at some of its European plants for a few days in the coming weeks. Each site will decide specific duration and implementation.
A number of European industry associations, including vehicle manufacturers’ association the ACEA and wheel manufacturers’ association EUWA, have issued an “urgent call for action against the imminent risk of Europe-wide production shutdowns as a consequence of a critical shortage in the supply of magnesium from China.”
Nokian Tyres has added a fourth production shift at its North American factory in Dayton, Tennessee, and is now producing tyres around the clock at its 2019-opened facility. The switch to 24/7 production coincides with the Dayton plant’s ISO 14001 certification.
The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has further scaled back its outlook on world production of natural rubber. As per the revised outlook, world production is expected to fall by 4.7 per cent to 13.130 million tonnes during 2020.
Production at Apollo Tyres’ factory in Hungary will partially recommence tomorrow, a month after the tyre maker scaled back production there and in its Enschede plant in the Netherlands in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
A combination of health concerns and a significant slowdown in the automotive sector have prompted Pirelli to temporarily halt production at its factories in Burton on Trent and Carlisle. The stop will begin on 23 March.
Tyre maker and automotive technology company Continental has ceased production in some of its plants until further notice. It informed the Frankfurt Stock Exchange of measures put in place to adjust production around the world in response to the spread of the coronavirus and the effect of this upon vehicle production. Continental confirmed that its adjustments include complete production stops in some cases.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems reports that it has moved to general remote working in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Writing in a letter to customers sent by email, the company affirmed that employees will still be available by phone and email and that “availability of agricultural tyres is still assured”.
On the evening of 10 March, Pirelli announced that one of the employees at its Turin factory has tested positive for Covid-19. The third statement in two days from Pirelli said that company was informed by the family of an employee at its Settimo Torinese factory, with the subsequent confirmation of healthcare authorities. In response, the company has slowed down production, but says that it continues to guarantee supply to clients:
Figures released by the Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK car production resumed its downward trend in September, with output falling 3.8 per cent to round off a turbulent first nine months. Production during the month totalled 122,256 units, almost 5,000 fewer than September last year.