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.
A total of 7,320 commercial vehicles were produced in UK factories in September, reports the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This figure represents an 11.7 per cent year-on-year decline compared with September 2018. Output for crucial overseas markets was up some 25.4 per cent, but production for the domestic market fell -44.5 per cent in the face of ongoing political and economic uncertainty.
Another blow on the automotive industry’s chin as we inch closer towards a no-deal Brexit. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released its latest UK manufacturing figures, and they make a depressing read. British car manufacturing output fell by more than a fifth in the first half of 2019, while commercial vehicle production was down more than 16 per cent and engine production almost 11 per cent. KPMG considers these numbers “worrying.”
The workforce at the Michelin tyre plant in Hallstadt, Germany was told yesterday that tough times lie ahead. These words came from plant manager Jens Schlemmer; he informed employees that demand for tyres from the factory has been affected by the current tense market situation the country’s carmakers and their suppliers are facing.