According to the latest forecast by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), total shipments of tyres in the US will exceed 315 million units this year, 0.7 per cent higher than in 2015. Furthermore, the association anticipates that passenger car tyre shipments will exceed the previous record set in 2014.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has elected Bridgestone Americas’ chief executive officer and president Gary Garfield the chairman of its Board of Directors. Garfield will serve for a two-year term and succeeds Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America, who held the position of RMA board chairman since 2013.
A bill calling for the introduction of minimum tyre performance standards and compulsory tyre registration has been introduced into the US Senate. This bill, the Tire Efficiency, Safety and Registration Act S.1741, is described by supporters as legislation that would improve consumer safety and vehicle fuel economy, however some sections of the tyre industry have vowed to see the bill defeated.
On 9 December, the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the trade association representing tyre makers with a manufacturing presence in the US, offered its four-point plan to US Federal agency the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to help improve motorist safety. The NTSB is currently conducting a two-day symposium to discuss the contribution tyres can make to motor vehicle safety.
As Kumho Tire announced on 1 July, construction of its facility in the US state of Georgia is recommencing after a seven year delay. The tyre maker says the first tyres will be produced in the US$413 million Macon plant in early 2016, and 100 per cent of the tyres manufactured there will be supplied to OEM customers. Kumho adds that when the 4 million tyres a year capacity plant is complete, the company’s overseas manufacturing capacity will be larger than its capacity within Korea.