Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won in Spain from pole with a two-stop soft-medium-medium tyre strategy in some of the hottest track conditions experienced by Formula 1’s drivers. Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing, Mario Isola commented that “managing the tyres in these demanding conditions with nearly 50 degrees of track temperatures was a big challenge, especially on the soft tyre.” There were seven different strategies seen in the top eight.
Continental has reported second quarter 2020 consolidated group sales of 6.620 billion euros. This equates to -39.8 per cent drop year-on-year. Pre-tax profits (EBIT) came in at -9.6 per cent of sales (-636 million euros). However, sales in the Rubber Technologies division, which includes tyres, were 2.962 billion euros and the adjusted EBIT margin was 1.2 per cent (around 36 million euros). Thus, Continental’s tyre business has managed to remain profitable despite the obvious pressures of the coronavirus context.
Alejandro Recasens has joined Apollo Vredestein as Cluster Director South-West, responsible for Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Having had a successful career with Pirelli Tyres spanning two decades, Recasens is now spearheading Apollo Vredestein’s plans for growth in the markets of southwestern Europe.
For the three national markets of France, Italy and Spain, combined new light vehicle sales fell by 55 per cent on last year to 268,000 in May, which compares with a 75 per cent drop in March and a 93 per cent decline in April. This represents a slightly better scenario than had been anticipated, as Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at GlobalData, explains: “After the seized up and locked down markets of March and April, this is a welcome sign of life in markets that were the first in Europe to be engulfed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bridgestone EMIA has resumed production at its European manufacturing plants in Bari (Italy) and Lanklaar (Belgium). The Béthune (France) plant will reopen tomorrow, 21 April 2020. This follows the 14 April news that production in all Bridgestone plants located in Spain (Burgos, Bilbao and Puente San Miguel) and Russia (Ulyanovsk) had recommenced. Today’s announcement means that Bridgestone EMIA’s full manufacturing network has restarted production with the exception of its Indian and South African plants, which remain closed for now.
SPR Group recently set up a new tyre recycling plant in San José, Costa Rica via its affiliate in Mexico.
The new facility, located in the capital city of Costa Rica, has been designed to afford the use of the secondary fast-rotation granulator getting an input up to 5 tonnes per hour. This technological solution developed by SPR Group makes it possible to obtain a granulometry lower than 35 mm ready to be used as Alternative Fuel in the industry.
In addition to the temporary layoffs planned for its factory in Finland and announced last week, Nokian Tyres is implementing changes at its other sites in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Production output in Russia will be flexibly adjusted “in line with global demand.” While the ramp-up of Nokian’s new plant in the USA continues, the company has postponed recruitment of additional employees. Furthermore, work on the new test centre in Spain has also temporarily stopped, delaying the project.
Bridgestone EMIA will either temporarily close or reduce production plants across its European manufacturing network in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its Béthune plant in France and the Bari plant in Italy will be closed until 6 April.
Michelin has confirmed that it has decided to close its tyre production facilities “located in the European countries most affected” countries for at least one week. Tyres & Accessories understands this means Michelin’s factories in Italy (Cuneo and Alessandria), Spain (Lasarte, Vitoria, Aranda de Duero and Valladolid) and France (Cataroux, Les Gravanches, Le Puy-en-Velay, Roanne, Bourges, Montceau, Cholet, La Roche-sur-Yon, Golbey, Avallon, Montagny, Vannes, Joué-Lès-Tours and Troyes
The sponsorship agreement between Hankook Tire and Real Madrid has been extended until the end of the 2022/23 season. This continued collaboration between tyre maker and Spanish La Liga football club was sealed at a ceremony recently held at Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid, and Sang Hoon Lee, Hankook Tire’s president in Europe, oversaw proceedings.
CEVA Logistics will continue to handle warehousing services and inventory management for Michelin at its Valladolid facility in north western Spain for another three years. Using around 55,000sqm within its facility, CEVA Logistics handles warehousing services, inventory management, and picking and loading of transport bound for Michelin customers, automotive manufacturers and spare parts and maintenance companies. CEVA also handles a range of tires for luxury touring vehicles, agricultural vehicles and trucks. Together these comprise some five million items per year.
Michelin is the most search tyre brand on Google in Europe, according to price comparison site Rezulteo. Rezulteo studied the popularity of tyre brands in Europe using Google search volume data for tyre manufacturers in each country from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019. The study took “brand name” + “tyre” queries in the official languages of each European country into account.