In less than two months, Prinx Chengshan has signed strategic cooperation agreements with two steel cord manufacturers, Xingda and Shougang Century. Jiang Xizhou, executive vice president of Prinx Chengshan, and Yin Nengbo, purchasing director, both attended the two signing ceremonies.
Steel wire firm Bekaert shares that it has obtained the first third-party certificates for its tyre reinforcement with high recycled steel content and has delivered the initial batches of this steel to Bridgestone Corporation. According to the company, high recycled content halves the CO2 footprint of its product, and such certification helps meet demand from customers and end markets while addressing a “critical challenge in the industry.”
After having led the company over the past three years, Oswald Schmid will retire as CEO of Bekaert on 31 August. The company’s Board of Directors has appointed former Bridgestone executive Yves Kerstens his successor as CEO, effective 1 September.
On 17 March, Xingda Steel Tyre Cord held a ceremony celebrating the commencement of production at the second phase project of the company’s Shandong factory. Liu Tao and Hang Youming, deputy general managers of the steel tyre cord manufacturer, attended the event. In his speech, Liu Tao revealed that the Shandong factory’s second phase mainly serves tyre companies in Shandong Province and northern China.
Tyre cord manufacturer Xingda and Continental Group recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement at Xingda Steel Tyre Cord (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Details of what is involved in the agreement remain to be seen at this stage, but Xingda representatives report that the cooperation includes improving the supplier management services in Europe.
On October 3, the Thailand factory of Jiangsu Xingda Steel Tyre Cord Co and Rojana Industrial Park Public Co held a land signing ceremony. It is reported that after seven months of planning, site selection and communication, the steel tyre cord factory finally decided to place Phase II in the Bowin Industrial Park in Chonburi Province, managed by Rojana.
Bekaert considers the installation of a solar park within the grounds of its plant in Burgos, Spain a “significant step in progressing on the company’s sustainability ambition to reach Carbon Net Zero by 2050.” The facility at the Industrias del Ubierna SA (Ubisa) site will produce over 14 GWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 4,000 households.
Bekaert’s newly-expanded Russian tyre cord production operation is receiving strong demand – but solely from local producers. Speaking in the company’s full-year 2021 conference call on 25 February 2022, NV Bekaert SA CEO Oswald Schmid told investors that “all the business we do is for Russian customers. There’s no export outside.” At 12 years old, Bekaert’s tyre cord-focused Lipetsk plant is one of the firm’s newer plants. It employs about 500 people.
At the time of going to press, the President of the United States of America is mid-way through a state visit to the UK. Before he even landed on British soil, President Donald Trump stirred up controversy by tweeting his disparaging thoughts about London Mayor Sadiq Kahn. Whatever view one might hold about the propriety of Trump’s visit, we all know that 31-gun salutes and tea with the queen are about more than niceties. Sure enough less than 24 hours into the state visit, presidential talk turned to trade, with Trump backing out-going Prime Minister Theresa May to complete Brexit negotiations and promising a “phenomenal” trade deal between the US and UK. But all this is set against the backdrop of all-out trade war between the US and China at the same time that Europe is involved in somewhat more Cold War-esque trade skirmishes with China as well. The questions are: do such measures work? And what do they mean for the tyre business?
Bekaert and ArcelorMittal have integrated Bekaert’s formerly wholly-owned steel cord subsidiary in Sumaré (Brazil) into the BMB (Belgo Mineira Bekaert Artefatos de Arame Ltda) partnership.
In line with the shareholding structure of the BMB joint venture, ArcelorMittal has become the majority shareholder (55.5%) of the steel cord entity in Sumaré and Bekaert retains the remaining shares (44.5%).
The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of the steel tyre cord business of the Italian company Pirelli by its Belgian-based rival NV Bekaert SA under the EU Merger Regulation. According to an official statement dated 31 July, the commission concluded that the acquisition “would not raise competition concerns as the merged entity’s customers, which are large, multinational tyre companies, have countervailing buyer power which is further strengthened by over-capacity in the steel tyre cord market.”
Pirelli & C. SpA has signed an agreement with Bekaert to sell 100 per cent of its steel cord activities to the Belgium-based steel wire company for an enterprise value of €255 million. At the same time, the two firms have entered into a long-term agreement for Bekaert to supply Pirelli with tyre cord. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Last year, Continental introduced the first tyres in its third generation commercial vehicle range. These initial products, the HA3 Conti Coach, Conti CityPlus and the Conti Urban, catered to passenger transport, and now the manufacturer has followed up with the launch of its first 3G tyre for the goods sector, the Continental EcoPlus HT3 trailer tyre.
The European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM) has granted the 2013 EIPM Peter Kraljic Excellence Award for ‘Value Creation – Extended Enterprise’ to steel cord manufacturer Bekaert during the 2013 annual EIPM Purchasing Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.