Anyone who’s spent time in a garage or tyre shop knows that the smell of rubber is an acquired love. And there’s good news for those who never acquire this love – Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has, after identifying the factors that cause natural rubber to emit an odour, developed ‘Reduced Odor Natural Rubber,’ a new type of natural rubber that emits significantly less odour.
After considering a number of factors, such as a changing business environment as well as growing awareness of human rights and environmental considerations, Sumitomo Rubber Group has established its own local organisation for procuring natural rubber. It has done so via its member company Sumitomo Rubber Industries, which this month set up Sumitomo Rubber Singapore Pte. Ltd. This entity, located in the world’s largest natural rubber trading hub, will commence operations in April.
On 27 December, Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. entered into an agreement with UK-based sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International plc to acquire the international trademark rights for the Dunlop brand and the brand’s sporting goods and licencing businesses. The transaction carries a purchase price of US$137.5 million.
On 5 October, Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (SRT), the Sumitomo Rubber Group’s tyre manufacturing and sales subsidiary in Thailand, celebrated the tenth anniversary of operations at its passenger car and agricultural/industrial tyre plant in Rayong Province. The festivities were attended by around 300 guests, including the Governor of Rayong Province, representatives from various government agencies, business partners, customers and factory staff, as well as Ikuji Ikeda, president of Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd (SRI).
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is to pay Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) US$271 million to end its global joint venture with the Japanese firm. Goodyear expects to increase annual income as a result of the deal, while SRI will take on expanded use of the Dunlop name around the world. This largely means Russia, Africa and Asia, but not Europe.
The reasoning behind the dissolution? According to SRI, the North American and European joint ventures did not perform as initially expected. Furthermore there was decreasing technology exchange between the two companies – all of which led both parties to “dissolve the alliance in a constructive manner”. This led to the arbitration filing and subsequent dissolution talks in January and February 2014 respectively.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ new financial year got off to a sluggish start, with sales declining 2.9 per cent year-on-year in the January-March period to 185.2 billion yen (£976.3 million). Ordinary income went down 34.6 per cent to 12.0 billion yen (£63.3 million) and gave a margin of 6.5 per cent, compared with 9.4 per cent a year earlier. Net profit fell 29.4 per cent to 7.7 billion yen (£40.6 million).
A concept tyre produced by Sumitomo Rubber Industries offers a glimpse into how future drivers of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs, may be able to enjoy both sporty handling and efficiency. The Falken concept tyre features different tread areas in order to address the conflict between rolling resistance (and its influence on range) and the need to offer the sharp, sporty dynamics that sports SUV drivers expect.
For the nine months ending 30 September 2014, Sumitomo Rubber Industries reports net sales of 575.3 billion yen (£3.2 billion), a result 8.2 per cent higher than in the corresponding period of 2013. Operating income amounted to 49.1 billion yen (£269.3 million), a year-on-year increase of 14.2 per cent, while net income shot up 28.2 per cent to 31.7 billion yen (£174.2 million). From this total, net sales within the company’s tyre business rose 8.6 per cent to 500.7 billion yen (£2.7 billion) and operating income rose 14.6 per cent to 44.1 billion (£242.3 million).
The Sumitomo Rubber Group’s first tyre factory in Latin America has been awarded both the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard and the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Standard. Certification of the Sumitomo Rubber do Brasil Ltda passenger car radial plant in Fazenda Rio Grande, Paraná state took effect on 30 September 2014. The accrediting body for both certifications was Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA).
Falken is bringing its latest on/off-road truck tyres to the UK. The Sumitomo brand says it is building on the popularity of its products in the construction sector in the US, where the M+S marked and regroovable GI388 and GI378 tyres are already available. Falken is targeting operators seeking affordable yet resilient truck tyres, versatile enough to cope with the growing market demand for mixed usage on a daily basis.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has been awarded a contract from Chrysler Group LLC to supply tires for the 2015 Jeep Compass and Patriot BUX (Built-Up Export) models to be sold in Mexico, China, Australia and other countries around the world. The Compass and Patriot are offered in right and left-hand drive configurations and available with gas and […]
In 2012, Sumitomo Rubber Industries announced it had perfected a whole new system for manufacturing tyres. It calls this system NEO-T01 and says it results in lower weight tyres that deform less during high speed driving and have much better high speed uniformity. The latest product to be developed using NEO-T01 production techniques is the Falken Azenis FK453; Tyres & Accessories previewed the new high performance range in April – Falken Tyre Europe now reports the launch of this range.
The official opening of Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ first agricultural tyre plant outside of Japan took place on 22 April. The newly-completed Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) factory in Thailand’s Rayong Province was host to some 150 opening ceremony guests, including Rayong regional governor Vichit Chatpaisit. Representing the tyre maker was Sumitomo Rubber president Ikuji Ikeda and Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) president Toru Nagahata.
Showcasing significant technological and performance breakthroughs, Falken launched its latest Azensis and Sincera products at the Ascari Race Resort near Malaga, Spain. Tyrepress took the opportunity to speak to Isamu Ishida, managing director, Falken Tyre Europe, and Matt Smith, managing director UK & Ireland, about the direction of Falken post Sumitomo and Goodyear’s Dunlop joint venture, having sampled the benefits of the new tyres at Ascari.
A new energy efficient passenger car tyre has been developed using the world’s highest energy synchrotron radiation facility and ‘Earth Simulator’ supercomputer. Sumitomo Rubber Industries has employed techniques not traditionally used in the tyre industry to develop what it calls a new “4D Nano Design process” to create the Falken Sincera SN832 Ecorun. The manufacturer claims that the technology has allowed it to perform more detailed simulations and analyses, which have in turn allowed it to reduce rolling resistance and braking distances over its predecessor. The tyre is Falken’s first to receive an A-grade for wet grip on the EU tyre label.