Tomohiko Masuta has been named as managing director of both Falken Tyre Europe GmbH and Sumitomo Rubber Europe GmbH. Masuta joined Sumitomo Rubber Industries in 1985, first gaining experience in the Product Development department. In the 1990s, he moved to the Original Equipment (OE) area of the business before being dispatched to support the development of the Dunlop brand in European countries. In 2015, he was appointed general manager of OE Tyre Business for SRI, with his most recent role being general manager of the Automotive System Division. In his new appointment, Masuta will oversee the SRI group companies in the EMEA region and Falken businesses in Europe and will drive the growth of OE customers within the region.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has inaugurated a winter tyre test facility at its Nayoro Tire Proving Ground on the northern island of Hokkaido, one of its main development sites for winter tyres. The 3,000 square metre Nayoro Indoor ICE Field – NICE for short – is one of the largest indoor on-ice tyre testing facilities in Japan.
Michelin and Pirelli are leading the way on tyre and rubber sustainability, according to a recent report from Context Group. Context’s ranking assessed 11 members of the Tire Industry Project (TIP), namely Bridgestone; Continental; Cooper; Goodyear; Hankook; Kumho; Michelin; Pirelli; Sumitomo Rubber; Toyo and Yokohama.
Context analysed the sustainability content on each company’s website to see if it included communications covering some of the main issues associated with the life cycle impacts of tyres, including the four focus areas of the TIP: tyre and road wear particles, sustainable natural rubber, end-of-life tyres and environmental performance. The researchers assessed how well the companies tell their sustainability story by looking at their use of multimedia, news articles and social media.
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.
As of this month, Sumitomo Rubber Europe GmbH is operating a test track in the north of Sweden. The site will handle all snow and ice testing for Falken winter tyres intended for the European original equipment and replacement markets.
With a new 30,000 square metre facility, Sumitomo Rubber Europe GmbH and Dunlop Tech GmbH now have the capability to develop and test tyres, produce liquid latex and design tyre pressure monitoring systems. Following the start of operations in May, their ‘European Development Centre’ in Hanau-Steinheim, Germany officially opened yesterday.
Just over two years ago, Sumitomo Rubber Industries acquired Apollo Tyres South Africa, and with it the operation’s car tyre factory in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. While the plant supplies the local market with passenger car and light truck tyres, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa has to-date met local demand for truck and bus tyres with imported products. This will soon change; the company has announced it will invest 910 million rand (£41.3 million) to install new production equipment within the Ladysmith facility, and it aims to produce truck and bus tyres there from July 2018.
Responding to reports from a number of media outlets regarding the dissolution of the 16-year old global alliance between Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) and Goodyear Tire & Rubber, SRI stated today that these are “purely speculative in nature.” The company doesn’t refute the reports’ veracity – SRI admits that “it is true that SRI and Goodyear are currently engaged in discussions concerning the possible dissolution of our alliance agreement and our joint ventures” – however it wants to make it clear that neither it nor Goodyear have issued an official announcement on the matter. Nikkei Asian Review, which published the news yesterday, says an announcement may be made “as early as this week.”
Sumitomo Rubber is to supply tyres for the new Mazda CX-3 crossover utility vehicle. The CX-3 will be fitted with Dunlop-branded Enasave EC300+ tyres, according to a company statement. The Dunlop Enasave EC300+ is Sumitomo’s latest fuel efficiency-optimised tyre. According to the company, it offers reduced rolling resistance, superior ride comfort, and a balance of safety […]