Despite significant interest rate hikes, geopolitical tensions, inflation and economic stagnation in some regions, modest signs of global economic recovery appeared in 2023. Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) reports experiencing notable improvements in the financial year ending 31 December 2023, including a “significant reduction” in freight costs compared with the prior year as well as a “lull in the soaring raw material and energy costs,” leading to significantly improved profitability.
Tomohiko Masuta has concluded his tenure as Senior Executive Manager, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Falken Tyre Europe, becoming Chairman and General Manager of Sumitomo Rubber (China) Co. Ltd. as of 1 January 2024. He succeeds Eiichi Masuda in these roles. Masuda concurrently serves as Chairman and General Manager of Sumitomo Rubber (Changshu) and Chairman of Sumitomo Rubber (Hunan).
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd achieved lower profit in H1 2023 despite increasing sales and operating profit. The company has nonetheless upwardly revised its full-year profit forecast from 21,000 million yen to 23,000 million yen (£127.1 million, US$162.2 million).
The Tire Society has published the details of presentations scheduled for its 42nd Annual Conference (12-13 September 2023, at the University of Akron, Ohio). In addition to in-person attendance, benefitting from live Q&A, sponsor exhibits and a student poster session, registrants can access the presentations after the Conference via a “play-on-demand” feature. Registration includes Tire Society Membership, which gives access to the critically reviewed Tire Science and Technology Journal.
Recently, the United States Department of Commerce’s anti-dumping review investigation on PCR tyres produced in Thailand has a preliminary result. Tyrepress China notes that the new developments are positive for Thailand’s tyre factories.
Sumitomo Rubber Group, Japan-headquartered manufacturer of the Falken tyre brand, has published its 2022 annual report. Within the 49 pages of the Fact Book 2022 the company reports its performance in the 2022 financial year – a 58% year-on-year drop in profit despite higher sales revenue – as well as information about its operations around the world, including in the UK.
Tyre-related business profit at Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) stood at 67.9 billion yen in 2016 and was still a respectable 41.4 billion yen in 2021, but last year dropped to 12.3 billion yen (£76.2 million). It’s therefore no surprise that SRI believes it has been investing too much capital in unprofitable businesses, and the company intends to change this.
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.