Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. has acquired an additional 35 per cent of its joint venture, Jantas Jant Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., in Turkey. Hayes Lemmerz now owns 60 per cent of the company, which is part of Hayes Lemmerz’ European Wheel Group. The remaining 40 per cent is held by Inci Holding A.S., Cevdet Inci, and members of his family. The joint venture has been renamed Hayes Lemmerz Jantas Jant Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.. Jantas has the capacity to produce over 1.2 million wheels annually. “Jantas supplies over 175 customers in 50 countries,” said Curtis Clawson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hayes Lemmerz International. “We are confident in the tremendous opportunity Jantas provides to increase our market share in Western and Eastern Europe and Asia.”
Hayes Lemmerz has named Fred Bentley (38) as president of the company’s European Wheel Group, succeeding Giancarlo Dallera, who has retired. Bentley joined Hayes Lemmerz in 2001, before which he held senior positions with Honeywell Consumer Products and AlliedSignal. In his new post, he reports direct to Curtis Clawson, chairman of the board and CEO, and will have responsibility for the European Fabricated Wheel and Cast Aluminium Wheel businesses, plus wheel operations in Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and India.
Lassa has announced the appointment of John Westwood as the new senior director responsible for the running of its London-based European export sales operation. He joins the company after a long and distinguished career with Goodyear in a variety of senior sales and marketing positions. Mr. Westwood will replace Gunduz Akin as European Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for all Lassa brand sales in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the UK. Mr Akin has returned to Turkey to work for Lassa’s parent company, Brisa.
Lichfield-based Sherbrook International Ltd is entering the alloy wheel market and aims to hit the big time. It may be a new name in the wheel sector but the company has a long-standing heritage in the automotive industry and, for a newcomer to the wheels’ market, has an excellent record for getting things right. This could be just another player trying to make a few extra pennies from selling wheels while the market lasts but nothing could be further from the truth.The company has grown to a staff of 25, sourced from the automotive industry, each an expert in his or her field, carrying out negotiations between both ends of the supply chain. The company offers a 24/7/365 office service to the trade with constant monitoring of schedule performance and awareness of in-transit goods. This is built on effective customer communication and enables stock to be ordered from across the continent, or around the globe to meet Just In Time production processes. Rapid reaction to customer demands and a local technical support team result in quick problem solving which, with an agreed stock buffering system, eliminates supply chain down time from the manufacturing process.Now the company has a turnover in excess of 30 million Pounds and the financial backing of a large Turkish commercial organisation. Koç, this Turkish conglomerate, took over Sherbrook in 1998 giving the company a secure financial future and access to an even wider market and production base. Koç operates in Turkey on many levels, and its company logo of a Ram’s head in red outline is visible everywhere, especially in the Izmir area. In 2000 the Koç group had 9.2 billion Dollars of consolidated sales from 92 group companies employing 35,500 people. Core businesses cross many sectors, including automotive, banking, construction, household appliances, IT, and food and tourism. In the automotive sector the company has strong links with Land Rover, Ford, Iveco, Fiat and in components covers almost all areas. However, it is the Döktas foundry business which has led the company into wheel distribution in the UK.
Cooper-Avon has launched a range of precure treads as an addition to its remould materials range. The treads were designed in collaboration with Oliver Rubber, which is part of the Commercial Division of Cooper Tire & Rubber, and they will be manufactured by Rekor Rubber, of Turkey. Initially, eleven profiles will be launched, in a total of 59 pattern sizes.
The oe alloy wheel suppliers get a lot of orders from car manufacturers these days. Even Volkswagen – in urgent need of a large quantity of alloy wheels – is looking for a qualified supplier in Turkey. But for a lot of companies this has bred complacency. So take care, alloy wheel manufacturers, because the steel wheel producers have not been sleeping in the meantime. Several new car models are being fitted with the latest in steel wheel designs. Concerning the weight of the wheel, the light steel version can be favourably compared with the level of the average alloy wheel. As far as price is concerned, steel is more economic and, in the field of design, a lot of developments have taken place.
In the retreading business the name of Gummiwerk Kraiburg Austria, located in Geretsberg, is well known as one of the leading material suppliers for hot and cold retreading, as well as for supplying complete retreading equipment. In two further plants (Waldkraiburg and Tittmoning) a huge number of technical compounds for the automotive industry, compounds made from thermoplastic elastomers and recycling products are being manufactured. Since the middle of 1998 a fundamental restructuring process has been initiated. Under the name “Kraiburg 2010”, a new group structure that will prepare the company for the new challenges of the market in the 21st century, was introduced to the public a year ago. The strategic programme included investments of more than 15 million US-dollars in the tyre retreading materials sector. Direction and presentation of the company will undergo a complete revision. “Internationalisation”, the entering of new markets, was one of the key words of the programme. Reason enough to ask what has happened at Kraiburg the last twelve months: the company has established two new distribution organisations in Spain and Turkey. Furthermore, the European distribution structure has been divided into “profit centres”. With the “profit centre south” a new organisational entity has been created that is responsible for the markets in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovenia.
In the first half of the year 2000, tyre business accounted for 40 per cent of Pirelli’s turnover, but this has now fallen to only 37 per cent, whereas cables/systems/communications increased to 63 per cent. There was an improvement in tyre business figures for the first six months, but this could not match the results of the other business units. The main reason was the economic problems in Turkey and America, which are very important markets for Pirelli.
At a dealer conference in Las Vegas, Goodyear Chief Gibara explained to an audience of 4,500 tyre people the need for consolidation in 2000, following the recent aggressive expansion strategy. Gibara pointed out the importance of the personal touch despite the fast growth of e-commerce and the Internet. The fill-rate problem will be improved through shipments from Latin America, Eastern Europe and Turkey for the US replacement market.
The tyre factories of Brisa (Bridgestone/Sabanci), Pirelli and Goodyear are all situated within a few hundred metres from one another along a road leading out of Izmit, the town so severely hit by the earthquake. Bekaert also has a production facility nearby, Continental manufactures technical rubber products not far away, and a second Pirelli plant makes cables. It will only be a matter of days until production, only partially interrupted by the earthquake, returns to full strength while the aid campaign has gone into full swing at the same time.