A Chinese court has ruled in favour of Bridgestone Corporation in its patent infringement lawsuit against Chinese tyre manufacturers Guangzhou South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. and Wanli Tire Co., Ltd. (Wanli Tire).
When you look at Tire+’s deliberate proximity to a premium car show such as Auto Guangzhou, the first thing that comes to mind is original equipment (OE). If we take a comparable European equivalent event such as the Geneva Motor Show as an example, most of the leading global tyre players as well as some of the larger up-and-coming brands use Geneva as a way of showcasing new technologies and products in order to generate additional OE tyre sales as well as the benefit of the enhanced ongoing tyre replacement sales that come with the so-called OE pull-through effect. While it is not as linear and transactional an equation as investment in a motor show equals OE contracts, it clearly is an important part of the corporate courtship ritual. Surprisingly, things are a little different in China.
Visiting CITExpo in 2018 had the potential to be a gloomy affair. A trade show that has specifically targeted medium-sized tyre Chinese manufacturers as a gateway for raising global interest, the trading environment in major export markets in Europe and North America have not been the most hospitable, with tariffs or anti-dumping duties affecting various product segments. In the UK, we heard from a major Chinese truck tyre importer that business had effectively been put on hold with the announcement that the EU was imposing tariffs in May. Pressure had also been mounting domestically, as the Chinese government moved to bring a halt to production at factories it considered to be too polluting, which led to upstream supply chain problems, as raw materials suppliers to the tyre industry were among those affected.
China’s Guangzhou Vanlead Group Co. Ltd. reports that its subsidiary, Wanli Tire Corporation Ltd., intends to start work on a US$1 billion tyre factory in the US state of South Carolina during the first half of next year.
Bridgestone has won a patent case against Guangzhou-based Wanli Tire. Bridgestone’s success follows another victory last September’s this time against Triangle Tyre.
According to Nikkier, Bridgestone said the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court in April reached a favourable ruling regarding a patent infringement lawsuit Bridgestone filed in October 2015. The suit alleged Wanli of manufacturing and selling tyres with tread patterns used in Bridgestone’s Dueler A/T Revo 2 tyres for sports utility vehicles.
China’s Wanli Tire aims to compete on even terms with the established tyre majors, and the tyre maker has its eye on a spot in the global ‘top ten’. The company’s path to international success will be guided by a new strategy that Wanli Tire general manager, Li Xiaoyun, outlined at Auto Shanghai.
State-owned Chinese firm Guangzhou Vanlead Group, parent company of Wanli tyre brand manufacturer South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd, has signed two memorandums of understanding with Swedish firm Scandinavian Enviro Systems. The first of these covers the establishment of a turnkey recycling plant in Guangdong province, and the second the setting up of a joint venture to market Enviro’s patented technology across China.
Auto Express has published the results of various tests it performed with Goodyear to measure the difference in winter braking distance when tweaking one particular tyre characteristic, and one finding is especially worth reporting as we head into the coldest part of the year. The distance it takes to stop a car doesn’t just vary depending on your choice of winter tyre – it can vary a lot.
Last month, groundbreaking took place on a new tyre factory intended to produce some 2 million all-steel truck tyres a year and serve as an original equipment supplier for China Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC). The vehicle manufacturer is partnering in a joint venture project together with Guangzhou Fengli Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. The tyre maker is itself, in turn, a joint venture between South China Tire & Rubber, the company behind the Wanli and Sunny tyre brands, and Guangzhou International Group Co., Ltd., an authorised Chinese state-owned assets operating unit.