Toyo Tire Corporation is closing its loss-making wholly-owned Silverstone Berhad Malaysian tyre manufacturing subsidiary in June 2021. Established on 12 July 1986 and purchased by Toyo in 2011, Silverstone currently manufactures tyres for (primarily Malaysian) new vehicles and Silverstone branded tyres for the aftermarket as well as certain Toyo branded tyres. The dissolution of the Silverstone subsidiary (Silverstone Berhad) will commence by 31 December 2021.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company have made “a definitive transaction agreement” that will see Goodyear buy Cooper for roughly $2.5 billion. The combined company will have approximately $17.5 billion in pro forma 2019 sales. Upon closing of the transaction, Goodyear shareholders will own approximately 84 per cent of the combined company, and Cooper shareholders will own approximately 16 per cent.
Online tyre retailers Tirebuyer and Tirescanner have merged to create a new Tirebuyer.com that will be led by president and CEO Michael Welch OBE, who formerly founded Blackcircles and then Tirescanner. ATD (American Tire Distributors), Tirebuyer’s parent company, is the largest tyre distributor in the world. The new Tirebuyer will operate over 11,000 installer partner locations across the USA. According to the company, Tirebuyer sales day one are in the high eight-figure range. “We expect to climb sales to multiple nine figures over the coming years”. There is even talk of hitting the billion-dollar turnover mark.
Cars competing in the DTM race series will race exclusively on Michelin tyres during the 2021 season. As per the agreement signed that Michelin Motorsport signed with DTM management last week, the tyre maker will supply Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M tyres as well as a range of associated services. Drivers will use the Michelin tyres for the first time at the DTM test drives on 7-8 April at the Hockenheimring and 4-6 May at the Lausitzring in Germany. The season starts on 18 June in Monza, Italy.
Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.
Summer tyre tests in 2021 have highlighted the sometimes dazzling qualities of the best performing tyre products. However, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub’s (ADAC) most recent test appears to have been particularly demanding. No tyre received ADAC’s top “very good” rating, and only five models were rated “good” over the two sizes tested – 205/55 R16 V and 225/50 R17 Y. There were some intriguing results at the top of the table. Falken confirmed its increasingly impressive performance of recent years by winning the 17” tyre test with its Azenis FK510 flagship UHP tyre. The Kumho Ecsta PS71 also achieved a “good” rating in the 17” test, while Continental group brand Semperit’s Speed-Life 3 achieved an overall result matching the Conti PremiumContact 6 in the 16” test. There was worse news for the 17” Firestone Roadhawk, which became the only tyre to receive an “inadequate” report.
Bridgestone Corporation has shared details of its Mid-Term Business Plan for the three-year period from 2021 to 2023, and this plan entails significant changes for the company’s manufacturing footprint. In a presentation given by chief executive officer Shu Ishibashi, Bridgestone outlines the direction this restructuring will take.
The first Michelin tyre engineered to meet the specific handling and range requirements of electric sports cars will come to market from 1 April. Announcing the imminent launch of the Pilot Sport EV, Michelin shares that the tyre excels in a number of areas of key importance to drivers of electric performance vehicles – notably grip on wet and dry roads, resistance to wear, low rolling resistance and reduced noise.
With the addition of the Cooper Tire business, Goodyear will return to the global number three ranking in passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyre volumes in 2021. After previously holding the clear number three ranking behind the world’s largest tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone and Michelin, Goodyear was joint third with Continental in both 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Goodyear fell behind Continental to fourth position in 2019 and 2020. Working on a pro forma basis combining original equipment and replacement market tyres, Astutus Research data reveals some interesting facts about the nascent conjoined organisation, with reference to their largest tyre business segment in terms of volume.
The Covid-19 pandemic may have caused the biggest financial crisis of a generation as well as record spending and borrowing levels, but economic highlights aren't as bad as was expected and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak isn't raising taxes as fast as feared. Here, Tyres & Accessories takes a look at the main points pertaining to the tyre business and specifically: the furlough extension, the corporation tax increase, continued business rates holiday, and the introduction of freeports.