News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

April 19, 2008

Michelin Gives Up on PAX

Filed under: Run-flats — Notch @ 3:17 pm

Here is an article from tomorrow’s New York Times detailing Michelin’s recent decision to stop selling its PAX system to OEs. Michelin will continue to supply replacements and service the tires of customers who already have PAX.

I previously wrote about the decision here.

According to the Times:

Michelin decided to discontinue PAX because automakers had several other choices in run-flat technology and there was “slow growth of the extended-mobility tire segment in general.” Ms. Mann said complaints from some consumers and lawsuits about problems — including high replacement costs and difficulties getting the tires repaired — did not play a role in the decision.

CAFC Denies Rehearing in 4-APDA Case

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 12:24 pm

According to Rubber & Plastic News (subscription required), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week denied Flexsys’ petition for a rehearing before the entire 11-judge panel regarding its ongoing patent infringement case against Shandong Sinorgchem. The petition involved a December 2007 decision from a 3-judge panel that vacated and remanded a February 2006 decision by the US International Trade Commission that found that Sinorgchem had infringed on the Flexsys patents (Flexys America’s U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,117,063 and 5,608,111) related to the manufacturing of 4-ADPA, the precursor to 6PPD.

This means that the case is being sent back to the ITC to address unresolved issues, which in this case involve the specifics of the two production processes. In other words, the case will continue in the courts with no resolution for some time.

Previous discussion of this issue on this blog can be found here and here.

Xingda International Expands Tire Cord Capacity

Filed under: Tire Cord — Notch @ 11:26 am

From Tire Review comes news that Xingda International Holdings, a producer of radial tyre cord and bead wire based in Jiangsu Province, China, is expanding its capacity for high performance tyre cord by 40,000 to 50,000 tons per year in each of the next three years at the company’s Factory No. 8.

Below is a copy of the company’s 2006 financial results. Details on the company’s expansion plans are on slide 17.


Here is the press release on the results and expansion project.


From the Tire Review article:

At the end of 2007 the company’s radial cord capacity stood at 237,100 tons, a 22.2% increase over 2006, the company reported in its annual statement. The utilisation rate of this tyre cord was 84%, only marginally lower than the year before. The Jiangsu Province-based firm aims to reach a total radial tyre cord production capacity of approximately 400,000 tons by 2011.

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