News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 31, 2009

Tire Business News Minute

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 11:48 am

The March 30, 2009 edition of the Tire Business News Minute covers the latest Michelin tire data; an increase in truck tonnage in February as reported by the American Trucking Association; and an overview of the expanded ITEC conference to be held in Cleveland in September 2010. While the ITEC show previously catered to the manufacturing side, the expanded show will also encompass dealers, retreaders, and recyclers.

You can see this and previous editions of the Tire Business News Minute here (subscription required).

Carbon Black Suppliers Hunkering Down

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 7:35 am

I neglected to mention the publication last week of a very good article on carbon black in Rubber & Plastics News. The article was written by Mike McNulty and Brad Dawson and appeared in the March 23, 2009 issue.

Read it here (subscription required).

Crain & Tire Industry Association Plan New Tire Trade Show

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 7:15 am

From Tire Business (subscription required) comes word of a new tire industry conference.

AKRON (March 30, 2009)—Tire Business and Rubber & Plastics News (RPN) publisher Crain Communications Inc., with support of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), is planning a tire industry trade show and educational conference Sept. 21-23, 2010, in Cleveland aimed at independent dealers, wholesalers, retreaders and recyclers.

The aftermarket trade show/conference will be part of Crain’s existing International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC), a biennial event geared toward the world’s tire manufacturing industry that’s been held eight times since 1994 in Akron.

The 2010 event will move to Cleveland’s International Exposition Center (IX Center) to accommodate the expanded show/conference, according to Bob Simmons, ITEC executive director and a Crain vice president.

March 30, 2009

Tire Recycling Firms Seeks to Form Carbon Black Adisory Panel

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 11:15 pm

Carbon Black Advisory Board Notice

McKinstry Reklaim is a Pacific Northwest company focused on reclaiming carbon black, oil, and steel from used tires through pyrolisis. Our first facility has been constructed in Boardman, OR, in cooperation with McKinstry Company and Harris Group. The plant became operational in late 2008.

We are now interviewing individuals to join our Carbon Black Advisory Board. This group will provide industry insight, experience, and contacts to McKinstry Reklaim’s management team. Candidates should be seasoned professionals with strong experience in the following areas:

Marketing and Sales: Individuals with (a) extensive sales contacts in existing carbon black market places, (b) direct experience in developing marketing and pricing strategies, and (c) direct experience in developing sales accounts.

Product and Market Development: Individuals with extensive experience in developing carbon black products for specialty applications in inks, dyes, and pigments, and for use in rubber products. Candidates will advise the product development programs to be compatible with product properties and for enhancing product attributes.

Meeting schedules, compensation, and other details to be negotiated.

Interested parties should contact Yaniv Gelnik at yanivg@mckinstryreklaim.com or 206-547-9557.

US Threatens Bankruptcy for GM, Chrysler; GM’s Wagoner Out

Filed under: General — Notch @ 11:07 pm

The Wall Street Journal offers an essential overview of the blockbuster news of the day, the Obama administration’s potential plans for GM and Chrysler. The government’s plan, a copy of which is available here, involves dividing the companies’ “good” and “bad” assets and sending the auto makers into bankruptcy to purge their biggest problems.

As a contingency of the bailout, the White House insisted on the immediate ouster of GM’s chairman and chief executive, Rich Wagoner, as well as most of its board over the next few months. As for Chrysler, the company would get no more help from the government unless it can finalize a proposed alliance with Fiat by April 30. Chrysler must also reduce its debt and health-care obligations.

From the Wall Street Journal article:

President Barack Obama on Monday warned GM and Chrysler that they couldn’t depend on unending taxpayer loans and gave the companies a brief window to craft plans — 60 days for GM and 30 for Chrysler — that would justify fresh government support. But he also pledged to do all he could to save the industry.

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish,” Mr. Obama said at the White House.

The remarks came a day after the administration forced Mr. Wagoner’s departure and rejected the restructuring plans that GM and Chrysler had hoped would lead to another infusion of government loans. The administration also is set to remove the majority of GM’s board of directors. One senior administration official said the aim was to restart GM “with a clean sheet of paper.”

March 22, 2009

Kordsa Announces Closure of Tire Cord Plant

Filed under: Tire Cord — Notch @ 3:17 pm

Kordsa Global has announced that it will close down its tire cord factory in Izmit, Turkey due to falling demand in global markets. The plant produces nylon and polyester tire cord. Kordsa is the world’s largest supplier of nylon and polyester industrial yarn, fabrics and single-end-cord, serving primarily tire markets. The plant in Izmit began producing tire cord in 1973 and was Kordsa’s first tire cord facility. Details on the timing of the shutdown were not announced.

March 20, 2009

Michelin’s February Tire Data Show Continued Declines, Possible Recovery in China

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 5:10 pm

Michelin has released its February and year-to-date figures for the tire market, revealing continued steep declines in the tire markets of North America, Europe, Brazil, and Japan. One relative bright spot in the data is China, which showed substantial growth in some key segments.

In original equipment passenger car and light truck tires, European sales were down 44.7% in February (relative to February 2008), while North American sales were down 53.6%, and Chinese sales were down 1.3%. In replacement PC/LT tires, European sales were down 8.1% in February, North American sales were down 15.1%, and Chinese sales were up 17.6%.

In original equipment radial truck tires, sharp declines were registered in February in Europe (-64.2%), North America (-45.9%), Brazil (-57.3%), and Japan (-60.8%), while China saw growth of 2.8%. Replacement radial truck tire sales for February were also down sharply nearly across the board, including Europe (-33.1%), North America (-25.8%), Brazil (-25.0%), and Japan (-54.9%), while China saw growth of 0.3%.

Year-to-date figures were equally grim. Details are here.

Treasury Announces $5 Bil Program for Auto Parts Suppliers

Filed under: General — Notch @ 7:24 am

On March 19, 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a new Auto Supplier Support Program designed to provide ailing U.S. auto parts suppliers with up to $5 billion in financing. The program is designed to stabilize the auto supply base and restore credit flows, thus “giving suppliers the confidence they need to continue shipping parts, pay their employees and continue their operations.”

According to a fact sheet (PDF) provided by Treasury, the program is designed to offer government-backed protection to parts manufacturers, ensuring they will receive money owed them for the products they ship, no matter what happens to their customers in the auto industry. General Motors Corp. and Chrysler L.L.C. already have signed on, the agency said.

Chemtura Files for Chapter 11

Filed under: General, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 7:13 am

Chemtura Corporation and its 26 US affiliates have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to Craig A. Rogerson, president and CEO of Chemtura, the decline in order volumes due to the global economic recession significantly decreased Chemtura’s liquidity and cash flow, prompting the decision.

Chemtura, which filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, says the bankruptcy filing is designed to help the company complete a financial restructuring.

“Despite our efforts to increase liquidity, including through the potential sale of a business, our reduced liquidity position, combined with the anticipated expiration of our bank waiver, led us to determine that a court-supervised restructuring was the best course of action,” said Chemtura Chairman, President and Chief Executive Craig A. Rogerson in a statement.

The firm’s non-U.S. subsidiaries are not included in the filing, which was made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The restructuring is being handled through Kurtzman Carson Consultants, which has details on the restructuring program here.

Self Inflating Tire Developers Seeks Partners

Filed under: General, Run-flats — Notch @ 6:54 am

Coda Development, inventors of the Self Inflating Tire (SIT), which won Tire Technology of the Year award at the Tire Technology Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2009, in Hamburg, Germany, is looking for partners to commercialize the product, the company said in a March 19 press release. The company is looking for suitable partners with sufficient resources and know-how to finalize the R&D process and produce pre-production prototypes of the SIT to undergo on-road testing.

The SIT uses atmospheric air to inflate the tire automatically while the vehicle is in motion, compensating for natural loss of pressure, and ensuring constant tire pressure over the lifetime of a tire, according to the company. Primarily designed to aid fuel economy and safety, the system consists of two components: the tube chamber serving the function of a peristaltic pump for the tire, and a managing valve to control the inflation.

Details on the product are available here.

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