News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

May 15, 2012

Clemson Tire Conference has new website

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 3:36 pm

One of the best tire conferences around is Clemson’s Global Tire Industry Conference, held every April on Hilton Head in South Carolina. The conference organizers have created a new website for the event that includes downloads of the most recent papers. There is a wealth of valuable information available at the site, including papers on LANXESS’s solution SBR, Rhodia’s highly disperible silica, the status of the India tire industry, and several excellent overviews of the current regulatory situation in the United States.

Here is an overview of the conference proceedings and here are the papers.

PCBL signs MoU for new carbon black plant as automakers pledge to invest in Tamil Nadu

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 1:30 am

On Monday, four major auto companies signed Memorandums of Understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu state to invest at least Rs 5,700 core (US$1.05 billion) and create some 9,530 jobs in the region. In addition, carbon black maker Phillips Carbon Black exchanged documents with the government for setting up a Rs 350 crore (US$64 million) carbon black plant in the SIPCOT Industrial Park at Thervoykandigai in Thiruvallur district. The plant will create 230 new jobs.

The MoUs with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, India Yamaha Motor, Ashok Leyland-Nissan Motor Company, Eicher Motors and Philips Carbon Black were signed in the presence of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Michelin to idle some European capacity

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 1:14 am

On Friday, Michelin announced that it plans to reduce tire output at a number of its European facilities in response to “very challenging market conditions deriving from reductions in tyre markets in the Euro zone, mainly in southern Europe, which have reduced dramatically since the start of the year.” The company added that stock levels were also negatively impacted by a very mild winter.

One of the plants to be affected is in Dundee, Scotland, which produces passenger tires including smaller sizes that have been hardest hit by the weaker conditions. In response, Dundee will cease production for a three week period from the end of May until mid June. In addition, some of the planned holidays in July and August will be extended. The factory will use this time to accelerate certain progress actions and training programmes for its workforce. The Dundee plant, which is Scotland’s only tire plant, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, having begun production in 1972.

Michelin said that jobs will not be affected but the current market conditions have led Michelin to slow its investment in the Dundee plant to better match the growth now foreseen in these markets.

In the press release, Michelin also indicated that other of its European plants would see some additional downtime over the summer, but didn’t offer details on these plans.

Here is the press release.

Conti acquires full ownership of Malaysian tire plants

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 12:49 am

On Monday, Continental announced it has acquired the outstanding 30% of the shares of Continental Sime Tyre Sdn. Bhd. from its joint venture partner Sime Darby Allied Products Berhad. This purchase makes Continental Sime Tyre Sdn. Bhd. a fully owned subsidiary of Continental Corporation, and the company will be renamed as Continental Tyre Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. According to Continental, the transaction reflects its long-term commitment to the Asia Pacific Region.

Continental operates two tire plants in Malaysia. One plant located in Petaling Jaya produces radial truck and bus tires, as well as OTR tires for agricultural and industrial uses. The second plant is located in Alor Star and produces passenger and light truck radial tires as well as motorcycle tires. The tire division in Malaysia employs some 2,500 people.

Here is the press release.

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