News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 30, 2020

Prinx Chengshan Tire inaugurates Thai tire plant

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 9:03 pm

Amid all the plant closures, some good news. Tire Business reports that Prinx Chengshan Tire has inaugurated production of truck tires at its new $300M plant in Chonburi, Thailand. The plant was completed one year after breaking ground and a few months ahead of schedule. Workers at the plant began production on March 25. Capacity is 800,000 unit/year at full capacity. The company also plans to add 4M units/year of capacity for PC/LT tires.

More tire plants suspend operations amid COVID-19 outbreak

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Tires — Notch @ 8:53 pm

Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. is temporarily suspending operations at its Georgia plant and expects to resume production on April 19.  Distribution centers will remain open and warehouses continue to receive products from plants overseas.

Michelin will be closing their passenger tire plant in Dundee permanently, effective immediately.  Initially, Michelin planned to suspend production until April 13.  In November 2018, Michelin announced it would close the Dundee plant by the end of 2020.

Kumho Tire USA will suspend production at its plant in Macon, Ga., from April 1-8. During the shutdown, plants in South Korea and Vietnam will support demand in the U.S. market.  

Yokohama Tire Corp. is idling production for two weeks at its truck tire plant in West Point, Miss. as of March 28.  The shipping department will continue service.

Bridgestone Corp. is suspending production at plants in France and Italy, and scaling back at in Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Spain.  Plants in Bethune, France, and Bari, Italy, will be closed until April 6.  Operations are reduced in Bilbao, Puente San Miguel and Burgos, Spain; Stargard and Poznan, Poland; and Tatabanya, Hungary, as well as a retread materials factory in Lanklaar, Belgium.  The company has sufficient supply in order to continue to fill orders from its distribution centers and warehouses.

Nexen and Kenda maintain production amid COVID-19 outbreak

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 8:52 pm

Nexen Tire Corp. remains in operation worldwide, despite decreasing demand.  Its California corporate office is working remotely.

Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. remains in operation in tire plants across the globe.  Employees are working remotely where possible.

Conti, Goodyear continue to offer commercial tire services through crisis

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber, Tires, Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:44 pm

This article from Tire Business suggests that commercial/truck tires and retreading will be a relative bright spot for the tire industry during the current downturn:

Continental Tire the Americas and Goodyear are keeping their respective U.S. truck care networks open during the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown to support the trucking industry help deliver needed products like medical supplies and groceries.

Cabot withdraws financial guidance for FY 2020

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 12:28 pm

Cabot Corporation announced today that it was withdrawing its previous financial guidance for fiscal year 2020, which did not include any impact from coronavirus. The company plans to update its view on the outlook when it has more visibility into demand. Cabot President and CEO Sean Keohane said in a statement, “[W]e continue to supply our customers around the world and we have contingency plans in place to respond to the needs of our customers. The financial results for our second fiscal quarter are expected to be solid. While there was an adverse impact during the quarter to our sales volumes in China related to the coronavirus, there was strong demand in the rest of the world in January, February and early March.” In terms of operations, Mr. Keohane said, “We are restricting access to our facilities to critical personnel only and have implemented temperature screenings, enhanced personal protective equipment and on-site hygiene practices, and policies to promote social distancing.”

March 26, 2020

Hankook will halt production at plants in Tennessee and Hungary

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Tires — Notch @ 3:31 pm

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Hankook Tire and Technology Co., ltd. will idle production at plants in Clarksville, Tenn. and Raclamas, Hungary on March 30.  Warehouses will continue operation supported by plants in Asia.

March 25, 2020

Orion withdraws guidance for 2020 financial performance

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Uncategorized — Notch @ 6:00 am

On March 23, Orion Engineered Carbon filed an 8-K report with the SEC announcing that it was withdrawing its full-year 2020 guidance issued on February 20, 2020. The move came in response to the “ongoing uncertainty surrounding the duration, magnitude and geographic reach of COVID-19.” The company also announced several actions to maintain and strengthen its financial flexibility, including bolstering its cash position to approximately $100 million and suspending its dividend. Orion plans to provide an update as to the estimated financial impacts of COVID-19 during the company’s first quarter earning conference call in May 2020, to the extent that available information permits.

March 24, 2020

Overview of tire industry closures

Filed under: General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:05 pm

Rubber & Plastics News has published a good overview of the many plant closure announcements in the tire industry over the last few weeks.

A number of announcements were added yesterday: both Cooper Tire and Bridgestone are adjusting tire production in Europe. Not all of the news is negative, however, as Titan is keeping its plants running to support the agricultural and food sectors. Apollo Tyres is halting production of passenger car tires in Europe but will continue to produce ag tires.

PM of India announces 21-day lockdown

Filed under: General — Notch @ 8:20 pm

PM Narendra Modi has announced that the entire country of India is under strict lockdown for 21 days.  The lockdown, which begins at midnight tonight, is a response to the coronavirus pandemic.  PM Modi emphasized that the lockdown is necessary in order to stop the spread of the virus.

Michelin North America will begin temporary and phased shutdown

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 8:20 pm

In response to COVID-19, Michelin North America, Inc. will begin a temporary and phased suspension of tire production in the US and Canada.  Based on current projections, the suspension will last at least two weeks.  Michelin plans to follow all state, local and provincial government guidelines to limit the spread of the virus.

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