News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 17, 2020

EU auto registrations down 38% in first half of 2020

Filed under: Auto, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 5:49 pm

On July 16, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association released data on registrations of new passenger cars in the EU for June and for the first half of 2020. For the first six months of 2020, registrations were down 38.1% relative to the same period of 2018. Declines for the individual months are below:

  • January: -7.5%
  • February: -7.4%
  • March: -55.1%
  • April: -76.3%
  • May: -52.3%
  • June: -22.3%

Over the first half of 2020, EU demand for new passenger cars contracted by 38.1%, the result of four consecutive months of unprecedented declines across the region. Among the four major EU markets, Spain saw the biggest decline (-50.9%) so far this year, followed by Italy (-46.1%), France (-38.6%) and Germany (-34.5%).

May 11, 2020

US Ford factories preparing to restart

Filed under: Auto, Coronavirus/COVID-19, Rubber — Notch @ 9:13 pm

On May 18, Ford Motor Co. will resume most North American vehicle production following the lifting of restrictions by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with parts depots resuming operations on May 1.

The Flat Rock Assembly Plant in southeast Michigan and Oakville Assembly Complex in Canada will remain closed until May 25.

April 28, 2020

Amid global pandemic, IHS sharply lowers 2020 global light vehicle sales forecast

Filed under: Auto, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 11:15 am

IHS Markit, which tracks automotive sales and production trends, sharply lowered its 2020 forecast for global light vehicle sales in response to COVID-19 pandemic, warning that the US will take the biggest hit.

IHS expects global light vehicle sales to fall 22% from prior estimates of more than 12%.  In the US, IHS expects auto sales to fall 26.6% compared with a year earlier.

IHS estimates global light vehicle production to drop 21.2%.

 

March 19, 2020

Detroit 3 to close all North American Plants

Filed under: Auto, General, Tires — Notch @ 1:18 pm

In an effort to keep workers safe and healthy amid COVID-19 outbreak, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. will close North American plants until at least March 30, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will begin slowing production through the end of the month.

March 18, 2020

Conferences, expos and meetings rescheduled due to Coronavirus outbreak

Filed under: Auto, Conferences, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 2:15 pm

The following conferences, expos and meetings have been postponed and/or rescheduled due to the coronavirus:

  • As of March 17, 6 pm, the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo and Latin Auto Parts Expo has rescheduled the joint event from July 14-17 to Nov. 17-20 at the recently opened Amador Convention Center in Panama City.  Organizers expect over 400 exhibitors.  Contact Linda Bassitt, president of Latin Expo Group, at linda@latinexpogroup.com for more information.
  • As of March 17, 4:10 pm, the International Silicone Conference has been rescheduled from May 13-14 to Nov. 9-10 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at the Sheraton Suites Cuyahoga Falls.  For more information, go to the conference website.
  • As of March 17, 11:53 am, the Fort Wayne Rubber and Plastics Group has postponed its April 8 meeting at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.  A new date is TBD and will be be “available soon.”
  • As of March 17, 10:47 am, Federal Corp’s factories in Taiwan continue to operate at normal capacity, implementing “stringent safety measures” and “precautionary protocols.”  Domestic travel for employees has been suspended.
  • As of March 16, 4:52pm, Marangoni Tread North America remains operational.  Marangoni is following CDC recommendations and will closely monitor and evaluate the situation.
  • As of March 16, 12:03 pm, NAHAD canceled its upcoming annual convention.  More details can be found here.
  • Late last week, the ACS Rubber Division canceled its Spring Technical Meeting.
  • As of March 16, 10:48 am, the American Coatings Show and Conference scheduled for March 31 through April 2 was postponed.  New dates will be announced soon and organizers are hoping to keep the show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.  For more information, contact, acshow@paint.org.
  • As of March 16, 10:39 am, Continental A.G. is postponing its 2020 shareholders’ meeting originally scheduled April 30.  It plans to keep the meeting in Hanover and a new date will be announced “soon.”
  • As of March 13, 2:29 pm, the World Adhesive & Sealant Conference set for April 20-22 is postponed.  Organizers are hoping to keep the conference at the Hilton Chicago, and will post updates at wac2020.org.  Email info@wac2020.org for more information.  Those who have booked rooms can check corp.hiltonbusinessonline.com for more information.
  • As of March 13, 11:52 am, the 38th Clemson Global Tire Conference has been canceled.  It was scheduled for April 28-38 on Hilton Head Island.  The conference may still be held in June.  Registered participants may seek immediate refund, have payments held, or have invoices voided.
  • The Mid-American Trucking Show have canceled the 2020 show scheduled for March 26-28 at the Kentucky Exposition in Louisville.  Paid attendee registrations and fees are being moved to the 2021 show, tentatively scheduled for March 25-27, 2021.  For questions, please call 800-743-3100.
  • As of March 13, 11:17 am, the Plastics Industry Association has canceled their lobbying event, and will reschedule at a later date.  Parts of the March board meeting scheduled for March 24-26 in Washington will move to a virtual platform at an undetermined date.
  • As of March 13, 10:49, The Automotive News postponed its annual World Congress originally scheduled for March 24-25 in Detroit, and hopes to sometime in the summer of 2020.
  • As of March 12, 4:39 pm, Marangoni remains operational in the face of government restrictions.  They remain in compliance and will continue operations, arranging for employees to work remotely.
  • As of March 12, 12:02 pm, the Tire Industry Association is postponing its Lobby Day and Environmental Summit scheduled for May 6-7 in Washington.  TIA had planned several events for its 100th anniversary, and will reschedule when the virus subsides.  Currently, TIA does not anticipate any impact for the Global Tire Expo/Specialty Equipment Market Association Show to be held in November in Las Vegas.
  • As of March 12, 10:15 am, the American Chemical Society has canceled their Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo scheduled for March 22-26 in Philadelphia.

June 4, 2019

UK car production plummets in April as Brexit shutdowns strike

Filed under: Auto — Notch @ 11:27 am

UK car manufacturing output fell by almost 50 percent in April, for the 11th consecutive month of decline in automotive production.

Just under 71,000 cars rolled off the line in the month, down -44.5% year on year, attributed to large-scale factory shutdowns, which normally are scheduled for the summer holiday but were brought forward and extended due to Brexit.

“[These] figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.

The UK was expected to withdraw from the European Union 29 Mar, but the departure date has now been extended to October 31.

Referenced article found here.

April 12, 2018

Tenneco to buy Federal-Mogul for $5.4 billion, then split into 2 companies

Filed under: Auto — Notch @ 12:25 pm

Automotive supplier Tenneco Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Federal-Mogul in a transaction valued at $5.4 billion.

The deal, which will be financed through $800 million in cash, about 30 million Tenneco shares and assumption of debt, will result in two independent publicly traded companies following closing, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Tenneco said in a press release.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approvals, with the separation occurring in the second half of 2019.

“This is a landmark day for Tenneco with an acquisition that will transform the company by creating two strong leading global companies, each in an excellent position to capture opportunities unique to their respective markets,” Tenneco CEO Brian Kesseler said in the release. “Federal-Mogul brings strong brands, products and capabilities that are complementary to Tenneco’s portfolio and in line with our successful growth strategies. Unleashing two new product focused companies with even stronger portfolios will allow them to move faster in executing on their specific growth priorities.”

The transaction stands to shake up the world of aftermarket parts retailing. Federal-Mogul’s parts portfolio features numerous household names such as Champion spark plugs, Wagner brakes, ANCO wiper blades, Moog steering and suspension parts, Goetze engine parts, and Ferodo brake pads. Popular brands under the Tenneco portfolio include Monroe shock absorbers, Walker exhaust systems, Rancho suspensions and DynoMax mufflers.

The two new companies will be born after the union of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul — one a $6.4 billion aftermarket supplier and the other a $10.7 billion powertrain technology supplier, the company said.

February 2, 2018

Maxion Wheels to open new aluminum wheel plant in India

Filed under: Auto — Tags: — Notch @ 1:13 pm

Maxion Wheels will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on 19 February for its new light vehicle aluminum wheel plant in India. The company has secured property in Pune, India and will initially build a 25,000 square meters manufacturing plant with annual capacity of two million wheels beginning production expected for the third quarter of 2019. Additional land was also purchased for a plant expansion that will increase annual capacity to four million wheels in the coming years.

“Maxion Wheels is committed to serving its customers’ growing demand for light vehicle aluminum wheels, especially in India where market growth is outpacing available capacity,” said Pieter Klinkers, Chief Executive Officer, Maxion Wheels. “We’ve been in India for more than 20 years, providing original equipment manufacturers with light and commercial vehicle steel wheels. We’re pleased to satisfy our global customers’ growing request that we bring our recognized global aluminum wheel expertise to India, and we are excited about the opportunity our new plant will afford us to strengthen our global footprint and strategically expand our presence in the region.”

Read the full press release here.

January 30, 2018

European new car sales hit 10-year high, UK declining quickly

Filed under: Auto — Notch @ 12:33 pm

New passenger car registrations in Europe increased by 3.4 percent in 2017. This marked four consecutive years of growth and the best result since 2007 when 16 million units were registered. Registrations rose in the majority of the largest EU markets: Italy (7.9%) and Spain (7.7%) were followed by France (4.7%) and Germany (2.7%). In the UK the market declined by 5.7%.

“The EU new car market is expected to stabilize in 2018, but with rising employment levels and an increasing appetite for new cars across not only the large but also the small and medium markets, new car registrations in Europe are likely to remain at high levels,” said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

Referenced article found here.

February 2, 2015

NADA sees low gas prices driving light truck sales in US

Filed under: Auto, General — Notch @ 6:30 am

As reported in Tire Business, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) projects that new car and light truck sales in the United States will rise to 16.9 million vehicles in 2015, split 44% for cars and 56% for light trucks and SUVs. NADA pointed to low gas prices, low interest rates, increased job growth, and an improving housing market as being the main drivers for vehicles sales and in particular a shift toward larger vehicles such as light trucks and SUVs. The group also said that its forecast for 2014 of 16.4 million new vehicle sales was on target.

“We expect to see significant growth in sales of light trucks, particularly in the large-size CUV and SUV segments,”said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at a Jan. 23 press briefing during the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco.  “At the end of the day, consumers like the utility and comfort that larger vehicles provide. Lower gasoline prices accelerate that shift.”

“The pickup truck segment, in particular, is expected to benefit from an improving housing market, climbing to a 15.2-percent share this year from 13.7 percent in 2014, NADA said.

On the downside, small and midsized cars are likely to face a tougher market in 2015. Mr. Szakaly said he expects incentives to rise on small and midsize vehicles while hybrid sales are expected to be slower as long as the price of oil remains relatively low.

Midsize cars are expected to decline in share of total light vehicle sales to 17 percent from 18.6 percent, while small cars are expected to lose 1 percent of share.

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