News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

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 20, 2020

Bridgestone suspending production in North & South America

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 2:55 pm

Bridgestone Americas is suspending production at its 15 factories in North and South America beginning March 21. All facilities plan to resume normal operations on or before April 12. The company will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust response plans and activities as necessary. Bridgestone said it has sufficient inventory to meet current demand. The temporary shutdown also will help to align supply to projected demand.

 

Pirelli suspending production in Georgia and Romania

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 2:17 pm

Pirelli Tire North America plans to suspend operations at its factory in Rome, Georgia due to concerns about the coronavirus. Pirelli plans to scale back production for one week beginning March 22 and then suspend production for one week beginning March 29. The factory will be cleaned and sanitized while closed. The week of curtailed production will allow the plant to meet demand while operating with fewer employees present. The reduced production also corresponds to reduced demand. Capacity at the Rome plant is 400,000 PC tires per year.

Pirelli also announced on Thursday that it as suspending production at its plant in Slatina, Romania from March 23-31.

March 19, 2020

Goodyear suspends production at European, North and South American plants

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 1:17 pm

In an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, as well as response to related market decline, Goodyear is suspending production at its North and South American tire, retread and chemical plants through at least April 3. The decision affects 13 factories in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. Some 17,000 workers will be affected. Goodyear is also suspending operations at its European tire and retread plants beginning around March 20th and continuing through at least April 3.  Goodyear operates 11 tire plants in Europe, located in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, and Slovenia. The move affects some 12,000 workers.

March 18, 2020

Epsilon Carbon ventures into carbon black segment

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:22 pm

Epsilon Carbon, an Indian coal tar derivatives company, has released new details on a previously announced carbon black project located in Bellary, Karnataka, India. The plant will be 300,000 tons/year built over two stages. The first phase is expected to be commissioned by Q3 of FY 21 with an investment of Rs 425 crores.

March 17, 2020

Michelin idling tire plants in Italy, Spain, and France

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 8:43 pm

Michelin is idling tire factories in Italy, Spain, and France beginning today for at least one week to deal with coronavirus.

Coronavirus hits European car industry

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 8:32 pm

The last few days has seen a rapid escalation in the number of plant closures in Europe’s car industry. Companies announcing closures include Ford, Volkswagen, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler, and PSA Group.

Techcrunch: Ford, Daimler to suspend production at European factories due to COVID-19

Automotive News Europe: Ford suspends European production

Automotive News Europe: VW Seat unit to halt all production 

Wall Street Journal (subscription): Volkswagen, Airbus Halt European Production Amid Wave of Factory Closures

The Telegraph (subscription): Europe’s car industry stalls as coronavirus shuts plans

 

Tracker for status of tire-related events

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 8:17 pm

Tire Business has created an ongoing tracker detailing the status of tire-related events. The list covers conferences, technical meetings, and other events that have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus.

March 11, 2020

Pirelli reduces production at Italian plant after worker diagnosed with coronavirus

Filed under: Carbon Black, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 1:25 pm

One day after reporting that its production plants in Italy were relatively unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak and quarantine, Pirelli announced that an employee at the Settimo Torinese factory tested positive for Covid-19. In response, Pirelli is slowing production at the plant and operating with a very limited number of employees.

Pirelli announces that it was informed by the family of an employee at its Settimo Torinese factory, with the subsequent confirmation of healthcare authorities, that the employee has tested positive for Covid-19. To safeguard the other employees, Pirelli has adopted all the precautionary measures as foreseen in the recommendations and requirements of the government decrees issued to date. Given this situation, the company has decided to slow down production, with a progressive recovery in the coming days. This will permit the factory to operate with a very limited number of employees and guarantee maximum safety in health conditions. In the meantime, Pirelli is proceeding with the complete sanitization of the plant and work areas. The supply to clients will continue with a suitable level of service drawing on available stock.

Pirelli has two tire factories in Italy, which account for 7.5% of its output.

Nokian begins commercial production at Dayton

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 1:06 pm

This week, Nokian Tyres North America began commercial scale production of passenger car and light truck tires at its new plant in Dayton, Tennessee. Construction began 30 months ago and trial production began 8 months ago. At full capacity, the $830M factory will have a capacity of 4M PC/LT tires per year.

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