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.

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 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

 

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