News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 14, 2019

BKT suspends plans for US tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 3:38 pm

Tire Business reports that Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT), an Indian producer of OTR tires, is suspending its plans for a U.S. tire factory, citing “business uncertainties” related to difficult macroeconomics and the “volatile” climate conditions. BKT announced plans to invest $100 million in a new tire plant in the US last October.

Nexen to inaugurate new Czech tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 3:34 pm

Korea’s Nexen Tire will hold an opening ceremony for its new $1 billion tire plant in the Czech Republic on August 28. The plant, located in the Triangle Strategic Industrial Zone in Zatec, began trial production in April and recently began supplying customers. The 7 million-sq.-ft. factory had 3 million units of capacity at start-up and is expected to increase to 11 million by 2022. The Czech deputy minister of industry and trade, Petr Očko, is expected to join Nexen CEO Travis Kang and Chairman Byung-Joong Kang at the plant’s ceremonial opening on Aug. 28, Nexen said.

August 8, 2019

Michelin expands Tweel offerings for skid steers

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 11:54 am

Tire Business reports that Michelin North America has expanded the range of its Tweel non-pneumatic tire/wheel hybrid with a pair of products designed for skid-steers with maximum loads of up to 4,400 pounds. The Tweel SSL AT2 and HST2 are designed for all-terrain and hard-surface applications, respectively. Michelin launched the tires in size 12N16.5, which has applications in construction, paving, agriculture, recycling, landscaping, refuse and contracting.

July 31, 2019

Toyo picks Serbia as site for new tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:27 pm

From R&P News comes the news that Toyo Tire will build a $450 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Europe. Toyo has selected a 150-acre site about 35 miles northwest of Belgrade for the factory, which will be rated at 5 million units a year at full capacity. Toyo plans to break ground in May 2020 at the site in Indija, Serbia, with production slated to start by January 2022. The plant is expected to hit full capacity by summer 2023 with 500 employees, Toyo said. The plant will be Toyo’s eighth tire factory worldwide and make Toyo the 15th global tire company with production capacity in Europe.

2020 Corvette will feature Michelin all-season run-flats

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 7:55 pm

Tire Business reports that the new 2020 Corvette will be equipped with Michelin’s Pilot Sport ALS run-flats, which Michelin said were designed in concert with Chevrolet engineers in response to customer feedback.The fitments are 245/35ZR19 front and 305/30ZR20 rear. The higher-powered Z51 version gets Pilot Sport 4S run-flats.

Michelin considering future of German tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 7:38 pm

ERJ reports that Michelin is considering the future of its car tire production plant in Bamberg as demand continues to fall for smaller-rim tire sizes.

The plant, which specializes in the production of smaller-sized passenger car tires, is facing “substantial difficulties” as competition from Chinese manufacturers increases and European drivers gravitate toward vehicles with larger tires, according to Maira Tuerk, site and change communication manager at Michelin Reifenwerke A.G.

“The range of low-budget products has developed rapidly, (and) since 2010, the market share of the 16-inch premium segment has dropped from 60 percent to 40 percent,” Tuerk said.

The French tire maker has entered into negotiations with the works council of the plant and unions to examine options for the future of the site.

The factory employs around 850 and manufactures 8 million tires per year.

April 20, 2019

Evonik develops silica technology that could lower truck rolling resistance

Filed under: Silica, Tires — Notch @ 11:44 am

Evonik Industries A.G. announced that it has developed a silica/silane technology that can be used in natural rubber compounds to reduce the rolling resistance in medium truck and bus tires.

Evonik said that it conducted tests which proved that the use of its proprietary silica/silane technology could help improve fuel economy by as much as 8 percent when compared to traditional carbon-black reinforced NR compounds. Its use also helped reduce braking distances, thus making it safer to drive on on wet or snow-covered roads.

Jens Kiesewetter, Evonik’s head of technical service for rubber silica, said that when silica/silane technology is used in green tires for buses and trucks with high fuel consumption levels, it can make a significant contribution to climate protection, especially in light of the recent EU agreement on targets for CO2 reduction for trucks.

Evonik also announced that it is well on track to expand tire silica capacity at a plant in Adapazari, Turkey, including adding capacity for the Ultrasil 9100 GR precipitated silica reinforcing filler and Ultrasil 5000 GR, for optimizing wet and winter properties of tires.

Read the full press release here.

April 16, 2019

BKT Tires Inaugurates New European Headquarters

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:44 am

Inaugurated on April 5th, BKT’s new European headquarters in Seregno at the outskirts of Milan has been completely renovated to convey the company’s goal of achieving the “Next Level.”

“Creating our new headquarters is more than just an architectural project. For us, it also has an underlying strategic meaning,” explains Lucia Salmaso, CEO of BKT Europe. “We are constantly striving to increase our presence and market share in Europe and, above all, to get closer to our European OEM customers. Our goal is to permanently strengthen the presence of the BKT brand with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), and we know how to achieve it. We have already opened many doors with our Aftermarket references and continue forging ahead with new opportunities. Our new headquarters has a key role in this regard.

The European market has proven to be essential for the company, representing 50% of BKT’s turnover, which surpassed $900 million at a global level last year.

Referenced article found here.

Nexen to begin trial production at Czech tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 8:49 am

Nexen Tire Europe is ready to begin trial production at its $1 billion greenfield tire plant in Zatec in northeastern Czech Republic, pending permission from “appropriate authorities.”

Nexen broke ground on the project in October 2015. Start-up of the first phase of the factory, producing roughly 15,000 units a day, was scheduled for 2018. Nexen plans to increase the plant’s production capacity gradually to over 12 million units a year.

Zatec is Nexen’s second tire plant outside Korea; the other is in Qingdao, China.

Reference article found here.

April 9, 2019

Linglong tire factory begins construction in Serbia

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 12:59 pm

China’s Shandong Linglong Tire Co. Ltd. has laid a ceremonial corner stone for its greenfield tire factory project in Zrenjanin, signaling the start of construction for the $994 million project in northern Serbia.

“Linglong’s arrival in Serbia is a great opportunity given by the openness and win-win of times. We will live up to our expectations, ensure the rapid and high-quality construction of the project, strive for early production, and at the same time, Linglong will strengthen cultural exchanges and integration with Serbia, aiming to contribute to the establishment of a healthy, stable and sustainable economic and trade cooperation between China and Serbia,” said Wang Feng, Chairman and CEO of Linglong Tire.

Construction will be in three phases over six years and will span 4.24 million square feet, Linglong said.

Operated by Linglong International Europe d.oo. Zrenjanin, the plant is rated at 13.6 million tires per year, comprising 12 million car tires, 1.6 million truck/bus tires, and 20,000 off-the-road tires.

Press release found here.

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