News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 7, 2019

Hankook postpones truck tire plant in Hungary

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 2:06 pm

Tire Business (via European Rubber Journal) reports that Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. has postponed plans to establish a $318 million truck and bus tire plant at its existing car tire factory in Rácalmás, Hungary. The project was announced in March 2018 and involved the construction of a separate plant to produce 550,000 medium and heavy truck/bus tires per year. The postponement does “not mean the cancellation of that plan,” Hankook said in a written statement to ERJ on Oct. 2.

The current economic downturn, especially in the automotive industry, was a factor behind the decision, said Felix Kinzer, head of communications at Hankook Tire Europe. The tire maker, he added, is undergoing “mediations” with various stakeholders for future execution of the plan, which would mark the site’s fourth round of expansion.

“Our company has a mid- to long-term plan for truck tire sales growth on the European continent and is reviewing various options,” Mr. Kinzer said.

October 6, 2019

Nokian’s US plant begins production

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 7:22 pm

On October 2, Nokian Tyres celebrated the official opening of its North American production factory in Dayton, Tennessee. The 830,000-square foot complex will produce approximately four million tires per year once it reaches full capacity. At that stage, the company will employ as many as 400 workers. The factory is currently in the trial production stage and will be ready to make tires for commercial use in early 2020. Nokian Tyres broke ground on the factory in September 2017, and the company has set a goal to double its North American sales in five years. Founded and headquartered in Finland, Nokian Tyres operates factories in Finland, Russia, and now the United States. At the Dayton factory, the company aims to fill expanding North American demand and seize on opportunities in the all-season and all-weather markets.

 

September 22, 2019

Yokohama in talks to acquire Prometeon

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:39 pm

Tire Business reports that Yokohama Rubber is in advanced talks to acquire Prometeon Tire Group, the former industrial tires unit of Pirelli.

In a written statement to ERJ, a source close to PTG minority shareholder Aeolus Tyres said negotiations were ongoing on the subject – without elaborating further.

“YRC have signed a ‘no shop’ [exclusivity] contract with PTG and are now conducting a thorough due diligence,” said another contact, adding that the deal was in a ” fairly advanced” stage.

 

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.

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