How China’s Tire sector might develop – Part 2

In the previous article, I addressed how the international tire makers’ profitability in China might be threatened by greater availability of consumer data on tires. This article looks at the situation of China’s tire makers and how that might change in the coming decade or so. Falling prices China’s tire industry is probably the most

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How China’s Tire sector might develop – Part 1

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people in China these last couple of months, and the mood is not happy. First, they are dealing with a downturn in the domestic truck market; second there is the issue of widespread tariffs against Chinese-made tires and third the question of land prices. The prospect of

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What’s with the Sumitomo-Goodyear break-up?

Sumitomo has officially announced the end of its tire manufacturing and sales joint venture with Goodyear which was originally signed in 1999. Goodyear confirmed the deal, but the details are more or less as leaked to Reuters earlier this week, with the exception of the ownership of the Dunlop brand name. Dunlop brand rights According

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What Happens To A Tire Engineer?

I’ve recently been talking to a lot of people about what matters to tire engineers. There’s the day-to-day tasks of designing tires. That involves some interesting materials science on rolling resistance, wear and grip. I know that these factors play a huge part in the tire development activity at the moment. A lot of companies

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Cars, Tires and Computer Models

In April, the world’s tire modelling community met in Guildford, UK*. As the first such meeting for around 11 years, it was long over-due. And in fact everyone who knows about computer modelling of tires was there. That includes the university professors and researchers who think up models for how friction is generated, or why rubber

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Wells aims to turn Goodyear EMEA around

Darren Wells took over from Arthur de Bok as head of Goodyear’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) operations toward the end of last year. Since then some big decisions have been taken. The Amiens dispute has been resolved; a racing tire plant in the UK is to close and Goodyear Corporate has announced plans

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Apollo Tyres aims for organic growth post-Cooper

Apollo Tyres has re-set its course in the wake of the collapse of the Cooper deal. The primary ambition remains getting into the top-10 global tire makers, but the tactics of how to get there have changed. TIRes head of research, David Shaw spoke to Apollo CEO, Neeraj Kanwar at the Geneva Auto Salon earlier

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Notes from Geneva 2014

As always, the Geneva Motor Show 2014 was a great place to meet people. Neeraj Kanwar of Apollo told me that despite some newspaper reports to the contrary, he does not rule out working in China at some stage in the future. In common with Continental, Hankook, Kumho, Goodyear and others, however, he says Apollo

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Kemya to produce tire elastomers from 2015

The huge Kemya Elastomers project being built in Jubail, Saudi Arabia is on target to come on stream in mid-2015, according to Abdullah S. Al-Rabeeah, Executive Vice President, Performance Chemicals at SABIC. SABIC is one of the two 50-50 joint venture partners building the project. The other is Exxon Chemical Arabia. That is a wholly-owned

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The iFlex – what it says about the Hankook brand

Hankook is the latest tire maker to produce a concept tire which relies on mechanical strength of plastic materials to carry load, rather than pneumatic pressure. The iFlex was shown at the Frankfurt IAA. I chatted with the engineers and their story was a little different from that which has been trumpeted by other publications.

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