China’s storyline keeps getting rewritten

SHANGHAI — Ride-sharing is taking over in this ancient city, a place that some expect to eventually be at the epicenter of a mobility revolution. But it’s not the kind of ride-sharing you’re thinking of. For about 1 yuan, or 14 cents, an hour, you can have all of the mobility you could imagine — so much so, that the government is in knots over how to police it (people circumvent payment) or how to manage it (it’s wildly popular).

Read the source article at Front Page

Chinese carmakers may be ‘destroyed’ if foreign investment cap lifted

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SHANGHAI — Chinese government-owned auto giants such as SAIC Motor Corp. and Dongfeng Motor Group Co. may see billions of dollars in profits evaporate if the government lifts protectionist measures and lets foreign companies operate without a local partner.

China requires overseas carmakers such as General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG to form joint ventures with locals in order to sell their brands in the world’s biggest market. The policy enacted two decades ago capped foreign investment at 50 percent, helping local brands develop manufacturing expertise while still profiting from sales of foreign marques.

Those alliances seem to be working for domestic automakers, which earned 67 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) with their partners in 2014, according to the latest China Association of Automobile Manufacturers statistics. Yet the government may relax the restriction as it tries to make state-run businesses more efficient and to respond to changes in trade policy being pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Automakers that aren’t competent enough would be destroyed by the policy change,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association. “Rising competition from not only the foreign joint ventures but also from homegrown makers has been weighing on the weak performers.”

The prospect for lifting the restrictions comes as carmakers meet in Shanghai this week for Asia’s biggest auto show. Ford Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. are among the other foreign carmakers displaying models that compete with those produced by local partners.

Less than half the record 23.9 million cars and light trucks sold in China last year were local brands. Market share for Chinese-brand cars has stayed fairly constant, reaching 43 percent last year from 41 percent a decade ago, according to the state-backed manufacturers association.

Read the source article at Front Page

Jim Cramer – 6 things causing the market’s spring slowdown

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For Jim Cramer, Thursday’s big bank earnings reports could not be more important to this ailing market. For over 36 years, the stock market has edged up, resulting in overall higher prices and an eight-year streak of bullish sentiment. “But every big move, every move that had really any impact, always had the banks as one of the major leadership groups,” the “Mad Money” host said.

 

Read the source article at cnbc.com

Cooper Product Videos Win Telly Awards

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Two product videos for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. took home Bronze honors in the Telly Awards competition.

The award-winning videos included the 2015 video announcing the Discoverer STT Pro off-road tire and a 2016 video that debuted the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 high performance passenger car tire.

The award-winning videos can be viewed at Cooper’s YouTube page at youtube.com/coopertire.

Read the source article at Tire Review

Auto Industry ‘Where It’s At,’ Executives Say

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DETROIT – The automobile industry these days increasingly prefers the open collar to a necktie and it is not just fashion statement, leading executives say, but a cultural shift steadily making engineering jobs in Detroit and Stuttgart more attractive to young talent previously drawn to the laidback lure of Silicon Valley.

“It’s on the way back,” says General Motors Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Jon Lauckner, who also heads the automaker’s venture-capital arm where he has an umpire’s view of startup and investment activity. “People are rediscovering the auto industry.”

Lauckner recalls launching GM Ventures nearly seven ago and “counting on one hand” the number of startups relevant to automotive, whereas today there is a hum of activity in highly germane fields such as artificial intelligence, microprocessors and materials science.

Read the source article at WardsAuto

U.S. auto sales fall 1.6% in March as industry starts to stall after 7 years of growth

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Automakers sold 1.56 million new cars and trucks in March, a 1.6% decline compared with the same month a year ago. U.S. auto industry sales fell short of expectations in March as car sales continued to plummet, raising concerns about rising incentives and bloated inventory even though the pace of new car sales remains robust from a historical standpoint. Automakers sold 1.56 million new cars and trucks in March, a 1.6% decline compared with the same month a year ago.

Read the source article at Detroit Free Press

Thai Center Built to Foster Rubber Demand Set to Roll

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The Thai government says the country’s first international-standard vehicle and tire-testing center will open next year.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana tells the Bangkok Post newspaper the TB3.7 million ($107.6 million) center covering 488 acres (198 ha) also will be used for R&D to aid Thailand’s push to become a regional hub for next-generation auto products.

“The first phase of the testing center should be ready for Thai car and tire makers in 2018,” Uttama is quoted as saying. “The whole testing center should be ready for full operation in 2019.”

The project was launched in 2015 as part of a government effort to support the automotive sector and tire-related industries and boost demand for natural rubber.

Read the source article at WardsAuto

Continental opens Chinese tire plant expansion

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Hefei, China – Continental has opened a €250-million expansion of its tire plant in Hefei, Anhui province, according to local government websites.

Phase 3 of the Hefei expansion project started in November 2015. It is expected to increase passenger car tire capacity from 5 million units/year today to 14 million units/year by 2019.

By May 2015, the company had produced 10 million passenger car and light truck tires, mostly for the China market.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Hankook Tire reports on what’s driving tire purchasing habits

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According to the Hankook Tire Gauge Index, there are several factors that influence a driver’s choice of tires as 38% of Americans purchase the same tires that were already on the vehicle, while the remaining 62% of Americans are evenly split on choosing the best price (31%) and the dealer recommended product (31%). 

The importance of tire price is further reflected by participation in discount programs as half (55%) of drivers have taken advantage of a rebate when buying new tires. Further, one-in-10 Americans have purchased tires through a rebate only to store them for future use.

MEASURING YOUR MILES

Opinions are varied as to when to replace tires. Fifty-nine percent of Americans believe new tires should last over 25,000 miles, while 41% believe new tires last less than that, according to the Gauge. This contrast might arise from how drivers determine they need new tires, as 65% of drivers only purchase new tires when the tread looks worn. While the eye test can help indicate if you do need to replace your tires, utilizing the Tread Wear Indicator on the bottom of the grooves can more accurately measure the tread depth and determine if you actually need new tires. 

 

Read the source article at Traction News

Pirelli partners with historic car club

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BRUSSELS — The Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA), the world association for historic car clubs, has made Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. its “official tire partner,” a designation that includes Pirelli’s assuming the role of global tire technical adviser to FIVA partner organizations.

The “multi-year” agreement coincides with an increased interest in the historic car sector by Pirelli, as exemplified by its continually expanding “Pirelli Collezione” product range for classics.

FIVAs primary objective is to encourage the safe road use of cars and other vehicles that are more than 30 years old, Pirelli said, for the benefit of their owners, enthusiasts and the public.

Read the source article at Tire Business