GM CEO will keep ‘open mind’ on plant closings, acknowledges anger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) Chief Executive Mary Barra on Wednesday vowed to keep an “open mind” about the future of an Ohio plant that will lose vehicle production, but warned the Detroit automaker has excess capacity and did not suggest the company was reconsidering the plan.

Read the source article at reuters.com

CANADA: Detroit 3 drag November sales down 8.2%

Canadian new-vehicle sales fell for the eighth consecutive month in November, down 8.2 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.

Read the source article at Front Page

In terms of value, the rubber process oil market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2018 to 2023

NEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — In terms of value, the rubber process oil market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2018 to 2023.

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NEP believes Minnesota Rubber is in good hands with KKR

MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has sold Minnesota Rubber & Plastics to KKR, a private equity firm that NEP believes will continue to invest in growing the rubber and plastics manufacturer.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Lion Elastomers expands relationship with distribution partner

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PORT NECHES, Texas–Lion Elastomers is increasing the role of T.L. Squire & Co. as its North American distribution partner for reselling cold styrene butadiene rubber, Royalene and Royaltherm to selected accounts.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Bridgestone Americas New U.S. & Canada Sales Leaders

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“Rob has been influential in shaping market strategy for the OTR tire business and has played a critical role in delivering key product launches,” said Bridget Neal, President, OTR, U.S. and Canada, BATO. “His proven leadership and deep understanding of our customer base will enable us to deliver integrated products, services and technologies that meet the emerging needs of our customers.”

In her new role, Walsh will lead Firestone Ag sales strategy and execution in North America. She will oversee a portfolio of business that includes agricultural tires, tracks and integrated tire-wheel assemblies in both the OE and replacement tire channels.

Read the source article at Autosphere.ca

Nokian sees North American sales doubling in five years

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NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. is looking to double its sales in North America in the coming five years, CEO and President Hille Korhonen said in Nokian’s third-quarter financial results presentation.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Smithers Rapra: Motorcycle tire demand spurred by trends in emerging markets and technology

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Rising incomes in emerging markets have led to the rapid growth of motorcycle ownership, particularly in Asia, resulting in a strong increase in motorcycle tire sales. Growth is being driven by the increasing number of households in industrializing regions that are now able to afford motorcycles.

Motorcycle tire market demand is estimated to rise to $19.4 billion in 2023, representing an annual compound growth of 6.5% from $14.2 billion in 2018, according to Smithers Rapra data.

In the report The Future of Motorcycle Tires to 2023, Smithers Rapra attributes growth to rising living standards, urbanization and mobility improvements, demographics, and technological changes. Those with disposable income are showing growing interest in motorcycles, including electric and self-balancing models and other new technologies.

The highest growth is seen in the Asia-Pacific region, driven by China and India. Data shows that by 2023, Asia-Pacific’s region share will be over 16 million units. Japan-based multinational companies such as Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha dominate the two-wheeler sector’s world market.

Trends in mobility

The evolution of mobility and transportation technologies, along with road conditions, play a role in customer preferences, driving patterns, tire wear, and ultimately motorcycle and tire design.

The role of motorcycle tires is complex, and they must satisfy performance and safety parameters depending on the application and type of motorcycle. There is extreme variation of motorcycle tire types depending on vehicle characteristics, intended driving surfaces, and tire construction.

Evolving tire construction

Developments in tire materials continue to include new compounds, as well as a greater range of compounds, to optimize the attributes most required by industry and to better target tires to applications, according to Smithers Rapra.

Among performance and safety attributes, grip remains the most important and is still being improved even as other attributes compete for attention. A trend towards a richer silica content is ongoing, owing to the importance of grip. Carbon black is also important, with the grades used in motorcycle tires similar to those used in ultra-high-performance and race car tires. Traditionally, all motorcycle tires were bias ply. A clear trend for motorcycles up to 400cc is the increased use of radial tires, especially seen in Asia and South America where they are equipped on more sporty motorcycles.

The impact of electrification

Electrification will initiate further tire evolution, as will the requirements of motorcycle connectivity and progressive automation, leading eventually to ‘smart’ tires. Tires will be expected to have sensors measuring and reporting pressure, temperature, grip, road surface conditions, and tire wear/condition.

Smithers Rapra market report The Future of Motorcycle Tires to 2023 offers in-depth analysis of  the economic demand and growth of the global motorcycle tire market from 2018-2023, and cutting-edge technology developments in materials, components, design, and safety attributes.

Read the source article at smithersrapra.com

Cabot reinforcement segment reports jump in sales, earnings

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BOSTON—Cabot’s reinforcement materials segment, which includes its rubber carbon black business, has posted a 33 percent year-on-year growth in full-year earnings (EBITDA) to $350 million.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Trucks are what make Canada’s 10 most popular automakers successful

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Even with a noticeable decline in the number of pickups being sold in 2018, trucks remain big business in Canada. In fact, from a market share perspective, pickups remain more popular in Canada than south of the border. Pickups account for 20 per cent of Canadian auto sales and 19 per cent in the U.S.

Read the source article at driving.ca