'The die has now been cast,' Ludwig says

May 16, 2006

In previous issues of Modern Tire Dealer, industry analyst Saul Ludwig has commented on the probability of plant closings in North America and Europe.

In his May column in the magazine, Ludwig points out, "So far in 2006, Michelin, Continental and Goodyear have announced plans to close plants. During the last 12 months, Kumho, Michelin, Vredestein, Bridgestone, Cooper, JK Tyre, Hankook, Nokian, Sumitomo and Yokohama have announced new plants in places like China, Eastern Europe, Russia, Vietnam, Mexico or Latin America."

"As this new low-cost capacity comes on stream in the 2007-2008 time frame, we will see more plants close in North America and Europe," Ludwig says.

"It's unfortunate to have to make such a prediction, but the die has now been cast."

Ludwig is a managing director with KeyBanc Capital Markets, a division of McDonald Investments Inc. based in Cleveland, Ohio. Look for the full "Ludwig Report" in the May issue of Modern Tire Dealer magazine.