01 March 2006

Emerging Romania 2006 - By Oxford Business Group

"As noted elsewhere, the dynamism of Renault's automotive investment at Pitesti is driving the car-component industry in Romania. The same can be said of the tyre industry. No less than three world-class tyre producers have, or plan to have, tyre-producing facilities in Romania. For much of the post-communist period, the tyre industry was in local hands, with two tyre plants, Victoria in Floresti and Silvania in Zalau, in the hands of the Tofan Group. Tofan Group is owned by local businessman Gelu Tofan, who privatised both plants and developed a re-treading and distribution business. The business went international in 2001, when French giant Michelin bought both plants in a deal reputed to have cost EUR 64m. Michelin has invested much since, earmarking EUR 50m for investments in the two plants for 2004-2005, and setting up a EUR 25m factory at Zalau for metallic cord - a vital component of tyres. Turnover has risen dramatically, from EUR 99m in 2003 to EUR 140m in 2004, with company officials now predicting EUR 180m in 2005. That is partly down to that cord factory, and partly because Micheling has been riding the crest of Renault's Logan wave. But only partly: much of Michelin's output has been going for export. A EUR 120m greenfield tyre plant in Timisioara built by Michelin's rival, the German firm Continental, is almost entirely export-oriented. Moreover, a third tyre giant, Italy's Pirelli, is building a EUR 110m greenfield of its own for high-performance tyres in Slatina."
Emerging Romania 2006. Oxford Business Group, 2006, p. 162.

No comments: