The last 12 months have been a busy year indeed for the rubber industry, from the sale of Italian tire maker Pirelli to a Chinese business, to the ending of a 16-year relationship between Goodyear and Sumitomo, to the breaking of the glass ceiling in the hierarchy of the ACS Rubber Division. Here is a synopsis of what happened.
2015 Year in Review: January, February
Terry DeLapa of Alpha Technologies Inc. becomes the first woman to be chair of the ACS Rubber Division in its 106-year history.
It's been a slow process, but the purchase of Veyance Technologies Inc. by Continental A.G. gets closer as the U.S. Department of Justice clears the deal.
South Carolina becomes the state producing the largest number of tires in the U.S., surpassing Oklahoma.
Makoto Horie, once senior vice president of sales for Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd., pleads guilty to price-fixing of automotive hoses and is sentenced to a year in prison.
Lisa Schwartzman is named president of AirBoss of America Corp., replacing Tim Toppen, who was named deputy chairman of the company.
GRT Rubber Technologies L.L.C., a business funded by an investment group, buys Garlock Rubber Technologies from EnPro Industries Inc.
Hexpol A.B. discloses it will close its Muscle Shoals, Ala., mixing operation, a move affecting 61 workers.
The U.S. Department of Commerce decides to cut the pending countervailing duty rate on most passenger and light truck tires imported from China by about 3.7 percentage points.
Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. plans to set up a hose joint venture plant in India.
So.F.Ter Group decides to open its first mixing plant in the U.S., in Lebanon, Tenn.
The Energy Rubber Group looks to expand beyond its U.S. base.
Lavelle Industries Ltd. prepares to expand two rubber product operations in Wisconsin.
Layoffs are announced at plants operated by Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s Tire Operations and Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia L.L.C.
Automotive sealing manufacturer Standard Profil S.A. opens a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes a rule covering polyurethane curative toluene diisocyanate.
Apache Inc. plans to expand its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, headquarters and factory.
Tire shipments should increase marginally in 2015, predicts the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Worldwide demand for rubber will increase 1.8 percent in 2015, according to the International Rubber Study Group.
ContiTech A.G. selects the Veyance Technologies Inc. headquarters in Fairlawn, Ohio, as home office for its ContiTech North America operations following the completion of its purchase of the company.
The U.S. Commerce Department's preliminary decision to put tariffs on Chinese-made passenger and light truck tires shipped to the U.S. gets praise from a union and derision from tire importers and retailers.
Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. moves to downsize its European operations.
Sentury Tires America settles a patent infringement suit brought by Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.
A Texas family sues Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. over a fatal accident caused by a tire tread separation.
Rogers Corp. completes its purchase of silicone products maker Arlon L.L.C.
Linden Capital Partners L.L.C. acquires silicone and rubber parts maker Flexan Corp.
DuPont Fluoropolymer Solutions forms a joint venture with Zhonghao Chenguang Chemical Research Co. Ltd. that will build a plant in China.
Stepan Co. sells its Specialty Polymers Systems business to J6 Polymers L.L.C.
Chile's Soudal Holdings N.V. buys out its partner in a sealants, adhesives and polyurethane foams joint venture.
American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. wins approval from a city council to set up operations in Green, Ohio.
A ContiTech A.G. subsidiary, Benecke-Kaliko A.G., forms a joint venture to build an automotive trim material plant in China.
A Fenner P.L.C. division buys the assets of Charter Medical Ltd. from Lydall Inc.
Gates Corp. plans to add to its Iola, Kan., facility.
Forbo Siegling L.L.C. launches an expansion that will double production capacity at a facility in Huntersville, N.C.
Lanxess A.G. discusses forming alliances or joint ventures for its synthetic rubber business.
Arkema S.A. completes its purchase of adhesive maker Bostik S.A.
H.B. Fuller Co. expands its reach in China and Africa through a series of acquisitions.
Scrap tire resource recovery company Delta-Energy Group L.L.C. reaches an agreement to move its operations to Natchez, Miss.
Rubber roller firm Xerium Technologies Inc. decides to expand two plants.