With machinery sales taking a hit globally, it was inevitable that tyre sales would follow. Titan International has reported a 16.8 per cent drop in revenue for the first quarter.
The company said orders on its books had been significantly rolled back but it was optimistic demand would return in the second half of the year.
Titan initially felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in China with the government mandated lock-down and curtailment of business operations from late January through February 2020. The impact on the company expanded into Europe through travel restrictions, social distancing, mandatory stay-at-home orders and sanitisation requirements of manufacturing facilities. These restrictions produced disruptions in production during the tail end of the first quarter, which continued into the second quarter.
The Company began to experience the impact of COVID-19 in South America during the latter part of March, continuing through the early part of April due to similar stay-at-home restrictions in place as Europe. At a major plant in São Paulo, Titan implemented stringent practices and supported employees with company-provided transportation, which resulted in nearly 100 per cent attendance since restarted operations in April.
In North America facilities remained open throughout the pandemic with social distancing and sanitisation protocols implemented as recommended by the CDC, WHO and government. Australian and Russian operations experienced a lesser impact other than enhanced sanitisation of facilities.
The company expected to have all its production back on line by the end of May, albeit at reduced volumes.
In the second quarter Titan is seeing agriculture in better shape than construction because of governments taking actions to protect food supply. That activity was expected to continue to support demand for Titan’s tires within the aftermarket, while full year OEM demand remained difficult to predict.