A Chinese chemical company will soon own famous tyre maker Pirelli

A Chinese chemical company will soon own famous tyre maker Pirelli

We started the week with a bit of a surprise - famous Italian supplier Pirelli was nabbed by a Chinese chemical company with big plans for its own tyre making unit. Mama mia!

As our report noted, the buy will give ChemChina's tyre-making unit, China National Tire & Rubber, access to advanced tyre manufacturing and product technology, allowing it to move into the high-margin premium tyre segment as well as giving it access to significant OEM and aftermarket contracts around the world. ChemChina will initially buy 26.2% of the Italian holding company Camfin, which owns Pirelli & C Spa, to be followed by a mandatory full takeover later on. The deal is the latest in a string of takeovers of Italian and European companies by cash-rich Chinese firms, who are keen to take advantage of the weak euro and position themselves for the recovery of the eurozone economy.

The New York show press preview days are just, well, days away now and our debuts list is growing. Meanwhile, the Bangkok show saw the update of Ford's popular non-NAFTA Ranger pickup truck and its mainly-Asia Everest SUV spinoff.

Jaguar gave us a heads-up on the redesigned XF and announced plans to expand its main R&D centre, Ford opened new Indian plants, Honda India announced capacity expansion and Our Man in Brazil outlined the looming battle in the small SUV sector there.

We've also been at this week's SMMTConnect[ed car] conference in London - among many interesting items to be discussed was BMW's view on car sharing.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com