CLARKSDALE, Miss.-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will spend $8.1 million to modernize, expand and increase capacity at its Clarksdale inner tube plant. The project, which is slated for completion in early 1995, will include a 48,000-sq.-ft. expansion of the 130,000-sq.-ft. facility, new inner tube manufacturing equipment, new employee facilities, refurbished offices, a new power distribution system and general repairs, the company said.
Once the expansion is completed, some of the inner tube production at Cooper's Piedras Negras, Mexico, plant will be transferred to Mississippi, the company said.
Brad Ragen posts profit in quarter
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Brad Ragan Inc. reversed a 1993 first-quarter loss by posting net earnings of $47,000 in this year's period.
The results represent Brad Ragan's strongest first-quarter earnings since the adoption of a calendar fiscal year in 1986, the company said.
In 1993, Brad Ragan lost $1.59 million in the first period, which was impacted by a one-time non-cash expense of $1.25 million relating to employee benefits.
Sales for the 1994 quarter, ended March 31, also improved, growing 3.2 percent to $52.4 million from $50.8 million a year ago.
CEO W.P. Brophey said higher sales and profit margins in the automotive service and hard goods product categories as well as reduced expense ratios and lower interest expense contributed to the improved results.
Big O sells notes, nets $8 million
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.-Big O Tires Inc. has completed the sale of $8 million in senior secured notes due in 2004.
``With rates rising and the future uncertain, this was an opportune time to negotiate new financing arrangements,'' said CEO Steven P. Cloward. ``This agreement allows us to lock in a low rate for a full 10 years.''
The notes, priced at 8.71 percent fixed rate, were obtained in a private financing agreement with institutional investors.
The company used $3.6 million of the funds to pay off existing mortgages on its Boise, Idaho, and Vacaville, Calif., regional centers. The remaining proceeds will be used for future operating and distribution consolidation needs.
Nokia gets new facility in Ontario
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.-Nokia Tires Inc., the North American arm of Nokia Tyres Finland Ltd., has moved into a new corporate sales and distribution center in Mississauga.
The 25,000-sq.-ft. facility houses corporate offices and includes state-of-the-art computer operational controls, a dedicated materials handling system and presentation training facilities, the company said.
Previously, Nokia operated out of an 18,000-sq.-ft. facility in Ajax, Ontario, outside of Toronto.
Nokia said the improved location, increased capacity and modernized features of the new distribution center help position it to handle forecasted growth in North America, where it distributes passenger and forestry tires.
BFS hits milestone with Roadhandler
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has sold 3 million Bridgestone Roadhandler tires to Sears, Roebuck and Co. since it began making the tires for the mass merchandiser in 1991.
BFS officials presented the commemorative 3 millionth Bridgestone Roadhandler tire to Sears in a recent ceremony at the Sears Merchandise Group headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
BFS supplies Sears with all-season Bridgestone Roadhandlers and T- and H-rated Bridgestone Roadhandler GT performance tires.
Falken tire places second in test
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.-A Falken-brand tire, the FK 04G, placed second in overall performance in the recent Australian Motor magazine ``Motor Tyre Test'' performed at Shepparton, Australia, according to Falken Tire Corp.
The Z-rated, directional performance tire is made by Japan's Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and is sold in the U.S. through Rancho Cucamonga-based Falken Tire.
Falken said published results showed the FK 04G performed best in a series of test categories-dry braking, noise reading, wet lap and price-against seven competitors.
BFS leases office space in Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has leased new office space in Nashville, in part to house employees relocating from Akron.
The new offices, at Highland Ridge Office Center, will be occupied by Bridgestone/Firestone Off Road Tire Co., the staff of Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Manufacturing Co. and the corporate quality assurance department.
About 150 employees will use the building, including manufacturing and technical support staff transferring from Akron.
Robbins drops 'Tire & Rubber'
TUSCUMBIA, Ala.-Robbins Tire & Rubber Co. Inc. has shortened its corporate name to Robbins Inc. due to the diversity of its operations and markets, the firm said.
Robbins, which produces inner tubes, curing tubes and precure envelopes, recently acquired Ultima Rubber Products Inc., which expanded its line of tread rubber, tire retreading materials and equipment.
The company also makes commercial rubber and vinyl floor covering products under the Flexco brand.
Robbins Inc., as the legal business entity, will provide overall management to the two product groups, the firm said.
Dunlop Canada has new number
TORONTO-Dunlop Tire Corp. of Canada has changed its toll-free telephone number used by its customers to obtain product information and locations of Dunlop dealers in Canada to: (800) 247-4468.
Dunlop Tire Corp. has received a Partnership Award for 1993 from NUMMI, a joint venture between General Motors Corp. and Toyota. The award recognizes product quality, delivery record, human resources and communication within the firm's quality control, engineering, planning and purchasing departments.
Freightliner Corp. has awarded Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Michelin North America Master Quality Awards for 1993.
The annual award recognizes overall quality of product and service and is given to fewer than 5 percent of Freightliner's suppliers, according to Michelin. It is Michelin's fifth and BFS' fourth time to receive the award.
General Tire's Mayfield, Ky., tire plant has received Toyota Motor Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc.'s ``Certificate of Achievement Award'' recognizing the plant's outstanding performance during 1993.