AKRON-Four tire makers have launched a new round of price hikes in response to what they say are escalating raw material costs. Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. initiated the latest round, announcing that on March 1 it will raise prices 3 percent on all passenger, light truck and front and bias rear farm tires and increase prices 4.5 percent on medium truck and radial rear farm tires.
Goodyear will hike prices 3 percent on passenger and light truck tires and 3-5 percent on commercial truck and farm tires, effective Feb. 15. It raised off-the-road tire prices 2-10 percent Jan. 1.
Continental General Tire Inc. plans to raise prices an undetermined amount on March 1.
Goodyear attributed the increase to spiraling raw material prices, especially natural rubber. It said the cost of some natural rubber grades have doubled since early 1994, with significant increases in the past 60 days.
Effective March 1, Michelin North America will hike prices by 3-4.5 percent for all Michelin, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich, private and associate brand replacement passenger and light truck tire lines sold in the U.S. Prices for Michelin truck, industrial and OTR tires will jump 4-5 percent.
Several other tire makers were reviewing the situation.