PAWTUCKET, R.I.-Teknor Apex Co. has completed an expansion of its molded precured tread stock production facility in Brownsville, Tenn. No details of the expansion were disclosed, but the company said the project will allow Teknor Apex to ``accommodate newly projected sales growth in the retread marketplace.''
Motor Wheel to close Mich. Plant
LANSING, Mich.-Declining demand for steel wheels is prompting Motor Wheel Corp. to close its plant in Lansing, putting 165 employees out of work.
The plant's operations will be transferred to two other plants as part of a consolidation program.
A company spokesman acknowledged the former Goodyear subsidiary had failed to anticipate the sharply rising popularity of aluminum wheels, which now account for more than 30 percent of the market, and had found itself with too much production capacity for the declining steel wheel market.
Reynolds to open U.S. wheel plant
RICHMOND, Va.-Reynolds Metals Co. expects to begin production of aluminum wheels in June at a former shoe factory in Beloit, Wis.
The Beloit plant, purchased last August from U.S. Shoe Corp., will be the company's first in the U.S., and will be capable of producing one-piece cast aluminum wheels.
Reynolds' wheel operations, which fall under the company's Reynolds International Inc. subsidiary, include a wholly owned plant in Italy, as well as interests in plants in Canada and Venezuela.
Demand for the company's aluminum wheels is growing among both automakers and consumers, according to Randolph N. Reynolds, president of Reynolds International, and the Beloit start-up will enable the company to better serve its North American-based customers.
AGI to distribute Oliver products
ATHENS, Ga.-Oliver Rubber Co. has named Akron-based Alexander Group International Inc. the U.S. exporter-distributor of Oliver retread products to western Europe.
The distribution agreement will allow Oliver to ``satisfy the built-up market demand for Oliver precure tread rubber in Europe,'' the company said.
Last fall, Oliver announced it was closing its United Kingdom subsidiary, Oliver Rubber Europa Ltd. That operation will shut down by the end of this year, the company said.
ASTM develops snow tire tests
PHILADELPHIA-The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee F-9 Tires and its subcommittee, F09.30 on Tire Services Requirements, have developed a new standard for evaluating tire performance on ice and snow.
The new standard provides a consistent measure of a passenger or light truck tire's performance during braking, driving and cornering exercises on ice and snow surfaces, the ASTM said.
For a copy of the new standard, F 1572-Test Methods for Tire Performance Testing on Snow and Ice Surfaces, call the ASTM: (215) 299-5585.
Cooper, ContiTech ink tech agreement
AUBURN, Ind.-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s engineered products unit and Hanover, Germany-based ContiTech Group have entered into a collaborative agreement on engineered rubber products.
Covered are projects in such areas as automotive vibration control, automotive hose products and automotive weather sealing.
The agreement involves technical assistance, licensing and design and development cooperation on original equipment automotive component projects in North America and Europe, Cooper said in a statement.
Tire maker pensions on underfunded list
WASHINGTON-The pension funds of three major U.S. tire companies are again on the annual list of 50 most underfunded pension plans for 1993 from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC).
Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. is sixth on the recently issued list with an underfunded guaranteed benefit of $478 million. Parent company Michelin North America said it plans to have U.G. Tire's pension obligations fully funded within seven years.
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is ninth on the list, with an unfunded benefit of $234 million. Goodyear, listed as 39th, has an unfunded benefit of $295 million, according to the PBGC's list.
Both BFS and Goodyear disputed being placed on the list, and even the PBGC admits it uses a different formula for calculating pension underfunding than is generally used in the industry.
The PBGC said the tire and rubber industry was one of the worst for underfunded pensions plans.