AKRON-Denman Tire Corp. has increased prices 3 to 5 percent on all its pneumatic-shaped industrial tires, while at least three other firms are considering similar hikes. Spiraling raw materials costs prompted Denman to hike prices March 1, said the firm's executive vice president of sales and marketing, James G. Pearl.
Meanwhile, Monarch Industrial Tire Co., Industrial Tires Ltd. (ITL) and American Vulko Tread Corp. are reviewing their pricing strategies.
Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based American Vulko, which makes polyurethane industrial tires, is considering the largest increase-5 to 10 percent-early this summer. ``Whatever the market can bear,'' said President Andy Bryniczkay.
``We've held our line for seven or eight years,'' he said. ``We just can't hold it anymore. We have no choice now.''
He cited the rising cost of materials and labor.
Monarch President Tim Ryan agreed the current rubber supply situation leaves industrial tire manufacturers with little choice but to hike prices. ``In general, as raw material prices continue to increase, we will look to pass them on.''
Monarch also is studying implementing a price increase this summer, Mr. Ryan said. ``I can't say the percentage at this point. We're trying to evaluate the impact and what we'll need to pass through.''
He did say Monarch will have to look for cost-containment initiatives.
``We can't expect to fully recover raw material increases.''
Raw materials account for 50 to 55 percent of a tire's cost, noted ITL Chairman Tom Buckley, who said rising natural rubber prices prompted his firm to consider price hikes in May or June of about 6 percent on its industrial tire lines.
``Our position is we have no alternative,'' Mr. Buckley said. ``It doesn't recoup all our (increased costs). We hope it puts us in a position where there's a leveling off.''