DES MOINES, Iowa-Titan Wheel International Inc. is considering changing its name to better reflect its growing tire business. ``We are becoming much more of a tire company than a wheel company,'' a company spokesman said.
Titan Wheel is a manufacturer of specialty rims and wheels and owns subsidiary Titan Tire Corp., which makes farm and specialty tires. The company offers tire-wheel packages to original equipment manufacturers.
The firm entered the rubber business in 1993 when it purchased Clinton, Tenn.-based Dico Tire Inc., which makes light industrial tires. The tire subsidiary was formed in 1994 when Titan Wheel bought Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp.'s Des Moines farm tire plant.
Titan Wheel won't change to the Titan Tire subsidiary name, the spokesman said. Instead, the Des Moines-based company will choose something more neutral, he explained.
Titan Wheel will make a decision within the next couple of weeks, according to the spokesman.
After acquiring additional wheel making capacity in Europe during the past two years, Titan Wheel said it also is evaluating tire manufacturing opportunities there to meet the overseas demand.
The firm's Des Moines plant can't keep up with demand for tires-partly due to a lack of molds for European sizes and tread patterns, the spokesman said.
Titan Wheel currently has six wheel production sites in Europe.
The company's declared goal is to become the world's largest supplier of specialty tire-wheel combinations. In fiscal 1995, the firm increased sales 53 percent over 1994, to $623.1 million, with earnings reaching $73.1 million. The company reported that wheels still make up more than two-thirds of sales.