NASHVILLE, Tenn.-In the midst of a successful Indycar racing season, Bridgestone Corp. has begun Formula One tire testing in preparation for its entry into that racing competition in 1998. Bridgestone said it is in the process of organizing a development team and will use the Suzuka circuit, site of Japan's Formula One Grand Prix, as its base, with future expansion to other circuits around the world.
Dunlop shifts cycle lines to N.Y. plant
BUFFALO, N.Y.-Dunlop Tire Inc. has transferred production of two popular all-terrain motorcycle tire lines stateside in an effort to improve delivery time to its dealers and customers, the Buffalo-based company said.
The tires, previously manufactured in Japan by Dunlop's parent, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., will bolster production at Dunlop's Tonawanda, N.Y., plant. About one-third of the plant's production is comprised of motorcycle tires, with the balance a mix of passenger, light truck and medium truck tires.
Wal-Mart to open 100 supercenters
BENTONVILLE, Ark.-Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open 100 supercenters this year in hopes of providing nearly everything-including tires-to customers. Wal-Mart already operates 276 supercenters nationwide.
The stores provide oil changes, alignments, balancing, tires and batteries, a spokeswoman said. Although Wal-Mart offers those services at its smaller stores, the company hopes the larger format will attract more customers.
The supercenters, built to more than 170,000 square feet, will also include new grocery, bakery and delicatessen departments, as well as photo lab, bank, hair salon and fast-food restaurant.
Rebate offer to help Infinitred sales
AKRON-To boost sales of its lifetime-warranted Infinitred tire, Goodyear has created a $10-per-tire rebate offer.
Under the rebate program, consumers who purchase an Infinitred can fill out and mail a rebate card to Goodyear, which then mails back a $10 check. The rebate offer is limited to $80 per household, Goodyear said.
Although a spokesman said sales of the Infinitred are above pre-launch estimates, the company created the rebate offer out of a need to compete with similarly warranted tires from other manufacturers.
Public officials yawn at TRIB rebate offer
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.-The Tire Retread Information Bureau thought it was a sweet deal-to encourage public sector fleets to try retreaded tires, TRIB offered a 10-percent rebate on the fleets' initial retread purchase.
But instead of forking out a lot of rebate checks since the offer debuted in March, TRIB ``got a big yawn out of the whole deal,'' admitted TRIB Managing Director Harvey Brodsky.
The offer ends July 31 and Mr. Brodsky said so far TRIB has received only a couple of inquiries and maybe generated the sale of one set of tires.
Mr. Brodsky surmised that some in the public sector don't see a need to buy retreads or pursue cost-saving alternatives.
BFS' Warren plant hits 5 million mark
WARREN COUNTY, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s Warren County truck tire plant produced its 5-millionth tire May 23. The $460-million radial truck and bus tire plant opened in October 1990 and today produces more than 5,000 tires daily.
Michelin/NTDRA tap 3 scholarship winners
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Michelin North America and the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association will recognize the winners of three college scholarships totaling $20,000 during the NTDRA convention, Sept. 4-7, in Atlanta.
The recipients, all high school seniors, are: Marshall King, son of Ernest A. King, owner of K & K Tire Barn, Tunkhannock, Pa., who will receive $10,000; and Matthew Thompson, son of Michael Thompson, co-owner of Thompson OK Tire Inc., Beloit, Kan., and Sophia Yang, daughter of James Yang of Kenda Rubber Industrial Co., Reynoldsburg, Ohio, who each receive $5,000.
Coming up next...
TIRE BUSINESS' July 8 issue will list private brand tire marketers and their products and report industry trends.