GADSDEN, Ala.-If its performance doesn't improve, Goodyear's Gadsden tire plant could face closure, according to a Sept. 10 letter from the plant manager to employees. ``The Gadsden plant is facing serious competitive pressures that could lead to significant loss of production.*.*.*or in a worst case, threaten continued production here,'' wrote Plant Manager Chuck Grunder.
The plant ``is consistently not competitive on several key performance indicators,'' such as cost and output per employee hour, the letter added.
A spokesman at Goodyear's Akron headquarters said the company ``has made no decision to close any of its North American tire plants.''
A spokesman for the plant said the letter was meant to spell out the facility's business position. ``There's no intent to alarm anyone with the indication that the plant could be closed.''
WASHINGTON-General Motors Corp. recalled 5,773 1995-96 Chevrolet and GMC vans and light trucks whose tires received bead damage during mounting, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
The tires-General AmeriÃ550 AS LT225/75R16D radials-have bulges in the bead toe area that can lead to either slow air leaks causing flat tires or rapid air loss precipitating blowouts, GM said.
Dealers will examine tires for bead damage, replacing damaged ones free of charge. Affected vehicles include Chevrolet C30, G30 and K30 trucks and the GMC C35, G35 and K35.
BUFFALO, N.Y.-Dunlop Tire Corp. will supply Grandtrek radial tires as original equipment for the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, All-Activity Vehicle in 1997, the companies announced.
Dunlop's Huntsville, Ala., plant will begin supplying the tires in January to Mercedes' new Tuscaloosa County, Ala., production facility, which will turn out about 65,000 vehicles annually.
CLEVELAND-Iowa Mold Tooling's sales and profits improved during the first quarter of fiscal 1997, ended Aug. 31.
Sudbury Inc., IMT's parent, boosted net earnings 3.2 percent to $2.77 million on net sales of $72.1 million, a slight increase over the year-earlier quarter.
While not disclosing financial results for its subsidiaries, Sudbury said three divisions, including IMT, ``experienced double-digit sales growth and attained significant improvements in profitability'' during the quarter. IMT makes cranes, truck bodies and related equipment for the tire and service industries.
WEST AMHERST, N.Y.-After nine years of reporting year-end losses, Dunlop Tire Corp. expects to turn a profit for 1996 and report a 7-percent jump in revenues to $700 million.
The company, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., attributed the turnaround to its efforts to boost production 15 percent during the past three years, cut waste by 59 percent and lower expenses 20 percent.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Goodyear has begun operations at a new 600,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Memphis that eventually will replace facilities in St. Louis and Milwaukee.
The tire logistics center will stock and distribute passenger, light truck and some medium truck tire lines and will serve Goodyear customers in 10 states, the company said.
Exel Logistics of Westerville, Ohio, will manage the facility and employ about 85 people.
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill.-Since the national elections will occur during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas, the Automotive Service Industry Association (ASIA) has produced an election guide to explain how AAIW participants can vote via absentee ballot or in person prior to leaving for the show, Nov. 5-8.
The ``1996 U.S. Election Guide for AAIW Participants'' contains information on absentee voting procedures as well as phone numbers for the governmental agencies that handle elections in each state.
For a free copy, contact ASIA at (847) 228-1310. Fax: (847) 228-1510.