Bandag's sales rise but revenues drop MUSCATINE, Iowa—Despite losing its largest franchisees in North America and South Africa, Bandag Inc. reported slight fourth-quarter and year-end net sales increases.
The Muscatine-based retread supplier said net earnings dipped 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter to $21.7 million on a net sales increase of 2.4 percent to $203.7 million, compared with the 1995 period.
For the full year, net earnings dropped 15.9 percent to $81.6 million, although sales increased 2.2 percent to $756.9 million, compared with 1995.
Bandag CEO and Chairman Martin Carver attributed the lower earnings to a ``significant increase in operating expenses,'' training, product development, sales and marketing initiatives and the expenses related to replacing lost distribution.
Treadco Inc., once Bandag's largest North American franchisee, began severing its relationship with the retread supplier in August 1995.
Deadline nearing for scholarships
WASHINGTON—Feb. 28 is the application deadline for the Michelin North America and National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association scholarship program.
All part-time employees of NTDRA member firms or dependents of full-time employees are eligible for the scholarships. Applicants must be high school seniors with cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.0 and plan to continue their education at accredited two- or four-year colleges, universities or vocational/technical schools.
One $10,000 and two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded.
Application forms can be obtained by calling the NTDRA at (800) 876-8372.
Series recalls Akron tire industry heyday
AKRON—The (Akron) Beacon Journal is in the midst of publishing a 52-part special section detailing the history of the city's rubber industry.
An installment of the newspaper's ``Wheels of Fortune'' special feature will appear every Sunday in 1997, according to Special Projects Editor Debbie VanTassel.
The newspaper is discussing the possibility of compiling the finished project in a ``coffee-table'' book format, she added.
The Beacon Journal said Sunday issues can be mailed out of town for $2.45 each. Back issues of the series will be sold as long as supplies last, Ms. VanTassel said.
The paper can be reached at (330) 996-3000. Installments of the series also will appear on the paper's World Wide Web site at http://www.ohio.com.
Hayes to shut down steel wheel plant
ROMULUS, Mich.—In order to reduce excess steel-wheel capacity and cut costs, Hayes Wheels International Inc. will end production at its Romulus plant late this year, according to a report in Automotive News, a sister publication of TIRE BUSINESS.
Plant volume has dropped significantly as use of aluminum wheels on North American vehicles has increased from 12 percent to 43 percent.
Bias racing tires leaving Akron plant
AKRON—Goodyear said financial losses have forced it to phase out bias racing tire production at its Akron Tech Center over the next 18 months.
The company has yet to decide whether it will exit some portion of bias race tire manufacturing or move it to a lower-cost facility.
Bias tires are popular in drag racing and short track and dirt track racing. But Goodyear said it is having trouble competing in the market with small, low-cost tire makers like Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. and Specialty Tires of America Inc.
United Tire reaches according with union
REXDALE, Ontario—United Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and United Steelworkers of America Local 687 have reached a three-year pact covering 29 workers at the tire maker's Rexdale plant.
The contract, ratified Dec. 18, raises production workers' wages and benefits 1 percent each of the three years, said Charles Sherkin, United Tire CEO and president.
Mr. Sherkin declined to outline specifics of the agreement but said it was reached after just three days of negotiations.
United Tire, which makes and distributes off-the-road, farm, forestry, medium truck, indus-trial and specialty tires, was purchased in April 1996 by New York-based Pensler Capital Corp.
Goodyear recalling Tennessee workers
AKRON—Due to increased demand for its products, Goodyear said it plans to recall an undetermined number of the 200 union workers it laid off in August at its Union City, Tenn., plant.
The facility currently produces about 48,000 passenger and light truck radial tires a day. The plant boost production to 54,000 units a day with the recall, said Ronald Winstead, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 878.