Kumho plans new U.S. tech center AKRON—Kumho Tire USA Inc. plans to break ground this summer for a new technical center in the Akron area that will give the firm tire testing capabilities, said General Manager Guy Edington.
The company currently is looking for a six- to nine-acre parcel on which to build the 40,000-50,000-sq.-ft. facility to replace the 6,600-sq.-ft. tech center the South Korean tire maker now leases in Akron.
The amount of the investment was not available.
When completed sometime next year, the new facility will allow Kumho to add compound and tire testing labs in addition to various technical workshops. The company won't have to contract local research firms to test its tires, Mr. Edington said.
``Now we'll be able to keep our testing information and proprietary models in-house,'' he said.
Kumho Technical Center focuses on product development—designing radial passenger and truck/bus tires for North America.
The firm expects to boost its staff in three years to 50 from 23 to support the new center.
Kumho's main tech center is located in Kwang Ju, South Korea, and the company also hopes to establish technical centers in Europe and Asia, Mr. Edington said, though no definite plans for these facilities yet have been made.
AirBoss sets sales, earnings records
TORONTO—Buoyed by increased sales of its non-pneumatic, segmented off-road tires, AirBoss of America Corp. posted record earnings of $474,164 (U.S. dollars) in 1996 on a near-70-percent jump in sales to $11.6 million.
The company finished 1995 with a loss of more than $1.5 million.
AirBoss also attributed its turnaround last year in part to the acquisition of manufacturing facilities for its tires, bringing pro-duction in-house instead of relying on third-party manufacturers.
Sears names 3 tire makers 'partners'
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—Three tire makers were among the 117 suppliers honored in Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s ``Partners in Progress'' award program for their ``initiative and dedication'' and for ``taking that extra step as a leader.'' More than 10,000 sources competed for the awards, Sears said.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. was named ``Source of the Year'' for the Sears Automotive Group and also was selected as one of two recipients of Sears' first-ever ``Chairman's Award for Innovation'' for ``finding innovative ways to ship more than 3 million tires to Sears distribution centers with a near-perfect delivery rating,'' the retailer said.
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. received the ``Quality Source of the Year'' award for the automotive group, while Yokohama Tire Corp. also was named a Partner in Progress.
Myers' earnings slip on record sales
AKRON—Myers Industries Inc. reported a 7.8-percent decrease in net income for the first quarter of 1997, despite a 5.8-percent increase in sales to a record $76.8 million.
The company, parent of Myers Tire Supply and Patch Rubber Co., said the slide in first-quarter earnings, to $4.81 million, was due to higher prices for the resins used to manufacture polymer products.