Fire burns 1 million tires in Mich. dump SEARS, Mich.—It took three days for firefighters to extinguish a fire that burned about 1 million tires at Schumacher Salvage Yard, northwest of Mount Pleasant, Mich. Clouds of thick, black smoke chased an undetermined number of residents from their homes.
Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which broke out before dawn April 16. Owner Ken Schumacher said he suspects arson.
The burning tire pile was separated from another 3 million to 4 million tires on the property. Officials said Mr. Schumacher has been out of compliance with the state scrap tire law since 1991. The state has a lawsuit pending against Mr. Schumacher, who has countersued.
TBC sales jump 16% for record quarter
MEMPHIS, Tenn.—TBC Corp. garnered record sales during the first quarter of 1997, reporting a 16.4-percent jump in revenues to $144.4 million. Net earnings, which included a one-time charge of $500,000 related to an early retirement program, fell 4.7 percent to $3.23 million, compared with the 1996 period.
Excluding the contribution from Big O Tires Inc., which the company acquired last July, TBC's tire unit sales for the quarter increased 7.7 percent, and light truck tire sales jumped 20 percent, from year-ago levels.
Goodyear's Molinari to head retail stores
AKRON—To further integrate its North American Tire sales and marketing organization, Goodyear has consolidated its retail store operations under Marco Molinari, vice president of sales and marketing for North American Tire.
The realignment of retail stores will assure ``a consistent sales and outlet development strategy between retail stores and dealers,'' the company said.
Goodyear appointed Chuck Mick, previously general business manager for the southern region, as director of retail operations reporting to Mr. Molinari. Mr. Mick replaces Debra Walker, vice president of retail stores, who has been named vice president and chief information officer.
Cooper earnings rise as sales dip slightly
FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. increased its net earnings for the first quarter by 8.8 percent to $25.2 million, compared with the year-ago quarter, on sales that dipped 0.4 percent to $379.5 million.
Tire sales generally were strong for the period, the company said, but the results were adversely affected by a deferred demand for tires from a large private-brand customer. Cooper did not disclose the name of the customer, but said the private brander was expected to resume its orders during the second quarter as the selling season commences.
The first-quarter results did not include results of Avon Tyres Ltd., which Cooper acquired near the end of the quarter.
Titan sets record in 1st quarter sales
QUINCY, Ill.—Titan Wheel International has set a record with first-quarter sales of $180.2 million, a 1.6-percent increase over the year-ago period.
However, earnings dropped 15.9 percent to $9.25 million due to fluctuations in European currency and the divestiture of Titan's non-core businesses in 1996, the company said.
Titan Wheel, parent of Titan Tire Corp., said the company experienced strong agricultural product demand with customers placing orders with minimal or no lead times.
GreenMan to buy BFI recycling units
LYNNFIELD, Mass.—GreenMan Technologies Inc. has signed a letter of intent to buy Browning-Ferris Industries Inc.'s tire shredding operations in Jackson, Ga., and Savage, Minn., and certain tire-processingrelated assets in Azusa, Calif.
The assets would triple GreenMan's annual revenues, which totaled $4.39 million for the fiscal year ended May 31.
GreenMan manufactures and markets recycled rubber- and plastic-based products and had a crumb processing operation set up at BFI's Jackson site.
TALCOM may restore Federal Tire Program
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command may soon take over the Federal Tire Program abandoned last Dec. 31 by the General Services Administration.
TACOM's commanding general may decide the issue as early as the week of April 28. As currently envisioned, the agency would assume formal responsibility for administering the program, with the American Society for Testing and Materials serving as the testing standards authority.
The program offered a Federal Supply Schedule for letting government contracts for tire procurement. It also sponsored a quality testing program for new and retreaded tires; a Qualified Products List for tires which passed; and a Quality Assurance Facility Inspection Program for certifying retread facilities.
Retreaders in particular had protested the GSA decision to kill the program.