French tire sales drop in 1996 PARIS—Overall sales of tires fell slightly in France during 1996, with a steep 14-percent decline in the heavy truck replacement category.
Sales of truck tires into the replacement market fell to 1.07 million units in 1996, from 1.24 million in 1995. Original equipment sales of heavy tires increased, however, to 373,000 units, up 2.8 percent from 363,000 a year earlier.
In the car sector, replacement sales of low-speed tires (below T speed rating) fell 33 percent to 1.16 million units, from 1.75 million, but this was almost made up by increased sales in other, higher-value car tire sectors. Z-rated sales rose 8.7 percent to 174,000 units. Sales of V-rated tires rose 6.7 percent.
All original equipment sectors declined except H-rated tires, which increased 16 percent to 2.11 million units, offsetting declines in other sectors completely.
Semperit board member quits
TRAISKIRCHEN, Austria—Werner Kraus, managing director of Semperit Reifen AG since 1993, has resigned. His responsibilities have been assumed by two remaining board members.
Mr. Kraus, a 31-year Semperit veteran, had put his job on the line as early as the middle of last year in the midst of public debate about the future of Semperit's Traiskirchen factory, saying a company that was about to cut its workforce by 1,000 jobs didn't need three board members.