Kumho plans new technical center AKRON—Kumho Industrial Co. Inc. may revisit plans to construct a $10 million, 50,000-sq.-ft. research facility in an Akron suburb.
Kumho currently leases 6,000 square feet near Akron and employs 25. The proposed facility would employ 75 and contain laboratories for tire testing, according to Guy Edington, managing director of Kumho's Akron technical center.
The new center, which is pending approval from the tire maker's chairman, would help create a shorter product development cycle. Kumho has a main research center located in Kwangju, South Korea, and a small technical center in the United Kingdom.
The South Korean firm had proposed to build a technical center in 1997, but plans were stalled by the Asian financial crisis.
BFGoodrich color tire sales surge
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Orders for BFGoodrich Scorcher T/A color tires have exceeded initial projections for that brand by more than four times, according to Michelin North America Inc.
``We knew the market for this type of product existed, but we have been pleasantly surprised by the excitement and demand shown for the Scorcher T/A,'' said Rick Shafer, marketing manager for BFGoodrich high-performance tires. ``It truly redefines the customization industry by allowing consumers to add color to a part of their vehicle they never considered before—the tires.''
Michelin declined to comment on its projections for the brand or the number of orders it has received, but said that only one of nine sizes is on back order. The tire maker anticipates no problems in meeting demand.
Gunman wounds Missouri dealer
CAHOKIA, Mo.—An armed robber shot and wounded Mohammad Mokhbar, owner of M & M Tire Service in Cahokia near St. Louis, with a pellet gun Sept. 11 during a holdup.
The masked gunman stormed into M & M, a seven-bay dealership, at approximately 3:30 p.m. He demanded money, but shot Mr. Mokhbar and fled the scene before he could receive any cash, Mr. Mokhbar told Tire Business.
Mr. Mokhbar suffered flesh wounds to both wrists and his chest. He underwent surgery and was released after four days of hospitalization.
No one else was injured during the holdup, Mr. Mokhbar said.
Police arrived on the scene two minutes later and found the gunman's clothes and gun in a field behind the dealership. No arrests have been made, but police suspect the perpetrator was a friend of one of the store's employees, Mr. Mokhbar said.
Hankook posts first-half results
SEOUL, South Korea—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. reported an 89-percent gain in first half profits, to $15.7 million, while sales reached $513.1 million for the period.
Hankook said it expects full year net profits to exceed last year's net by the same percentage, rising to nearly $32 million.
The South Korean tire maker said exports accounted for 70 percent of sales.
Canada dealers gear up for show
LONDON, Ontario—The Tire Dealers Association of Canada has sold out 90 percent of available booth space for its Historic Year 2000 convention and trade show, scheduled for Jan. 26-29 at the Toronto Convention Centre.
The group has received about 500 registrations to date, but none from U.S. tire dealers, said John Goodwin, executive director of the Ontario Tire Dealers Association.
Mr. Goodwin said he isn't sure why no American dealers have registered yet, but hopes they will take advantage of the exchange rates to attend what is expected to be the tire industry's largest gathering in Canada.
Convention registration fees for U.S. dealers is $195. Airline discount rates are available.
For more information, contact TDAC at (888) 207-9059.
Cooper, Conti Gen sponsor ITE events
AKRON—Two tire makers are sponsoring Tire Association of North America events during the International Tire Expo in Las Vegas.
Continental General Tire Inc. will sponsor TANA's ITE Gala Reception, which will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will award a $20,000 cash prize to one lucky attendee at the group's ``Breakfast With the President'' on Nov. 3. The prize represents the largest cash giveaway at ITE.