Nokian to acquire retailer NOKIA, Finland—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has agreed to acquire a further 69-percent stake in Isko P.L.C., Finland's largest tire wholesale and retail dealership, for approximately $34.2 million.
The purchase, from the Rasanen family, will raise Nokian's ownership in the company to 94 percent from 25 percent previously. Isko operates 38 retail outlets in Finland and two in Estonia and posted sales of about $68 million last year.
With the addition, Nokian's company-owned retail store network will comprise 117 outlets in Scandinavia and the Baltic states, with anticipated net sales in 2000 of $165.5 million—more than one-third of Nokian's total net sales.
Nokian said it intends to acquire all remaining shares of Isko, probably by year-end.
Goodyear cuts in Argentina
AKRON—Citing cost inefficiency and the slumping automotive market in Latin America, Goodyear has permanently laid off about half the work force at its Buenos Aires, Argentina, tire operation.
Pneumaticos Goodyear S.A., cut its work force Sept. 2 to about 350 from a previous total of 700 to 800, a company spokesman in Akron said. The workers, members of an Argentine tire workers' union, knew for several months the layoffs were coming, he said.
Some production at the 69-year-old plant likely will be picked up at Goodyear's plant in Americana, Brazil, when the economy revitalizes. The Brazilian factory, 41 years younger with a capacity of 38,000 units per day, is more efficient than the Argentine facility and has state-of-the-art equipment, the spokesman said.
The production focus in Buenos Aires is on passenger radials, but the plant also manufactures radial and bias-ply light truck, truck and bus, agricultural and off-the-road tires.
The plant had a pre-layoff capacity of about 9,000 units per day. Goodyear won't reveal how much that has declined as a result of the layoffs.
Goodyear, retreader ally
CARACAS, Venezuela—Venezuela's largest independent retreader, Covencaucho, has formed an alliance with Goodyear Venezuela. Covencaucho will be the exclusive authorized retreader for Goodyear 300-series truck radials and will supply tubes and retreaded tires to Goodyear dealers throughout Venezuela.