Michelin global sales up 10.2% CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Based in part on the first time consolidation of the results of Tire Centers Inc. in the U.S., Group Michelin reported a 10.2-percent rise in fiscal 1999 global sales, to $14.7 billion. Sales in the fourth quarter alone were up 20.2 percent.
Changes in the U.S. dollar-French franc exchange rate accounted for more than half the increase, Michelin noted.
The company did not release fiscal 1999 earnings at this time. For the first half, Michelin reported operating and net earnings were 19.6 and 19.8 percent, respectively, ahead of the 1998 pace. The earnings ratios for the half-year were 9.4 percent (operating) and 4.9 percent (net).
Overall, sales volume in tons of tires shipped rose 5.2 percent, while prices fell 0.3 percent. North America led the way for Michelin, chalking up a 12-percent gain in sales volume.
The addition of eight months of TCI's results—acquired in April 1999—would have added between $350 million and $400 million to Michelin's sales, based on TCI's 1998 results.
Bridgestone's '99 results slump
TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp., suffering the effects of a sharply appreciating yen, reported declines in both consolidated net sales and net earnings in 1999.
Earnings fell 15.2 percent and sales dropped 6.8 percent, despite increased unit sales of tires in nearly every principal market.
For the year ended Dec. 31, earnings slipped to $777 million on sales of $18.3 billion. Tire-related sales were off 7.5 percent to $14.4 billion, while non-tire products revenue slipped 4 percent to $4.15 billion.
Despite a 2-percent increase in dollar-denominated sales in North and South America, Bridgestone's yen-reported sales in the Americas fell 11.8 percent vs. 1998 results to $7.63 billion.
Declines in sales of farm and off-the-road tires and continuing business difficulties in Latin America held back the firm's performance in the Americas—which includes the U.S. and Canada and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., the tire maker's Nashville, Tenn., subsidiary.
Dean Tire's David Dean dies
PROSPECT, Ky.—David H. Dean Sr., founder of Dean Tire & Rubber Co. in Louisville, Ky., died Feb. 8 at his home in Prospect. He was 77.
Mr. Dean's father, Robert A. Dean Sr., founded Dean Tire Service in Louisville in 1923. Mr. Dean went to work as wholesale manager for his father's company after returning home from service in World War II.
In 1968, Mr. Dean founded his own company to market his own private-label, Dean-brand tires which were manufactured by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. By the mid-1990s, his company's annual sales had grown to more than $60 million, and more than 2 million units of Dean-brand radial passenger, light truck and medium truck tires were sold in 10 countries.
After selling his company to Cooper in January 1999, he retired.
Mr. Dean was active in the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association. He was president of the NTDRA-affiliated Private Brand Tire Group and was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame in 1989.
Mr. Dean is survived by his wife, Rosalind, son David Jr., daughter Camille, stepson Keith Brooks and a grandson.
Cooper opens logistics center
FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has opened a new 245,000-sq.-ft. logistics facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in February.
Cooper will be closing existing warehouses in Chicago and Kansas City, Mo., during the next few months. Mark Hefter, current warehouse manager in Chicago, is overseeing the transition and will manage the Cedar Rapids facility.
Kwik-Fit to double stores in Europe
EDINBURGH—Kwik-Fit, Europe's largest tire dealership, plans to double its stores throughout the continent by 2005.
The dealership, owned by Ford Motor Co., currently operates 2,285 outlets in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain and Germany. It achieved its goal of operating 2,000 stores by 2000 with the December acquisition of auto glass repair and replacement specialist Silver Shield Screens Ltd.
Ford acquired Kwik-Fit in 1999 for $1.6 billion and added the company into its Customer Service Division.
Kwik-Fit currently has no plans to expand its business into North America, a spokesman said.