Michelin's goal: No. 2 in Asia
CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Group Michelin intends to become the No. 2 tire maker in Asia by 2005, Michelin Chairman Edouard Michelin told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting earlier this year. To do so, the company will have to more than double its sales base there, according to estimates of its Asian presence.
Mr. Michelin did not divulge details, other than to say the firm's strategy in Asia for the next five years includes provisions for partnerships and acquisitions, along with internal growth.
Michelin currently claims to be No. 4 in Asia, with a 5.5-percent market share, trailing market leaders Bridgestone Corp., Goodyear and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. It has been linked to Yokohama several times in the past year by Asian media reports, but both companies have denied being involved in any kind of cooperation talks.
Michelin makes tires in China, Japan and Thailand, has a joint venture plant in the Philippines, and is finalizing plans for a plant in India.
Cooper-Avon axing truck tires
MELKSHAM, England—Cooper-Avon Tyres Ltd. is phasing out production of medium truck and bus tires at its Melksham plant in favor of expanded output of car, light truck, motorcycle and racing tires.
The decision is part of a two-year plan at Cooper-Avon to move away from less profitable product lines, said Managing Director Rod Pottow.
"However, we have not been contracting (shrinking) the Cooper-Avon business," Mr. Pottow said, pointing out that the firm had invested more than $65 million in the last three years to expand manufacturing capacities of its other tire lines.
Cooper-Avon intends to sell the radial truck tire building line, which was upgraded in 1994 at a cost of $15 million.