Michelin readies to make ag tires
AKRON—Michelin North America Inc. is preparing to make agricultural tires at its earthmover and off-the-road tire plant in Lexington, S.C.
The tire maker expanded the Lexington facility more than a year ago and is due to begin the second phase of that expansion project this year, according to Charlie Compton, planning director for Lexington County. However, the county has not issued a construction permit to Michelin yet, he said.
Sources close to the tire maker said the upcoming expansion at Lexington is for the purpose of adding capacity for ag radial tire production. There is no word yet on what brands or sizes Michelin will manufacture in the Lexington factory, which opened in 1998.
A company spokeswoman said Michelin currently is not making ag tires anywhere in the U.S., and she declined to comment on future plans for Lexington.
An original equipment supplier to Deere & Co., Michelin entered the North American farm tire market in 1997.
Pax to equip Renault van
GENEVA, Switzerland—Group Michelin's Pax run-flat system will be offered as an option on Renault S.A.'s seven-passenger Scenic minivan beginning this summer, it was announced Feb. 27 at the Geneva Motor Show.
The French tire maker introduced the Pax system, featuring a revolutionary tire-wheel assembly said to improve tire performance as well as provide run-flat capability, at the Geneva show four years ago. The system's debut on the Scenic will mark its first availability on a production vehicle. Until now, it was seen only on prototypes.
Renault markets the Scenic in Europe and Latin America and currently is producing it in France and Brazil. The French auto maker also plans to start making the Scenic at a Mexican plant of its partner, Nissan Motor Co.
RubberNetwork adds tire makers
ATLANTA—Japan's Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. have joined RubberNetwork.com L.L.C., a global electronic purchasing and procurement marketplace.
The tire makers are the seventh and eighth companies to become a member of RubberNetwork.com. Other members include: Continental A.G.; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Goodyear; Group Michelin; Pirelli S.p.A.; and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
RubberNetwork.com is scheduled to launch in North America in April, followed by launches in Europe in July and Asia in September.
Cooper, dealers to raise money
FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and its dealers are planning to raise $1 million this year for Children's Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for children treated in 170 children's hospitals across North America.
Cooper, working with its Cooper, Pirelli, Mastercraft, Starfire, Roadmaster and Dean brand dealers, will conduct a "Miracle Balloon" promotion from March 1-May 30. During the promotion, consumers who donate at least a dollar will receive a paper balloon in their name, which dealers will display in their stores. Cooper anticipates that 2,000 dealer locations will participate.
Dealer collected donations will stay in the area where they are raised to support the nearest Children's Miracle Network-affiliated hospital, Cooper said.
In addition, Cooper will match dealer collections dollar for dollar, with the matching donation going to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children in Orlando, Fla.
DaimlerChrysler recalls Neons
WASHINGTON—DaimlerChrysler Corp. is recalling 1,504 Dodge Neons, model year 2001, because models with 16-inch wheels were given the wrong tire placards.
DaimlerChrysler will provide new labels, and dealers will install them if owners request, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Goodyear dealer meeting Oct. 28-29
LAS VEGAS—Goodyear's North American Tire unit has rescheduled the company's 2001 national dealer meeting for Oct. 28-29 in Las Vegas. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the SEMA/ITE show, which begins the next day.
The company noted that attendees also will have an opportunity to take in the industry's largest trade show and the Tire Association of North America's annual convention, Oct. 30 through Nov. 2. Goodyear earlier had postponed the dealer meeting, which originally was slated for Dallas in early February.