Pirelli's U.S. arm posts net loss
MILAN, Italy-Pirelli Tire L.L.C., Pirelli S.p.A.'s U.S. operating unit, reported a $114.2 million net loss in fiscal 2000 while sales edged up 1.4 percent to $174.4 million, according to the firm's recently released annual report.
Nearly the entire loss can be attributed to the closing of the company's Hanford, Calif., tire plant, a spokesman said. The firm's operating loss was about $6 million, he said. The Hanford plant ceased operation Jan. 4 and the company since has reached settlements with the plant's workforce, the spokesman said.
Pirelli's North American operations have reported losses in 11 of the last 12 years.
Pirelli said its distribution deal with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. contributed to an increase in unit sales of Pirelli brand tires. For 2001, Pirelli does not anticipate further sales increases, because consumer demand for tires last year was extraordinarily high due to the effects of the Firestone recall.
Buettner, Nunez elected to TRIB
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. -The Tire Retread Information Bureau has elected to its board John Buettner Sr., executive director of the Indiana Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and director of technical services for the Tire Association of North America, and Richard Nunez, general manager of Myers Tire Supply Co.
The two were elected at TRIB's April 18 membership meeting in Nashville, Tenn. They replaced Joe Little of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s GCR Truck Tire Centers division and Russell R. ``Buck'' Blair of Tech International, whose three-year terms expired.
BFS, TRIB team up in promotion
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.-Bridge-stone/Firestone Inc. and the Tire Retread Information Bureau are co-sponsoring the distribution of more than 100,000 tire inflation brochures in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Roadcheck 2001 program to be held June 5-7 throughout North America.
At BFS' cost, the brochures will be distributed by highway patrol officers at weight stations in all 50 states, U.S. territories and all Canadian provinces and territories, as part of CVSA's program to heighten trucker awareness of the importance of maintaining proper air pressure.
The four-page brochure, titled ``What are the high costs of low air pressure,'' originally appeared in BFS' tire magazine, Real Answers.
Conti names COO for N. A.
HANOVER, Germany-Continental A.G. has announced that for the first time it will have a chief operating officer for its North American operations.
He is Ulrich Wellen, formerly vice president of Continental's worldwide original equipment unit.
In a press release announcing its first-quarter financial results, Continental noted the creation of the new post and that Mr. Wellen's appointment is the first and biggest step in what Continental termed ``the restructuring of Continental Tire North America ... in order to get things back on track.''
ITRA happy with bankruptcy bill
WASHINGTON-The International Tire & Rubber Association is ``very happy'' with Senate passage of a bill intended to make it harder for debtors to avoid paying their debts by declaring bankruptcy.
``It will protect ITRA members and other retailers from being left in the lurch with unpaid bills,'' said Roy Littlefield III, government relations director for the association.
ITRA did not make the bankruptcy issue one of its front-burner issues, as it did with ergonomics, but the group did join several business coalitions which supported passage of the bankruptcy bill.
The legislation makes it more difficult for individuals to erase debts under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, which offers absolute protection against debtors, and forces more of them to file under Chapter 13, which allows individuals to repay at least a portion of their debts over five years.
Kmart, Penske extend pact
TROY, Mich.-Kmart Corp. and Penske Auto Centers Inc. have extended their agreement, initially inked in 1995, covering Penske's operation of auto service centers in 638 Kmart and Kmart Supercenter stores nationwide.
The renewal includes a 10-year initial term under which Penske will continue to provide complete auto service including tires, repairs and routine maintenance.
Jim Wheat, president/CEO of Penske, said the deal ``offers us excellent exposure to Kmart's customer base.'' He added that Penske is looking forward to ``growing our stores along with Kmart.''