Pirelli S.p.A. sees profits rise
MILAN, Italy-Pirelli S.p.A. recorded a 38-percent increase in operating profit to $123.5 million during its first quarter, ended March 31, while sales rose 9.7 percent.
Pirelli's tire sector contributed to both improvements, registering a 3-percent gain in sales and a 5.6-percent rise in profits, according to the company.
Tire sector sales of $671 million resulted from a 3.7-percent rise in units sold and a slight improvement in product mix, Pirelli said, while pricing and exchange rates had slightly negative effects.
Tire sector operating profit was $52.5 million. Overall, Pirelli's corporate sales grew to $1.78 billion, as acquisitions in its cables and systems sector were accounted for the first time. Net earnings were $136.3 million.
Congress mulls liability bills
WASHINGTON-Groups such as the Tire Association of North America (TANA) and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) are lining up to support the Senate introduction of the Small Business Liability Reform Act of 2001, which would protect businesses with fewer than 25 employees from excessive or frivolous product liability damage awards.
Businesses would have punitive damages capped at $250,000 or three times compensatory damages, whichever is less; would abolish joint liability for non-economic damages; and would allow plaintiffs to collect damages from non-manufacturing product sellers only when the seller itself did something to make the product harmful.
RMA promotes `Tire Smart'
WASHINGTON-The Rubber Manufacturers Association is stepping up promotion of its ``Be Tire Smart-Play Your PART'' tire safety program to Congress, various states and other associations.
Ann Wilson, RMA vice president of government affairs, has been visiting Capitol Hill lawmakers. The association placed ads on the ``PART'' program in Congress Daily during the week of May 14 and Roll Call during the week of May 21. It has prepared a tire safety educational curriculum for driver's education teachers, which will be unveiled in southwestern states this fall and then gradually expand to other areas of the country.
Also, AAA has distributed 25,000 ``PART'' brochures so far through its local clubs.
Goodyear to fit '02 Dodge Rams
AKRON-Goodyear said it will supply original equipment tires as part of a 20-inch wheel package on the Dodge 2002 Ram 1500 truck.
Depending on the model selected, the Ram 1500 comes equipped with either 20-inch Eagle touring performance tires or 20-inch Wrangler light truck tires-both firsts for Goodyear, a spokesman said.
The Goodyear Eagle LS P275/55R20 will be original equipment for 4x2 model of the 1500 trucks, while the Wrangler HP P275/60R20 is specified for the 4x4, Goodyear said.
Michelin names ad agency finalists
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Michelin North America Inc. has narrowed its ad agency search to three finalists for its U.S. Michelin-brand account.
After extensive review, the firm has pared the list down to Campbell-Ewald in Detroit, Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Final selection of an agency is expected by early July, Michelin said.
Gloria Bartholomew to retire from RMA
WASHINGTON-Gloria Bartholomew, director of tire technical and standards, is retiring from the Rubber Manufacturers Association after 16 years with the Washington trade group. Her last day on the staff is June 30.
Ms. Bartholomew said she felt it was time to give back to the people who inspired and encouraged her seven years ago in her fight against breast cancer.
She hopes to lend her talent and heart to the Reach for Recovery program of the American Cancer Society, the RMA said.
The program provides support to breast cancer patients and their families while going through treatments.
A June 4 story on tire brands and consumers' so-called "flight to quality" stated that Goodyear's market research showed that "brand" is now the first thought among consumers regarding the tire-buying experience. Goodyear has clarified that statement, saying brand is becoming more important to consumers, but outlet continues to be the most important consideration-while the importance of price is decreasing.