Michelin licenses Pax to Sumitomo
CLERMONT-FERRAND, France-Group Michelin has agreed to license its Pax extended mobility tire technology to Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., giving it an entry into possible original equipment fitments with Asian car makers and their global manufacturing networks.
The deal will give Sumitomo the ability to manufacture, promote and sell products based on Michelin's inverted-bead Pax tire/wheel system.
Michelin and Sumitomo Rubber will work together to offer the Pax system to Japanese and other auto makers in Asia where Sumitomo has operations and to develop after-sales service infrastructure in those areas.
Sumitomo, which has been studying the Pax system for a year, is the third company to license the technology from Michelin, joining Goodyear and Pirelli S.p.A. The Pax system-comprising specially designed tires and wheels, support ring, and pressure detector-offers zero-pressure driveability of up to 120 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph.
Marangoni names OTR representative
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va.-Retread materials and equipment manufacturer Marangoni Meccanica, part of Italy's Maragoni S.p.A., has named Central Marketing Inc. as its North American sales representative.
Under the new agreement, Central Marketing, based in Colonial Heights, has taken over the sales and servicing of the Italian company's buffers, extruder-builders and related equipment for retreading large off-the-road the road tires.
Central Marketing President Edward A. Burleson said all current dealings and pricing issues will remain unchanged, but customers should find it easier to fulfill their equipment and servicing needs. He said Central Marketing maintains a large inventory of parts and also has technicians to answer customers' questions.
Web site to offer tires, retreads
CHERRY HILL, N.J.-Ameriquest Corp., a provider of transportation, along with logistics products and services for the fleet management industry, has agreed with the National Grocers Association (NGA) to offer an online procurement service for NGA members and affiliates operating commercial fleets.
The service includes tires and retreads and is supported by Bandag, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Goodyear and Yokohama Tire Corp.
AmeriQuest and the NGA are offering the program to retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and service suppliers representing approximately 40,000 trucks, tractors and trailers. With the additional transportation units, AmeriQuest claims to have aggregated purchasing power of nearly 10 percent of the nation's commercial surface fleet.
The service will be based on a Web site developed by the two groups and accessible through the NGA site. It will offer participants free Internet buying, tracking and paperless commerce, according to an NGA spokesman.
Survey sees more switching to SUVs
AGOURA HILLS, Calif.-Buyers of upper-midsize cars are now more than five times as likely to switch to sport-utility vehicles than they were two years ago, according to research compiled by J.D. Power and Associates.
The firm's inaugural J.D. Power information network market (PIN) assessment study, the first of five it will publish this year, is a nationwide electronic data collection network. It gathers new vehicle transaction data from more than 5,000 participating auto retailers in 21 U.S. markets.
J.D. Power said its PIN study breaks ground by combining information from all three of the firm's major auto databases: PIN, customer satisfaction and product quality data, as well as J.D. Power's sales and forecasting data.