Pirelli to sell truck tire unit
MILAN, Italy-Pirelli S.p.A. plans to sell its truck tire and energy cable units in the coming 18 months as part of a restructuring the firm will undertake following its bid for control of Italian telecommunications concern Telecom Italia.
Pirelli teamed up with an investment firm controlled by the Benetton clothing family to buy 23 percent of Olivetti S.p.A., the Italian telecommunications giant that owns 54 percent of Telecom Italia. The deal is valued at about $6 billion; Pirelli expects to gain about $1.8 billion from the sale of the two business units.
Pirelli said it will focus on telecommunications based on cable, optical fibers' components and telecom services technologies. Along side these core businesses, Pirelli will operate a small number of high-profit margin firms at the top end of their markets, comprising the passenger, light truck and motorcycle tire operations.
Pirelli's commercial tire activities encompass seven plants in six countries on three continents, and represent 33 percent of Pirelli's tire division sales, or $875 million in fiscal 2000 revenue, according to Pirelli documents. Only two of the plants, though, are dedicated to truck tires; the others are mixed product plants. Pirelli does not sell truck tires in North America.
Petro offers Michelin tires
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Petro Lube Truck Maintenance Facilities are now offering the new Michelin X-One line of ``super-single''-like truck tires for drive and trailer applications, Michelin North America and Petro Stopping Centers announced.
The Petro locations will stock the Michelin X-One long-haul truck tire for drive-axle (X-One XDA) and trailer (X-One XTA) applications in size 445/50R22.5. That matches the diameter and revolutions per mile of the low-profile 22.5 dual. Michelin says its X-One offers a cost-effective, fuel-efficient alternative to traditional duals on tandem-axle tractors and trailers.
SmarTire to sell monitors in Europe
RICHMOND, British Columbia-SmarTire Systems Inc. said it has begun exporting aftermarket versions of its GenII tire pressure and temperature monitoring systems to Germany, France, Belgium and South Africa.
Richmond-based SmarTire said its GenII, designed for installation on existing vehicles, features technology combining the sensing element and numerous electronic components into a single, highly robust chip.
The system's transmitter is offered in two versions providing different options for installation inside the tire: 1) a strap-mount design, featuring a quick attachment band, and 2) an adjustable valve-stem-mount type for specific wheel applications.
SmarTire's in-car display includes a basic unit designed to provide an early warning of low tire pressure and also a full-function display offering detailed digital readings of tire pressure.
Runge tapped as NHTSA chief
WASHINGTON-Dr. Jeffrey Runge was confirmed Friday, Aug. 3, as the new administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He becomes the agency's 12th chief in its 35-year history.
The Senate, approved President Bush's nominee to head NHTSA, which is charged with regulating motor vehicle safety.
Dr. Runge, 45, was assistant chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., which treats more than 30,000 trauma patients annually, 10,000 of them victims of vehicle-related accidents.
Bandag's TDS unit posts loss
MUSCATINE, Iowa-Tire Distribution Systems Inc., Bandag Inc.'s commercial tire subsidiary, posted a loss in the second quarter on flat sales.
For the period ended June 30, TDS reported sales of $104.8 million and a loss before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $902,000. This compares with sales of $105 million and earnings $1.9 million (EBIT) in last year's second quarter.
``The soft economic conditions and competitive pricing pressure on new truck tire sales reduced operating margins,'' Bandag Chairman and CEO Martin Carver said concerning the TDS results. "We also saw fewer unit sales of higher-margin retreads, which resulted in our operating margins being about 2 percent lower during the second quarter of 2001, compared to the same period in 2000."
Through the first six months of 2001, TDS posted sales of $188.2 million and a loss before interest and taxes of $6.2 million. In last year's first half, TDS had sales of $194.8 million and an EBIT loss of $1 million.