BFS posts loss of $74 million
TOKYO-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. posted an operating loss of $74 million in the first six months of 2001, as the company dealt with inventory reductions, rising raw materials prices and increasing competition, parent Bridgestone Corp. said. The loss contrasts with a $290 million profit a year ago.
BFS' sales, influenced by the weakening yen/dollar conversion rate and including the results of Morgan Tire & Auto Inc., rose 5 percent to $3.7 billion.
Overall, Bridgestone Corp. slid $255 million into the red in the first half, as it took $573 million in extraordinary charges to cover costs associated with the recall of Firestone tires in North America and the scheduled closing of the Decatur, Ill., tire plant. The firm's operating profit slid 60 percent to $261 million, while sales rose 3.7 percent to $8.56 billion, aided by weaker yen to dollar and euro exchange rates.
For the remainder of the year, Bridgestone forecasts it will continue to operate in the black, although earnings of $85 million will be 44 percent below the fiscal 2000 performance.
Wingfoot names project manager
FORT SMITH, Ark.-Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems L.L.C. has hired Gary McNally as special projects manager in areas encompassing operations, sales and marketing.
Mr. McNally, a 25-year veteran of the tire industry, served from 1999-2000 as vice president and general manager for the eastern division of Tire Distribution Systems Inc., a Bandag Inc. subsidiary. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of operations for Columbia, Miss.-based Southern Tire Mart from 1991-'99 and the owner of Memphis Bandag Inc. from 1987-'91.
Kumho selects P.R. agency
CLEVELAND-Kumho Tire USA has named Golin/Harris International as its public relations agency.
Golin/Harris' assignment in-cludes media relations, new product introductions, employee and dealer communications and sponsorship activation.
The Chicago-based agency's clients include McDonald's Corp., DaimlerChrysler A.G., Bayer Corp., Texas Instruments and Nintendo of America Inc.
Henshaw named OSHA head
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Senate has confirmed John Henshaw as assistant secretary of labor in charge of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Mr. Henshaw previously served as director of environment, safety and health for Astaris LLC in St. Louis.
BFS creates Andretti card
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Hoping to cash in on the popularity of the Andretti racing family, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has teamed up with MasterCard to create the Andretti Racing credit card for use at more than 3,500 authorized BFS independent retailers and 1,500 outlets owned and operated by BFS.
Available with no annual fee, the card provides motorists with a 90-day, no-interest, no-payment option (a minimum monthly payment is required in Arizona and North Carolina) or an affordable monthly payment plan.
The card features likenesses of father-and-son racing duo Mario and Michael Andretti, who are featured in BFS's current print and TV advertising campaign.
No bargaining for Titan, union
DES MOINES, Iowa-After bringing the longest strike in tire industry history to the brink of a settlement, things are quiet between Titan International Inc. and the United Steelworkers of America.
No bargaining sessions have been held since the first week of August, when both sides were close to a tentative contract agreement. However, a USWA spokesman said he expects talks to continue in the near future.
USWA Local 164's 670 members went on strike at Titan's Des Moines farm tire plant May 1, 1998. The factory has kept up production through the use of replacement workers.