RMA sees more tread rubber use
WASHINGTON-Tread rubber shipments to the retreading industry showed strength during the second half of 2001 and should increase over the next two years, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
The RMA's Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee's forecast that tread rubber shipments would end 2001 about 5.1 percent below 2000 levels. However, a correction in tire inventories during the year's second half combined with anticipated improved economic conditions in 2002 and 2003 should result in 2-percent annual growth in both years, the committee said.
More than 20 million retreaded tires were sold in the U.S. during 2001, with sales topping $1.5 billion, the committee estimated.
Michelin brothers tapped for honor
LONDON-Automotive News Europe has named Group Michelin founders Andre and Edouard Michelin to its European Automotive Hall of Fame.
The Michelin brothers along with Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford, Italian designer Battista Pininfarina and Nikolaus Otto, the inventor of the first practical four-stroke, high-compression gasoline engine, were selected for induction in the Class of 2002.
Automotive News Europe-published by Tire Business owner Crain Communications Inc.-established the Hall of Fame in 2000, when it inducted 13 members.
It honors technical, managerial and entrepreneurial achievements in the auto industry. Inductees will be honored during the annual Geneva motor show in March; there is a permanent Hall of Fame exhibit at Geneva's Palexpo exhibition center.
Automotive News Europe cited the Michelin brothers' resolve in building a rural rubber and agricultural goods company founded by their grandfather into a firm that would become a global automotive empire. The brothers were involved in the company from 1886 to their deaths in 1931 and 1940, respectively.
Titan faces hearing over takeover try
PITTSBURGH-The Pennsylvania Securities Commission has ordered a Jan. 14 hearing on a complaint that tire and wheel maker Titan International broke state law when it attempted to gain control of specialty tire maker Polymer Enterprises Inc. in 1998 and 1999.
The Pittsburgh hearing will look into allegations made by Greensburg, Pa.-based Polymer that Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan CEO and president, violated Pennsylvania's Takeover Disclosure Act by contacting and misleading company stockholders in attempts to buy shares from them.
Titan purchased shares in Polymer in 1998 from Harry C. McCreary, former CEO of McCreary Tire & Rubber Co., the predecessor of Indiana, Pa.-based Specialty Tires of America Inc. Polymer is Specialty Tires' parent company.
After Quincy, Ill.-based Titan purchased the shares, Mr. Taylor contacted other stockholders, offering to buy their shares at the same price. Polymer claims Mr. Taylor misled those he contacted about the financial stability of and his holdings in the firm.
Siemens gets monitor orders
MUNICH-Siemens VDO Automotive A.G. has won orders with four auto makers worth more than $350 million for its Tire Guard tire pressure monitoring system.
The company did not identify the customers, but said they are based in Europe, Japan and the U.S., and that the first cars so equipped will be launched next year.
The orders cover passenger car platforms being launched in 2003 and 2004 and have an average life of four years, Siemens said. Siemens is seeking a major share of the tire pressure monitoring systems market, which it estimates will exceed 25 million systems a year by 2005.
Demand is driven by legislation in the U.S. requiring new vehicles be equipped with the safety systems beginning in 2003, it noted. In September 2001, Siemens entered an alliance with Goodyear to jointly develop and market next-generation tire pressure monitoring systems.
Crain relocates HQ in Detroit
DETROIT-Crain Communications Inc., publisher of Tire Business, has moved its Detroit headquarters to a new location in the Motor City.
The address of the new corporate headquarters, in Detroit's Brewery Park Phase II, is 1155 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48207-2997. The main telephone number there is (313) 446-6000.