Two companies raise tire prices
AKRON-Two tire makers-Michelin North America Inc. and Continental Tire North America Inc.-are raising tire prices.
Michelin Americas Truck Tires is increasing prices by up to 3 percent on its commercial truck tires sold to the U.S. replacement market. The increase, which includes the Michelin and BFGoodrich tire brands, will take effect March 1, the company said.
Effective March 18, Conti will increase prices from 3 to 6 percent on all Continental and General branded passenger and light truck tires. The Charlotte, N.C.-based tire maker also will hike prices by an average of 3 percent on all its Conti and General branded commercial products, including truck and off-road tires.
Goodyear debuts `Good to Go'
AKRON-Goodyear has introduced ``Good to Go,'' a customer satisfaction and safety program, at all company-owned retail stores. The program will represent the procedure of releasing a vehicle upon completion of service work.
Under the program, vehicles' tires will be inflated to manufacturers' specifications before the vehicles are returned to their owners, Goodyear said. On any wheel removed, technicians will ensure lug nuts are hand-torqued to specifications. At that point the vehicle will be considered ``Good to go.''
For the program, retailers will receive posters, counter cards and bay banners.
The Good To Go process will be in place at all of the more than 700 Goodyear-owned stores, including Goodyear Auto Service Centers, Just Tires and El Campo Tires.
Conti nets Ford OE contracts
DETROIT-Continental A.G. has gained original equipment contracts with Ford Motor Co. to supply tires and complete braking and traction control systems for the 2003 Ford Expedition and Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle of Ford's Volvo Cars subsidiary.
For the Ford Expedition, Conti's Continental Teves business unit has been named the exclusive supplier for the complete brake system including calipers, rotors, booster, master cylinder, adjustable pedals, four-wheel antilock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution and optional traction control and AdvanceTrac stability enhancement system.
The Expedition also will feature Conti's ContiTrac SUV and TR tires in a collaboration between Ford and Conti engineers to reduce braking distances, Conti said.
For the Volvo XC90, Conti will supply tires as well as anti-lock brake systems with traction control and its Electronic Stability Program.
BFS to invest in Quebec plant
JOLIETTE, Quebec-Bridgestone/ Firestone Canada will invest $22.5 million in its Joliette passenger tire plant to purchase equipment to increase tire production lines and add technology.
The project is under way and set for completion by July, said a spokesman for the company, the Canadian subsidiary of Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Co.
The investment will be used to maintain and enhance quality standards and prepare for future needs of customers, BFS CEO John Lampe said, as well as for helping the firm increase its North American market share.
The Joliette plant, BFS' only factory in Canada, manufactures 19 types of tires for automobile, light truck and sport-utility vehicles.
Kumho to supply VW Polo tires
BIRMINGHAM, England-Volkswagen A.G. has awarded South Korea's Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. a contract to supply 200,000 tires a year for the new VW Polo compact.
The contract, Kumho's first in Europe, covers Kumho's Power Max 769 tire in size 185/60R14, Kumho said. The company singled out work done by its European Technical Centre near Birmingham as critical to meeting Volkswagen's exacting performance specifications for its latest small car.
Kumho already supplies VW with tires for the Mexican-built Beetle.
Marangoni signs 10th retreader
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-Marangoni Tread North America has signed a license agreement with its 10th franchisee, Looney's Tire Service of Little Rock, Ark., to use its Ringtread retreading system.
Looney's, a member of the Del-Nat Group, operates two outlets in Arkansas. The Ringtread plant will be located in its Little Rock, Ark., shop and will upgrade the existing precure system there with new builders and buffers, said Jim Looney, the dealership's owner and founder.
Looney's switch to Ringtread is in addition to its Hercules and Salisbury retread systems.