Cooper-Avon in tread venture
HILTON HEAD, S.C. - Cooper-Avon Tyres Ltd. has formed a joint venture in Istanbul, Turkey, with the Turkish firm Rekor Kaucuk A.S. to make tread rubber.
The Istanbul plant will supply retreaders throughout Europe and the Middle East, according to Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., parent of Cooper-Avon. The factory has an annual capacity of 10 million tons of tread rubber, said a Cooper executive attending the Clemson Tire Conference at Hilton Head March 20.
Fulda makes run-flats robotically
GENEVA, Switzerland-Goodyear has brought on stream a fully automated, robotic-based manufacturing system at its Fulda, Germany, plant dedicated to making run-flat tires.
The new process-Runflat System for Automated Manufacturing, or RFSAM-is described as ``highly automated, hands-off technology'' designed to help assure the quality and integrity of such tires.
Goodyear already is making its own ``EMT'' sidewall-reinforced run-flat tires at Fulda, and said the new system is capable of making the asymmetric-beaded tires for the PAX extended mobility system developed by Group Michelin.
Goodyear and Michelin agreed in June 2000 to cooperate on developing the PAX concept.
Goodyear intends to install RFSAM production cells at its Hanau, Germany, and Lawton, Okla., plants before year-end 2003.
Michelin tops in U.K. OE study
LONDON-For the fourth year, J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Michelin highest in its 2001 United Kingdom Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study.
Pirelli and Kumho tied for second in the study, with Pirelli showing strength in ride, tire design and traction/safety and Kumho scoring high for durability, low problem incidence and ride, Power said.
The U.K. OE study was based on the experiences and opinions of more than 3,000 U.K. motorists in their first year of new-car ownership. It monitors owner perceptions regarding tire quality, performance, brand image and service behaviors. It also identifies product durability as the most important contributing factor to OE tire satisfaction.
Michelin received the highest ratings for tire durability and also ranked as one of the top brands with the lowest problem incidence.
Following Michelin, Kumho and Pirelli in the rankings were Bridgestone, Dunlop and Goodyear. Bridgestone was the top brand for traction/safety, while Goodyear and Pirelli tied for the No. 1 spot in tire design.