Conti expects '02 results to improve
HANOVER, Germany-Continental A.G. management expects a ``marked improvement'' in earnings this year over 2001 and a modest rise in sales, despite the uncertain economy, Chairman Manfred Wennemer told shareholders at the firm's May 29 annual meeting.
Mr. Wennemer based the forecast-earnings back on par with the fiscal 2000 performance-in part on a steady increase in business for Conti's automotive systems business unit and the firm's refocused tire production capabilities in lower cost plants in Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia.
Mr. Wennemer also pointed to improved first-quarter results: a 16.5-percent rise in pre-tax earnings to $132.9 million as sales grew 6.1 percent to $2.45 billion.
Francois Michelin retires at age 75
CLERMONT-FERRAND, France-Francois Michelin, a managing partner of Group Michelin since 1955, has retired from that position but will continue to serve the company his grandfather and great-uncle founded in other, undisclosed functions.
The retirement of Mr. Michelin at the mandatory retirement age of 75 became official at the May 17 annual shareholders meeting in Clermont-Ferrand.
Mr. Michelin's 39-year-old son Edouard is now the company's top executive and one of two managing partners, along with Rene Zingraff.
BFS considers new HQ site
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone is hunting for a new corporate headquarters to accommodate its sprawling operations that currently are scattered across four sites in Nashville.
Company officials have been meeting with Nashville officials to discuss a site, Christine Karbowiak, vice president of public affairs, confirmed.
``We are in the process of determining how we can consolidate all four of our buildings,'' she said. ``We're looking. Our strong preference is to stay in Nashville.''
However, she noted that the tire maker is looking at all options available to it, including those outside of Nashville. She said there is no timetable for a move as BFS owns two of the four locations.
60,500 Michelin workers buy shares
GREENVILLE, S.C. -Group Michelin has reported that from April 11-30 more than 63 percent of its employees chose to participate in the company's employee shareholding plan.
This percentage places Michelin ahead of other industrial companies in the launch of a first-time employee shareholding plan, the company said. The plan was offered to 100,000 employees in 16 countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.
In North America, 71 percent of U.S. employees and 62 percent of Canadian workers participated. In China, where a specific bonus plan was offered, 93 percent of employees participated, Michelin said.
Bauer Built settles harassment suit
ST. PAUL, Minn.-Bauer Built Inc. has settled for $193,000 an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit brought by a former employee who claimed racial harassment.
Albert Daniels, a black tire changer at Bauer Built's St. Paul operation, said he was harassed in July 1999 by a supervisor and co-workers who hung a noose in an office, then tried to slip it over his head. Mr. Daniels, then 39, left the company the following month and has since worked only odd jobs.
In addition to paying the money to Mr. Daniels, Bauer Built agreed not to tolerate or condone future acts of racial harassment; to provide racial harassment and discrimination training to its St. Paul employees; to keep records of all employee complaints of racial harassment; and to transmit these reports to the EEOC twice a year for the next three years.
Tire Warehouse plans for opening
CLINTON, Mass.-Tire Warehouse Central Inc. (TWC) is nearing completion of a 5,000-sq.-ft. warehouse-style tire and service outlet in Clinton and has plans for additional sites in Ludlow and North Adams, Mass.
The new store, which will employ three or four technicians, will open later this month and host its grand-opening celebration June 29. The Clinton location will be operated by Sandeep Sidhu.
With the Clinton store, Keene, N.H.-based TWC has 12 locations in Massachusetts and 40 overall in five mainly New England states.