RMA projects tread rubber growth
WASHINGTON-Growth in the tread rubber market will average 2.5 percent annually between 2002 and 2004, according to projections from the Rubber Manufacturers Association's Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee.
Declines in shipments in the first half of the year will be offset by gains in the second half, making tread rubber shipments in 2002 about even with 2001, the committee said. In 2002, tread rubber shipments will produce 16.4 million retreaded tires in the U.S., it added.
GM to buy Kumho, Hankook tires
SEOUL, South Korea-General Motors Corp. will source tires from both Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. and Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. in the coming years, the company said without disclosing details about the types of tires or size of the contracts.
The tires will be used on ``future programs'' in various regions, a GM spokeswoman said.
GM said it had signed deals recently to buy auto parts worth $107.5 million from 19 South Korean suppliers, including Hankook and Kumho. The deals reportedly were in line with agreements GM made when it agreed to invest in and help manage Daewoo Motor Co.'s passenger car operations earlier this year.
NHTSA probes Dunlop tires
WASHINGTON-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation into Dunlop Grandtrek TG35 tires, size P265/70R15, manufactured between 1995 and 1999.
The agency has received reports of three alleged incidents of tread separation among these tires when mounted on Nissan Pathfinders; two of these accidents, NHTSA said, resulted in rollover crashes which injured six people altogether.
Dunlop Grandtreks were original equipment on Nissan Pathfinders between 1996 and 1998, the agency quoted Dunlop's 2000 Original Equipment Tire Fitment Guide as saying.
Magazine readers rank Kumho No. 1
FONTANA, Calif.-Kumho tires were ranked No. 1 in a recent Grassroots Motorsports magazine reader survey. The survey, conducted every two years, asks readers what brand of tires they race on, as well as how many sets of tires they buy each year.
In the survey, 24 percent of Grassroots' readers said they use Kumho tires. In the 2000 survey Kumho ranked fourth, with 12 percent of readers saying they used Kumho tires.
Other brands mentioned by readers this year include: Yokohama (15 percent), BFGoodrich (11 percent), Hoosier (10 percent), Falken (8 percent), Pirelli (6 percent), Michelin (6 percent) and Bridgestone (4 percent). Eleven percent of Grassroots' readers said they buy three or more sets of tires each year, while 23 percent buy two sets and 67 percent buy one set each year.
Grassroots Motorsports, which bills itself as ``America's Sportscar Magazine,'' has a circulation of 75,000. The magazine focuses on amateur road racing, rallying and auto-crossing.
Dattilo elected RMA chairman
WASHINGTON-Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
He succeeds James M. Micali, chairman and president of Michelin North America Inc.
Concurrent with Mr. Dattilo's election, the RMA an-nounced that the term of office of the RMA board chairman has been extended to two years from one, to provide greater continuity of leadership.
BFS launches consumer site
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone has launched the first phase of a Web site targeted at consumers in the U.S. and Canada.
The site includes a tire selector to help consumers find tires based on vehicle fitment, size, brand, category or product name; product news and press information, including downloadable photo images; and a catalog of Bridgestone, Firestone, and Dayton branded merchandise.
A store locator feature helps find authorized retailers and specialty tire retailers, including maps and driving directions.