Tread rubber shipments fall
WASHINGTON-Though shipments of tread rubber fell 3 percent in the first half of 2002, growth in the second half of the year somewhat offset that decline, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) said.
Still, shipments of tread rubber ended 2002 down less than 1 percent from 2001, the RMA said. But the growth that began in the second half of 2002 is expected to continue through 2004.
Shipments in 2002 resulted in 16.3 million retreaded tires being produced in the U.S., and that number is expected to increase at an average rate of 2.1 percent annually through 2004, the RMA said.
Hankook enters U.S. racing
WAYNE, N.J.-Hankook Tire America Corp. has entered the U.S. road-racing arena with its selection as the spec tire for the Sports Car Club of America's Mazda Miata North American Cup Series.
While Hankook's parent company, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. in South Korea, has been involved in motorsports for years in Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe, this is the first racing venture for the U.S.-based unit.
Based in Wayne, Hankook will provide the new Ventus Z211 r-compound racing tires to all competitors in the series' races. Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing Ltd., the series features identically prepared Mazda Miatas.
Michelin included in S&P CreditWatch
PARIS-Standard & Poor's Rating Services put 10 European companies-including Group Michelin-on CreditWatch after reviewing unfunded post-retirement liabilities at the companies.
Standard & Poor's said its analysis was based on estimates of the value of equity assets in each company's pension fund at year-end 2002. The idea, an analyst said in a statement, is that the post-retirement liabilities are debt-like in nature, especially considering the continuing rise in health care costs and a weakened global economic environment.
Standard & Poor's listed Michelin's rating at BBB+. Michelin acknowledged the rating but asserted the decision reflects a change in S&P's methodology.
TIA begins truck tire training tour
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is holding back-to-back, one-day training and certification seminars for commercial tire technicians.
The classroom-only sessions began Feb. 4 in Akron and will run through April 11, ending in Sacramento, Calif. Techs who complete the sessions and pass the exam will receive 13 certified technician uniform emblems, a certificate and a two-year subscription to TIA's commercial publication.
Advanced registration of $250 is required for those needing a copy of the TIA Commercial Tire Service manual. Cost is $175 for those who own the manual. To register, visit TIA's Web site, www.tireindustry.org or contact TIA at (800) 426-8835.
TB promotes Miles Moore
AKRON-Tire Business editorial staff member Miles Moore has been promoted to Senior Washington reporter.
Mr. Moore has spent the past 23 years covering tire industry news from the nation's capital for Tire Business and its sister publication, Rubber & Plastics News. He reports on federal regulatory affairs, congressional action, the White House and Supreme Court activities.
Mr. Moore has been on the Tire Business staff since its founding in 1983.