SmarTire posts loss in 2nd qtr.
RICHMOND, British Columbia-A traditionally slow time of year hit SmarTire Systems Inc. in its second quarter ending Jan. 31, with the company posting a net loss of $2.13 million.
Gross revenue for the quarter totaled $146,762, down from $192,665 for the same period in 2002. In the second quarter last year, the Richmond-based developer of tire pressure monitoring systems recorded a net loss of $2.10 million.
``Historically the second quarter is our most challenging, and this year was no exception,'' said Robert Rudman, president and CEO. ``However, since the end of the second quarter, our sales have increased substantially with actual and booked sales during this six-week period representing approximately 85 percent of total sales for this fiscal year.''
A spokeswoman said the second quarter traditionally is slower because retailers and distributors wait until the new year and spring to place their orders, slowing the months of November through January, which encompass SmarTire's second quarter.
Yokohama adding HP capacity
TOKYO-Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. will build a passenger tire facility at its Shinshiro Minami, Japan, plant to manufacture high-performance tires larger than 18 inches for passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles.
The expansion is part of Yokohama's Grand Design (GD-10) initiative announced in November to reinforce the tire maker's high-performance passenger car tire business.
Construction is expected to start this spring and be complete by 2005. The facility will feature a mill that will integrate mixing, forming, building and vulcanizing, Yokohama said.
To capture the increasing demand for high-performance tires, Yokohama said the plant will have an initial production capacity of 300,000 units annually. It expects that capacity to rise to 750,000 units eventually. The cost of the new facility will be $41 million.
Calif. judge sets Steeltex hearing
INDIO, Calif.-A judge in the Indio Superior Court has set April 24 for a hearing on Bridgestone/Firestone's motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit seeking a recall of 27.5 million Firestone Steeltex tires.
Joseph L. Lisoni, the lead attorney in the class action, claims to have documented more than 10,000 vehicle accidents attributable to defects in Steeltex tires. Mr. Lisoni and Bridgestone/Firestone gave different versions of the March 20 hearing at which Judge Christopher Sheldon presided. Mr. Lisoni said the judge ruled the case must proceed to trial on issues of strict liability and negligence, and that the April 24 hearing was to decide whether to dismiss charges of concealment and violation of two California statutes.
A Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman, however, said Judge Sheldon would decide whether to dismiss the entire case April 24.
Mr. Lisoni, meanwhile, petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November to reopen a defect investigation of Steeltex tires. The agency wrote Mr. Lisoni March 11, telling him it was still reviewing the information he had provided.
NHTSA rules on mislabeled tires
WASHINGTON-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has granted the petitions of inconsequential noncompliance of Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc.'s Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. unit for mislabeled tires.
The agency found the errors wouldn't affect the performance of the tires, and the tire makers will not have to initiate formal recalls to correct the problems.
Goodyear found that approximately 2,400 of 66,697 of its P275/55R20 Eagle LS and P275/70R16 Wrangler SRA tires manufactured between May 25 and June 16, 2002, were labeled as having polyester cord, when actually the cord was nylon.
Michelin said 11,262 Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP tires made in Woodburn, Ind., between the fifth and 48th weeks of 2000 were marked ``SIDEWALL 2 ply,'' instead of the correct ``SIDEWALL 1 ply.''
Goodyear said it tested the wrongly marked Eagles and Wranglers and found they met all federal standards; Michelin said only 3,796 of the Tiger Paws had been shipped, and the rest had been isolated in warehouses.
Look for reports in the April 14 issue of Tire Business from the show floor of the Tire Industry Association's World Tire Expo, March 26-29 in Louisville, Ky.
And a special Commercial Tire Report-including rankings of North America's top commercial tire dealerships, statistics and related stories-will be included in TB's April 28 issue. Don't miss it.