Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has promoted to tire sales training positions two employees who will work closely with dealers.
The Findlay-based tire maker named Chad A. Britton manager, sales and marketing training. He is responsible for leading Cooper's efforts in dealer education as well as conducting dealer meetings and seminars in the U.S. He joined the company in 1999 as manager of sales training-the position he held until his recent appointment.
Scott B. Bishop has been promoted to sales training manager, responsible for developing and managing sales training programs and dealer meetings in North America. Mr. Bishop joined Cooper in 1994 as a vacation replacement supervisor. He was promoted to senior customer service coordinator two years later.
In 1999 he was named marketing assistant in the sales training department, followed by an appointment to territory manager for Ontario, Canada, in 2002.
Goodyear sells part of Sumitomo
AKRON-Looking for more financial flexibility, Goodyear has sold 20.8 million shares of its ownership stake in Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. for about $83.4 million, the Akron-based tire maker said.
Of those sold, Sumitomo bought 20.3 million shares. Goodyear acquired a 10-percent ownership stake in Sumitomo as part of their 1999 global alliance involving the Dunlop brand. With the sale of its shares, Goodyear now holds roughly a 1.5-percent stake in Sumitomo. Goodyear will take a non-cash charge of about $10 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter for the sale.
Goodyear plans to use most of the proceeds to reduce debt.
ATD expands Xpress program
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-To meet growing demand, American Tire Distributors Inc. is expanding its Xpress Performance distribution program and adding brands.
Xpress Performance is a business-to-business, high-performance tire, wheel and suspension parts delivery program. With the expansion, Charlotte-based ATD said Xpress Performance will offer 12 tire brands and more than 145 wheel styles.
``The market for ultra-high performance tires, wheels and accessories continues to grow and become a larger portion of the overall market,'' said Phil Marrett, senior vice president, sales and marketing for ATD.
The new wheel brands include one style of Mickey Thompson; four styles of Focal; eight styles of Arelli; and 32 Boyd Coddington wheel styles. Select performance tires from Mickey Thompson and Pirelli will be added to ATD's current stable of ultra-high performance products from Michelin, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear, Dunlop, Continental, Toyo, Falken and Nitto, the company said.
Del-Nat picks up Denman OTR line
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Del-Nat Tire Corp. will market Denman Tire Corp.'s Ground Hawg Mud tire as part of the dealer co-op's push toward offering heavy-duty off-the-road tires.
Dennis Cates, vice president of marketing at Memphis-based Del-Nat, said the Ground Hawg OTR specialty tire handles mud, snow, frozen tundra and rocky terrain. The line comes in a variety of sizes to fit large and light trucks.
``(It's for) people who really want to get serious about off-road,'' he said.
Del-Nat plans to announce other similar marketing alliances for heavy-duty OTR tires in the future, Mr. Cates said, noting, ``It's an emerging market.''
The new agreement is part of a long-standing relationship be-tween Del-Nat and Leavittsburg, Ohio-based Denman Tire, Mr. Cates said.
USWA extends BFS contract
ST. LOUIS-Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. and the United Steelworkers of America have agreed to a day-to-day extension of their three-year contracts, which expired April 23.
Either side can end the day-to-day agreement with five-day notification.
The union has a master agreement with the company covering workers at six Bridgestone/Firestone tire factories, plus two separate agreements for production employees at the company's Bloomington, Ill., and Warren County, Tenn., facilities.
The pacts cover about 6,000 workers. The USWA earlier reached similar extension agreements with Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc. regarding their unionized tire and rubber plants.
Goodyear in early April was designated as the USWA's target bargaining company for 2003 negotiations.