Four tire makers are instituting price increases this summer-some as high as 5 percent-while others keep a watchful eye on the market.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plans to increase prices on all of its passenger and light truck tires by 2 to 4 percent, effective Aug. 1. The Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker had last increased its prices by 5 percent on Dec. 1.
Continental Tire North America Inc. also raised prices, effective July 1, according to a letter sent to dealers June 18. Prices on Continental and General brands sold to the U.S. replacement market will increase up to 5 percent, the company said. The specific increases depend on the tire line, though it affects passenger and light truck replacement tires.
Firestone Agricultural Tire Division is planning a price increase of 3 to 5 percent on all Firestone brand agricultural, industrial and forestry tires, effective Sept. 1. The increase-the second announced by Firestone in 2003-varies by product line, the division said.
Its parent, Bridgestone/Firestone, said it is not planning a price increase now, though it had raised prices from 4 to 5 percent on its Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and associate brand passenger and light truck tires on Jan. 1.
Michelin North America Inc.'s Uniroyal brand raised prices between 3 and 5 percent on July 1. The increases vary depending on tire line, though they apply to passenger and light truck replacement tires. A spokesman said the last time Uniroyal prices were raised was in 2001.
Many tire makers do not have increases planned but are evaluating their options.
Richard Pearl, vice president of sales and marketing at Sumitomo Corp. of America, said the tire maker is ``strongly considering'' price hikes in the next 90 days to offset rising container freight costs and unfavorable exchange rates.
Goodyear and Yokohama Tire Corp. have no immediate plans for increases. Hankook officials could not be reached for comment.
A Kumho Tire USA spokesman said the Fontana, Calif.-company has no plans to hike prices at this time, noting it last raised prices 3-5 percent in November on passenger and truck tires.