Fitch removes Goodyear watch
CHICAGO-Fitch Ratings has removed a ``ratings watch negative'' designation on Goodyear with the conclusion of labor negotiations, but it retains a negative rating outlook for the company.
The ratings watch, applied to Goodyear's B+ rating on senior secured debt and B for senior unsecured debt, was resolved without a rate change when the United Steelworkers of America recently approved a new three-year contract.
However, the Chicago-based rating company kept its negative long-term outlook because the labor contract is not a silver bullet for the Akron-based tire maker's turnaround, Fitch said.
In other news, Goodyear will release its third quarter results Oct. 23, followed by a conference call at 10 a.m. EDT. In the second quarter, the Akron-based tire maker posted a net loss of $73.6 million or 42 cents per share, the latest in a string of quarters in the red.
Goodyear is expected to post a loss of 16 cents per share for the third quarter, according to a Thomson First Call survey of six analysts. In 2002's third quarter, Goodyear reported net income of $33.7 million or 20 cents per share.
Canada begins tire campaign
TORONTO-About 70 percent of cars have at least one underinflated tire, according to a Canadian study that kicked off that country's consumer education campaign.
The Rubber Association of Canada and the Canadian government, which partnered to conduct the study, launched the campaign during a media event Oct. 8 in Toronto at a public tire clinic conducted by students from Centennial College. A similar program-``Be Tire Smart, Play Your PART''-was launched in the U.S. by the Rubber Manufacturers Association last year.
SEMA/ITE to be `biggest ever'
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.-The upcoming Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)/International Tire Expo (ITE) in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-7, is being billed as the biggest trade show yet for the groups.
The annual event will feature 1,707 exhibiting companies in 8,983 booths spread over a 2 million-sq.-ft. exhibit and vehicle display area, compared with last year's 1,557 companies and 7,700 booths, according to SEMA.
The association said the pre-registration fee for the show is $10 through its www.semashow.com Web site-which is 50 percent off the cost of registering by fax or regular mail. Deadline to register online, by fax or by mail is Friday, Oct. 24. After that date, SEMA said registration is $50 and must be done on-site in Las Vegas beginning Friday, Oct. 31.
Huntsville plant officially closing
AKRON-Goodyear will close its Goodyear Dunlop tire plant in Huntsville, Ala., by Dec. 5, affecting about 1,100 hourly and salaried workers at the facility.
The announcement comes in the wake of the Akron tire maker's recently concluded contract talks with the United Steelworkers of America, which had said the plant's closing would be one of the casualties of the new contract.
Goodyear said that, in the fourth quarter, it will record rationalization charges of about $155 million and an accelerated depreciation charge of $100 million in connection with the plant's closing. The company estimated the total cash payments to be about $85 million-with $65 million to be expended over the next three years.
The company said it anticipates annualized savings of approximately $100 million.
Tire explosion kills U.S. soldier
WASHINGTON-A U.S. Army sergeant was killed in Balad, Iraq, while changing a truck tire, according to the Department of Defense.
Sgt. Henry Ybarra III, 32, of Austin, Texas, died Sept. 11 when the tire on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck exploded. Mr. Ybarra died of his injuries.
Mr. Ybarra was assigned to the 6th Cavalry, D Troop. According to reports from the American-Statesman, he is survived by his wife, Lilian, and three children.
Former Conti exec joins Treadways
EAST NORRITON, Pa.-Chris Dickson, former vice president for the passenger and light truck business unit of North America for Continental Tire North America Inc., has joined Treadways Corp.'s TreadXpress.
At TreadXpress, Mr. Dickson will serve as southwest regional dealer development specialist. He will be based in the TreadXpress Houston distribution service center, and will report to Jim Hannon, TreadXpress vice president, sales and marketing.
Mr. Dickson had worked at Continental for about 30 years, serving in various positions. After leaving the tire maker, he launched his own company to provide merchandising and sales support to automotive retailers and suppliers.