MRTI doubling Ga. tread rubber unit
COVINGTON, Ga.-Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. is doubling capacity for ``Pre-Mold'' precured tread rubber at its 5-year-old Covington tread rubber plant to meet increased demand.
The expansion will include adding capacity for new technologies, including co-extruded rubber and extra-wide treads for Michelin's X One wide single truck tires, said John Yarbro, facility manager.
Michelin did not disclose the cost of the project nor when it should be on stream. The firm spent $15 million in 1999 to build the 92,000-sq.-ft. structure.
China Enterprises reduces net loss
NEW YORK-Chinese tire maker China Enterprises Ltd. cut its net loss last year by nearly 60 percent as it reaped the benefits of divesting non-performing assets and businesses in 2002 and early 2003.
China Enterprises-whose holdings include Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber-cut its net loss last year to $13 million while sales rose 7.6 percent to $339.4 million based on rising demand for radial car tires, the firm said.
Among the firm's tire brands are ChaoYang, Westlake and Goodride.
Goodyear names farm tire manager
AKRON-Goodyear has named Jeff Vasichek general manager of farm tires.
Mr. Vasichek replaces Mark Pillow, who earlier was named general manager of national accounts for Goodyear's commercial tire business. Mr. Vasichek, who joined Goodyear in 1986, previously was a regional manager for the company's commercial tire systems.
Michelin buys stake in Gajah Tunggal
JAKARTA, Indonesia-Group Michelin has bought a 10-percent share of Indonesia's P.T. Gajah Tunggal Tbk., which in turn has agreed to make an undisclosed number of Michelin associated-brand passenger tires and to distribute selected Michelin and BFGoodrich car and light truck tires in Indonesia.
The agreement, signed May 12, will benefit both companies, representatives of the new partners said. Michelin paid $23.8 million for the 10-percent stake.
Gajah Tunggal, one of the largest tire makers in Southeast Asia with plants in Indonesia and China, expects the cooperation to strengthen its manufacturing base.
The manufacturing agreement calls for Gajah Tunggal to make a ``selected range'' of Michelin associated brands, including high speed-rated tires, at its plant near Jakarta for various markets served by Michelin.
The manufacturing deal includes some technical input related to the off-take production but excludes Michelin-brand tires.
Hankook to outfit Ford Mondeo
SEOUL, South Korea-Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. will supply its V-rated Ventus K105 ultra-high performance tire to Ford Motor Co.'s Mondeo mid-size sedan in Europe.
The three-year contract calls for about 140,000 tires, size 205/55R16, a year to be outfitted on the vehicle in Europe, Hankook said. The value of the contract is worth more than $24 million over three years.
With the addition of this contract, Hankook said it will supply 2.17 million tires, valued at about $40 million, this year to Ford worldwide. Overall, Hankook's OE business with international customers is more than $60 million annually.
The Mondeo, manufactured in Belgium, also has fitments by Pirelli, Michelin, Continental, Goodyear and Bridgestone. Ford sells more than 200,000 Mondeos a year.
Arnco to add 3-cent surcharge
SOUTH GATE, Calif.-Arnco will institute a raw material surcharge of 3 cents per pound for all flatproofing polymers to offset rising costs of oil and petrochemicals.
The surcharge takes effect July 1, the company said. South Gate-based Arnco supplies flatproofing products including polyurethane fill for tires used in construction, mining, ground support, material handling, roofing and lawn and garden industries.
The surcharge applies to all of the company's products.
``We know that the marketplace for tires and related services is very competitive, but we believe that our customers will understand that in the current economic conditions, price increases for petrochemical-related materials are completely justified and unavoidable,'' said Larry Carapellotti, president of Arnco.
Auto aftermarket grew 3% in 2003
BETHESDA, Md.-The U.S. motor vehicle aftermarket enjoyed sales of $244.6 billion in 2003, up 3 percent from the previous year, according to the 2004/2005 Aftermarket Factbook published by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).
The AAIA predicted market growth of 3.5 percent for 2004 and 2005. A recovering economy fueled an increase in aftermarket mergers and acquisitions, the Bethesda-based association said, with 48 reported in 2003-an increase of 9 percent over 2002.
The AAIA Factbook is available for $99 per copy (less for multiple copies) from www.aftermarket.org or by calling (301) 654-6664.
SEMA opens online registration
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.-Registration for the 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association show Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas officially opened, SEMA said.
Show registration is available online at www.semashow.com. Early registration online is $10 per person, an 80-percent discount from on-site registration, the Diamond Bar-based association said.
Early registration by fax or mail is $20. Registration must be completed by Oct. 22 in order to receive the discount and get badges in the mail.
Bridgestone forms retread venture
BRUSSELS, Belgium-Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. has joined forces with Italy's Marangoni Tread S.p.A. in a retread systems joint venture that will service all of Bridgestone's truck tire retreading activities in Europe.
The new firm, called Bridgestone Retread Systems N.V./S.A., will be the sole supplier and service provider to Bridgestone's Federated Retreader network, Bridgestone said.
The firm, which will have its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, will include Marangoni Tread's sister company Ellerbrock RT GmbH of Henstedt/Ulzburg, Germany, it added.
Bridgestone is majority owner of the venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Michelin licenses PAX to Toyo
OSAKA, Japan-Group Michelin has agreed to license its Pax run-flat tire/wheel system technology to Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., which will bring its Japanese sales and service network into the mix in anticipation of Japanese car makers' adopting the system in the near future.
Toyo, the world's 10th largest tire maker, becomes the fourth Pax licensee, after Goodyear, Pirelli S.p.A. and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. Michelin also is discussing a Pax license with South Korea's Hankook Tire Co. Inc., in which Michelin holds a 10-percent equity stake.
Under the deal, Toyo gains rights to produce and market Pax systems for passenger cars and light trucks in OE and replacement tire markets in Japan.
Toyo has been developing its own run-flat tire, based on a reinforced-sidewall system, but said ``the competitive superiority of the support-ring-type Pax System makes it a standard for future run-flat technology.''
Auto aftermarket likes reform bills
WASHINGTON-Representatives of the automotive aftermarket praised the House of Representatives for its passage of four bills designed to alleviate the burden of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules on small business.
The bills give small businesses leeway in the 15-day deadline for employers to appeal OSHA citations, and other breaks.
The bills, which all passed along party lines, were combined with a government paperwork-regulatory reform bill and sent to the Senate as a single bill, but prompt Senate consideration of the legislation is iffy, ASA said.
TB Humanitarian nominations due
AKRON-There's still time to nominate a derserving tire dealer or retreader for the the 2004 Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award.
Nominations are due July 31 and can be submitted by completing the nomination form on page 23 of this issue.
The award recipient will receive a $1,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice and will be recognized for his or her own civic or charitable efforts during the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas.
For more information, contact Tire Business at (330) 865-6121.