Two tire makers raising prices
AKRON-Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc. are raising prices on tires, effective Sept. 1.
Citing the relentless rise in raw materials and transportation costs, Goodyear said it is raising tire prices by up to 8 percent.
The latest price hikes affect all brands of consumer and commercial tires the company produces. The Akron-based tire maker said passenger and light truck tire prices will rise between 5 and 8 percent, while those for commercial tires will increase up to 5 percent.
Goodyear most recently hiked the prices of its passenger and light truck lines-including Goodyear, Kelly, Dunlop, Republic and associate lines-up to 5 percent on June 1. Two weeks earlier, the tire maker also boosted prices of its commercial tires up to 6 percent.
Michelin is raising prices 5 percent for its motorcycle tires, scooter tires, tubes and accessories.
The price increases affect all replacement two wheel tires sold in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Additionally, all backorders will be repriced and shipped at the new price, Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin said.
ITDG to add liability coverage
JUNO BEACH, Fla.-Independent Tire Dealers Group (ITDG) L.L.C. is starting the process to offer general liability and garage keeper's liability to its workers' compensation coverage provided by its captive insurance company.
The insurance company, Independent Innovative Captive Insurance Co. Inc., was formed earlier this year and was rolled out initially to ITDG members. The company said in April that it hoped to add the general and garage keeper's liability, and medical insurance also is a future possibility.
``We started writing workers' comp coverage in April of this year and anticipate having premiums in excess of $3 million by year's end,'' said Michael Cox, ITDG's president and CEO. ``With the additional (general liability) and garage keeper's coverage, premiums could approach $10 million to $15 million in several years. We should be licensed to offer the new coverage by the end of the first quarter 2006.''
BFS praises CAFTA passage
WASHINGTON-President Bush signed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) after it passed the House of Representatives by a 217-215 vote.
The pact, which eliminates tariffs between the U.S. and six Central American countries, is hailed by business interests as a victory for free trade but has been blasted by unions and consumer groups as certain to erode U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Members of the United Steelworkers, which also organizes the nation's rubber workers, picketed the Nashville, Tenn., offices of Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., because of his pro-CAFTA vote. Meanwhile, Public Citizen announced the inauguration of a ``CAFTA Damage Report'' to determine what pro-CAFTA congressmembers received for their votes and the effects of the pact on their districts.
The only tire manufacturing facility in any nation included in CAFTA is Bridgestone/Firestone's plant in San Jose, Costa Rica. ``We supported passage of CAFTA and support the president on it,'' said Steven Akey, BFS vice president of government affairs.
A spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association said the RMA did not follow the issue.
Michelin opens refund process
INDIANAPOLIS-Fans who attended the U.S. Grand Prix in June in Indianapolis can start sending in paperwork to receive their refund from Michelin North America Inc., the tire maker said.
Ticket claim forms and instructions are available at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com and Michelin's Web site, www.michelin-us.com. The tire maker promised to refund ticket costs after the debacle June 19, when Michelin advised all of its teams to pull out because of safety concerns. Michelin also said it will provide 20,000 tickets to the 2006 U.S. Grand Prix (USGP) event to these fans, if one is held.
Reimbursing this year's fans will cost the company nearly $15 million, Group Michelin said in its half-year financial results.
Race fans who are USGP account holders will receive a refund automatically while fans who bought a race day ticket but didn't set up an account must mail their original ticket stubs for a refund. Stubbed ticket refund requests must be postmarked by Aug. 29. Refund checks are expected to be mailed between Sept. 19 and Sept. 26.
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