Toyo restructures in North America
CYPRESS, Calif.-Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has restructured its North American operations, creating Toyo Tires International (TTI) to oversee its holdings.
Carlos Kibata, former president of Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp., has been named president of TTI, overseeing Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp., Toyo Tire North America Inc. (TNA), Nitto Tire North America and Nitto Tire Mexico. In addition, Masaharu Yoshimoto, former president of Toyo Tyre & Rubber Australia Ltd., has been promoted to president and CEO of Toyo Tire (U.S.A.).
Toyo said its brand has undergone significant growth since the formation of Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) in 1966. In 2000 Nitto Tire North America was established, and Toyo broke ground in 2004 on a tire plant in Bartow County, Ga.
Hankook to supply tires for Saturn Ion
WAYNE, N.J.-General Motors Corp.'s Saturn division has approved South Korea's Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. as a supplier for its 2006 Ion four-door sedan and coupe.
Hankook will supply H725A tires in size P205/55R16H for an optional fitment. The tire is designed for enhanced fuel economy and high-speed performance, the company said.
This marks the first time in its 20-year history that Saturn has selected a tire maker other than Bridgestone/Firestone as an OE supplier.
With this contract, Hankook said its overseas OE business will rise to $100 million annually. In North America it supplies Ford Motor Co. for the F-150 pickup and the Econoline van.
The tire maker also is seeking contracts with DaimlerChrysler A.G., Toyota and Mercedes-Benz.
SBA supports assoc. health plans
WASHINGTON-Health insurance costs for small businesses are rising faster than for large ones, making the enactment of Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation a good idea, according to a new study on employee benefit costs from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Between 1997 and 2002, health insurance premiums rose 63 percent for businesses with fewer than 10 employees, the study found, while administrative costs of some benefits can be as much as 14 times higher for small businesses than for large corporations.
``Allowing small firms greater access to methods of pooling risks and administrative costs in both pension plans and health insurance may...encourage a wider offering of these benefits,'' the study said.
The House of Representatives passed an AHP bill earlier this summer, but the Senate has yet to schedule a vote on it.
Conti tire plant gets training grant
MOUNT VERNON, Ill.-Illinois has awarded an $800,000 work force training grant to Continental Tire North America Inc.'s Mount Vernon plant.
The grant will be used to upgrade the skills of Conti's 2,070 workers in a variety of areas, including fork-lift operation, workplace safety and computer software training.
It is part of the state's Employer Training Investment Program, which reimburses companies and organizations for up to 50 percent of the costs of employee training.
Michelin earns AARP recognition
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Michelin North America Inc. was named one of the 2005 Best Employers for Workers over 50 by AARP.
Michelin was the only tire maker in the list of 50 companies. AARP said more than one-third of Michelin's employees are ages 50 or above, and its benefits make the firm attractive.