Michelin invests $165M in plants
LEXINGTON, S.C.-Michelin North America Inc. plans to invest $165 million over the next five to six years to expand three plants in South Carolina, including a 50-percent increase in earthmover tire capacity at its Lexington OTR tire plant.
Michelin said the $85 million expansion at Lexington will affect capacity for 57- to 63-inch radial earthmover tires for surface mining equipment, demand for which is growing rapidly.
``Demand for Michelin's radial earthmover tires is breaking every record,'' said Prashant Prabhu, head of Michelin Earthmover Tire worldwide. ``This expansion increases our capacity for large surface mining tires by almost 50 percent at Lexington and allows us to better serve our customers by adding new capacity as quickly as possible.''
A potential second phase could increase the plant's production even further over the next several years. This expansion will create about 70 new jobs by 2010.
The rest of the investment will go to upgrade equipment and expand capacity at rubber materials plants in Starr and Sandy Springs, S.C. The investment will double compounding capacity at the 4-year-old, 25,000-sq.-ft. Starr plant, Michelin said, and create about 25 new jobs.
Goodyear raises tire prices 6%
AKRON-Goodyear will raise prices up to 6 percent on all brands of its consumer, commercial and off-the-road tires, effective Jan. 1.
Goodyear said rising costs for raw materials, energy and transportation necessitated the increase.
The price hike is the fourth announced price increase in the past 12 months for Goodyear, which instituted increases of 5-8 percent on consumer, commercial and OTR tires in September; up to 5 percent on consumer tires in June; and up to 4 percent on consumer and up to 6 percent on commercial tires in February.
TIA names Fiore to additional post
BOWIE, Md.-Paul Fiore, director of business development at the Tire Industry Association (TIA) since 2003, has been named to the new position of director of government and business relations.
Besides retaining his overall responsibility for TIA's membership programs and services, Mr. Fiore also assumes the duties vacated by Becky MacDicken, who had served as director of government affairs before leaving the association Dec. 2. Mr. Fiore has a history of more than 25 years in the automotive repair industry, including owning his own repair facility and serving as president of a regional trade association, TIA said.
Cooper-Avon dropping `Avon'
MELKSHAM, England-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Cooper-Avon Tyres Ltd. subsidiary is dropping ``Avon'' from its name, effective Jan. 1.
The Melksham-based company, which Cooper bought from Avon Rubber P.L.C. in 1997, will trade under the name Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Europe Ltd. and use the new Cooper corporate logo.
The name change comes shortly after Cooper revamped its corporate image, signaling an evolution of the Cooper brand and the company as it develops its global presence.
``We are operating increasingly in a global market, and we need to reflect this with the name and branding in our operations throughout Europe,'' said Ron Shield, vice president of European operations.
Cooper and Avon brand tires are made at the Melksham plant as well as in North America and Asia. They are distributed in Europe through affiliate distribution companies in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and by independent distributors across the continent.
Tire Rack, based in South Bend, Ind., distributes Avon-brand tires in North America.
Kumho moves headquarters
FONTANA, Calif.-Kumho Tire USA Inc. began operating in its new U.S. headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., on Dec. 12.
Kumho announced its intention to move its headquarters this spring. The tire maker had said it outgrew its space in Fontana.
The new headquarters is 830,300 square feet, more than three times the size of the former headquarters.
``The new facility will meet the operational needs of Kumho's growing warehousing and distribution operations and will also address the concerns of having a facility that presents the right image for our U.S. headquarters,'' said David Hudrlik, vice president and director of sales for Kumho.
The new address is: 10299 6th St., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 91730.