Bandag phasing out Quebec plant
MUSCATINE, Iowa-Bandag Inc. plans to phase out production of tread rubber at its Shawinigan, Quebec, plant by the end of June.
After evaluating capacity and capabilities at its North American plants, Bandag concluded ending production at Shawinigan made sense because the facility has the lowest output of these plants. Shawinigan's production can be absorbed by Bandag's larger North American plants, the company said, resulting in an overall improvement in plant capacity utilization.
The retreading materials and equipment manufacturer said it ``remains fully committed to its Canadian dealers, fleet customers and the Canadian marketplace.''
Canadian dealers will continue to receive their tread products from distribution centers in either Rougemont, N.C., or Long Beach, Calif., Bandag said.
The shutdown will affect 51 Shawinigan employees. In addition to separation packages that include severance pay, the company said it will provide outplacement assistance to all affected employees.
TIA hires director of membership
BOWIE, Md.-The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has hired Megan Schwartzmeyer as director of membership, focusing on membership sales and services.
Ms. Schwartzmeyer joins TIA from the Washington, Maryland and Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (WMDA), where she served as director of membership for the past two and a half years. In that position, she was responsible for new membership recruitment, retention, programs and services.
Toyo names new marketing director
CYPRESS, Calif.-Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp. has named Steve Hutchinson senior director of marketing.
Mr. Hutchinson is a former marketing manager of light truck tires at Bridgestone/Firestone, where he worked for 10 years. He also spent six years as vice president of sales and marketing for Castrol Oil.
Mr. Hutchinson replaces Travis Roffler, who joined Continental Tire North America Inc. in March.
Nominations open for hall of fame
BOWIE, Md.-The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is accepting nominations for 2006 Hall of Fame inductees from April 30 to June 30.
The Hall of Fame is open to individuals in the tire industry, including manufacturers, inventors, publishers, equipment suppliers, tire dealers, tire and rubber recyclers and retreaders. The ``historical contributors'' category that was started last year also will be included this year. That category includes people who may be retired, deceased or now working in a different industry.
Inductees are chosen based on the following criteria: their contributions of new ideas, practices, and/or innovations that promoted the health and well being of the tire industry; their exemplary and distinguished service in the tire industry; and respect of their peers. Contributions in civic, cultural, educational or charitable endeavors will be considered but are not a primary consideration.
TIA also will accept nominations for the Friend of the Industry Award, which recognizes well-known individuals who are allies and supporters of the tire industry. Nomination forms are available at www.tireindustry.org.
Conti to raise prices up to 5%
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Continental Tire North America Inc. will increase prices up to 5 percent on all of its Continental, General and private brand passenger and light truck tires, effective July 1.
Conti said the increases are needed because of continuing increases in raw material costs, including for natural rubber.
The price hikes affect all replacement channels and will vary by market line and/or size.
MEMA: China auto growth slow
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.-Significant growth in China's automotive aftermarket is unlikely in the near future, according to an article in ``Market Analysis,'' the quarterly newsletter of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
While China's Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow more than 9.2 percent this year after 10-percent growth in 2005, vehicle registrations in China will total only 11.7 million by 2015, said Richard Anderson, MEMA senior market research analyst and author of the article. The ``mini car'' will lead whatever growth there is, Mr. Anderson said.
China's infrastructure, however, continues to grow, with some 2,500 miles of expressways being built every year. China has 21,000 miles of expressways, with another 18,000 miles planned, he said.