Two companies hiking tire prices
AKRON-Goodyear will raise prices on its Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly radial medium truck tires in North America by up to 5 percent, effective Aug. 1.
Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin North America Inc. said it will raise prices on its passenger and light truck replacement tires in the U.S. by 3 percent, effective Oct. 2.
Both tire makers cited continuing increases in raw material, energy and transportation costs for the price hikes.
Goodyear also raised retread product prices by up to 5 percent in North America on July 1.
Kumho recalls 78,000 LT tires
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.-Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. voluntarily is recalling about 78,000 Venture HT and AT light truck tires in the U.S. and Canada because of a blister on the sidewall, which may exist in certain load range E tires.
Kumho said the blister may produce a noticeable tire vibration. The condition eventually may lead to air pressure loss and potentially a vehicle crash, the company said. To date, Kumho said there have been no reported tire failures, accidents or injuries.
Recalled tires will be replaced at no cost to consumers through Kumho tire dealers in the U.S. and Canada, the company said.
The recalled tires have DOT codes that begin with ``DOT 4T'' and end with four numbers that represent the week and year the tire was manufactured. Under the Kumho Venture HT 824, the recall affects the following sizes, all in load range E:
* Size LT215/85R16 115/112Q, manufacture date 1105-4805;
* Size LT225/75R16 115/112Q, manufacture date 1605-4605;
* Size LT235/85R16 120/116Q, manufacture date 1105-5105; and
* Size LT245/75R16 120/116Q, manufacture date 1105-5105.
Under the Kumho Venture AT KL78, the following sizes, also load range E, are affected:
* Size LT215/85R16 115/112Q, manufacture date 0305-4605;
* Size LT225/75R16 115/112Q, manufacture date 0305-4305;
* Size LT235/85R16 120/116Q, manufacture date 0305-4605;
* Size LT245/75R16 120/116Q, manufacture date 0305-4205; and
* Size LT265/75R16 123/120Q, manufacture date 0305-4605.
For more information, call Kumho at (800) 445-8646, ext. 342, 348 or 338.
GPX International names Lucas CFO
MALDEN, Mass.-GPX International Tire Corp. has named Jeffrey Lucas its chief financial officer.
In the post, Mr. Lucas will lead the firm's finance function, including investor relations, financial control, accounting, treasury, tax, risk management, mergers and acquisitions and internal audit.
He most recently was CFO of DS Waters of America, a consumer products company in Atlanta, and also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and other firms.
GPX was formed last year through the merger of Galaxy Tire & Wheel and Dynamic Tire Corp.
NHTSA inquiry on Cooper tires
FINDLAY, Ohio-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an inquiry into 101,600 Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Dominator Sport A/T tires-a move Cooper noted was preliminary and involved a small number of its tires.
The inquiry involves size LT365/75R16 from the 2003-2005 model years, a NHTSA spokesman said. ``(The inquiry) doesn't imply anything, it just means there's enough evidence there for us to want to take a closer look at this particular model,'' he told Tire Business.
Pat Brown, vice president of global branding and communications for Cooper, said there were no reports of injuries or fatalities from the tire in question, only a property damage claim.
``We do not believe that further evaluation of our data will result in an official NHTSA investigation,'' Cooper said in a statement.
Pep Boys' CEO Stevenson resigns
PHILADELPHIA-Larry Stevenson, CEO and director of Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack, resigned after three and a half years at the helm of the automotive service chain.
Non-executive Chairman Bill Leonard was named interim CEO, effective immediately, the company said. He has been a board member since 2002 and its chairman since February. The board appointed a special committee to conduct a search among internal and external candidates for a permanent CEO.
The Philadelphia-based firm has been working on improving its retail business recently. Although it reported another net loss in the first quarter, management had pointed to some improvements in the results.
In the first quarter, the company reported a net loss of $922,000, an improvement over the prior year period's net loss of $2.47 million.
Net sales in the quarter fell 1.3 percent to $555.9 million as comparable store sales fell 0.9 percent. Comparable retail sales, which include do-it-yourself and commercial sales, fell 3 percent in the quarter, but comparable service center sales rose 2.2 percent.
Prior to joining Pep Boys, Mr. Leonard had served as president and CEO of Aramark Corp.
Pep Boys operates 593 stores with more than 6,000 service bays in 36 states and Puerto Rico.
Kumho names Oh to new post
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.-Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. has named Kelvin Oh sales coordinator, general manager.
In the post, Mr. Oh will be responsible for coordinating long-term strategy and sales plans for Kumho in the U.S. as well as communicating market information to parent company Kumho Tire Co. Inc. in South Korea.
Mr. Oh joined Kumho in 1991 as an assistant manager in the overseas sales division. He also served as regional manager for Kumho Tire Canada and as purchasing and operations manager in the U.S. He most recently was North America sales team leader for Kumho in Seoul.
CARE blasts R.I. auto parts bill
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) and its Rhode Island supporters are angry over a bill signed by Gov. Donald Carcieri that, among other things, mandates that consumers must sign and authorize their acceptance of aftermarket parts on vehicles less than 30 months old.
More than 400 small business operators and motorists called on Gov. Carcieri to veto the bill. According to CARE, the bill violates the federal Magnuson-Moss Act, which forbids tying vehicle repairs to warranties.
``Laws such as (this) plant the seeds of doubt in consumers' minds as to the quality of aftermarket parts,'' said CARE Executive Director Sandy Bass-Cors, adding that Rhode Island's Department of Business Regulation also opposed the bill.
Rhode Island is the first state to have such a law on its books, and CARE plans to work toward getting the bill repealed, she said.