Tire prices going up in new year
AKRON-Four tire makers have announced price increases due to increased raw material costs.
Michelin North America Inc., Continental Tire Canada Inc. and Yokohama Tire Corp. all announced price increases effective Jan. 1. Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. will raise prices effective Feb. 1.
Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin will increase prices-including back orders-on agricultural tires sold in the U.S. and Canada by an average of 6 percent for the Michelin, Kleber and Taurus brands. BFGoodrich brand tire prices will be boosted by 3.5 percent. Prices on R4 radial tires sold in the U.S. will increase by an average of 5 percent across all compact line products.
Conti will raise prices up to 8 percent on Continental, General and associate brand passenger and light truck tires in the replacement market, and the increase will vary by marketing line and size.
Yokohama will raise prices by 3 to 5 percent on its off-the-road tires. The increase will apply to all OTR brands produced by Yokohama. Specific details and adjustments will be announced later, the firm said.
Kumho will raise passenger, light truck and commercial truck tire prices by up to 7 percent. The increases will vary depending on tire model.
Titan to offer $200M in notes
QUINCY, Ill.-Titan International Inc. plans to offer $200 million in five-year senior notes to primarily repay about $180 million of outstanding debt.
Titan said the offering's final amount will be subject to market and other conditions. Remaining funds will be used for general corporate purposes, the Quincy-based company said.
The notes will be senior unsecured obligations.
Hankook names president in U.S.
WAYNE, N.J.-Greg (H.Y.) Pae became president of Hankook Tire America Corp. Dec. 1.
Mr. Pae had served as executive vice president for Hankook's American regions for the past two years, the company said. He joined parent Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. in South Korea in 1986.
The company also named J.W. Choi president of Hankook's China Regional Headquarters. He previously had been president of the firm's North America Regional Headquarters.
Ex-Cooper chief tapped as director
MELROSE PARK, Ill.-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s former chairman and CEO Thomas Dattilo has been named a director for Alberto-Culver Co., a personal care products company.
Mr. Dattilo resigned from Cooper in August. He had joined the Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker in 1999 following 22 years with Dana Corp. He also is a director of Harris Corp., a communications and information technology company.
Cooper has not yet named a replacement for Mr. Dattilo. Director Byron Pond is serving as interim CEO.
Alberto-Culver announced Mr. Dattilo's appointment Dec. 7 along with two other new directors.
``We are delighted to have been able to add this strong new talent to our board, all of whom have exceptional operating backgrounds and bring to us insights and learnings in those areas most critical to our consumer products success,'' said Carol Lavin Bernick, executive chairman of the firm, in a statement.
Tire recycling rate reaches 87%
WASHINGTON-Some 87 percent of the nearly 300 million scrap tires generated in the U.S. in 2005 found some end-use market, according to ``Scrap Tire Markets in the United States,'' a new report from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
This compares with only an 11-percent recycling rate in 1990, the first year the RMA measured the scrap tire market.
Of the 259 million recycled tires in 2005, the majority, 155 million, went for tire-derived fuel, the association said.
Civil engineering was the second-biggest market with 49 million tires, followed by ground rubber applications with 38 million.
The number of stockpiled scrap tires, an estimated 1 billion in 1990, shrank to 188 million in 2005, with the largest piles concentrated in seven states-New York, Alabama, Texas, Connecticut, Michigan, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Seidel leaves Stamford Tires
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Jim Seidel and Stamford Tires & Wheels Inc. parted ways, effective Dec. 1.
Mr. Seidel, who joined the Charlotte-based distributor in September 2005, had been vice president and COO and was responsible for the company's North American sales and operations for its proprietary brands. Stamford Tires, a unit of Singapore's Stamford Tyres Corp. Ltd., said in a prepared statement that David Lau, regional sales manager based in Miami, will oversee sales and operations of the company's two distribution centers, in Miami and Charlotte.
The firm distributes its own Stamford Sport Wheels (SSW) alloy wheels and the Sumo family of tires, including the Akina ultra-high-performance line and Cougar radial truck/bus tires.
Before joining Stamford Tires, Mr. Seidel was Continental Tire North America Inc.'s director of dealer sales for passenger and light truck tire sales. The parties did not say why Mr. Seidel left.
New warehouse to serve Canada
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario-Continental Tire Canada Inc. has opened a distribution center in Mississauga to serve all parts of Canada.
The 100,000-sq.-ft. facility near Toronto is a ``major step'' for Canadian warehousing operations as services previously were handled from warehouses in the U.S., Conti said.
RMA sets Safety Week in April
WASHINGTON-The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has set April 22-28 as the dates for the sixth annual National Tire Safety Week, an event the RMA has sponsored in the U.S. since 2002.
An initiative of the RMA's ongoing ``Be Tire Smart-Play Your PART'' program, National Tire Safety Week spotlights the simple steps motorists should take to ensure the peak safety and performance of their tires, such as regular inflation and tread checks.
Tire and auto retailers, auto repair facilities and American Automobile Association (AAA) clubs across the U.S. participate in National Tire Safety Week. The number of outlets participating has grown every year since the event's inception, an RMA spokesman said, to about 15,000 outlets this year, up from 12,000 in 2005, 8,000-plus in 2004 and about 4,000 in 2003.
The Rubber Association of Canada, which sponsors National Tire Safety Week in Canada, has not yet set dates for 2007.
IMI hires director of marketing
HARRISBURG, Pa.-International Marketing Inc. (IMI) has named Brian Hodge to the new position of marketing director.
In the post, Mr. Hodge will develop new strategies for IMI's existing heavy-duty trucking product lines and help develop new products. He most recently served as director of marketing and communications at Technisource, an information technology services and staffing firm.
CARB gets earful from aftermarket
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.-Aftermarket groups including the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Automobile Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) are urging the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reconsider its proposal to extend the emissions warranty on a significant number of new vehicles.
The proposal would extend the warranty to 15 years or 150,000 miles from the current three years or 50,000 miles.
``Our members are very concerned that this regulatory proposal will increase the number of repairs removed from independent shops and sent to new car dealerships,'' ASA Past Chairman Denny Kahler said at a hearing on the warranty proposal Dec. 7 in Bakersfield .
Under the CARB plan, all auto makers with more than a 4-percent rate of warranty returns on any emissions-related component must either conduct a recall or offer a 15-year, 150,000-mile warranty on those parts.
``Under this proposal, every manufacturer will choose to extend the warranty, since recalls are very expensive,'' stated an AAIA position paper on the proposal. ``And, with a warranty, they can count on only a small percentage of the targeted vehicles ever obtaining the necessary repairs.''
In 1998, CARB already mandated the 15/150 emissions warranty on partial zero-emission vehicles and has ever since ignored the aftermarket's entreaties that such warranties only hurt independent repair shops without improving vehicle durability, the AAIA said.
BFS plans to invest in S.C. tire plant
GRANITEVILLE, S.C.-Bridgestone/Firestone plans to invest $33 million over four years at its Aiken County, S.C., tire plant near Graniteville in addition to a $17 million project announced earlier this year.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce said BFS will add new production equipment and retool existing equipment. In January BFS said it would invest $17 million to upgrade production at the 8-year-old passenger/light truck tire plant.
The new project brings the tire maker's total recent investment in Aiken County to $484 million, a BFS spokesman said. The plant produces about 25,000 units a day with 915 employees.
NHTSA seeks tire registration input
WASHINGTON-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public comments until Feb. 6 on requirements for the collection of tire registration information.
NHTSA is asking for comment on a number of questions regarding whether the current tire registration system should be extended to allow tire dealers the choice of electronic or paper registration.
In August 2003, NHTSA told the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) that electronic registration could supplement but not replace the registration cards required by law.
The Office of Management and Budget has asked NHTSA whether it wants to replace the current rule with electronic registration, and NHTSA wants to know if it can allow electronic registration to replace registration cards without rulemaking, an RMA spokesman said.
``We would love to see more electronic registration permitted, since paper-only registration has not been very effective,'' the spokesman said.