Yokohama to promo tires with baseball
FULLERTON, Calif.-Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) will host dealer and consumer events this year around its new sponsorship of two minor league baseball teams.
Yokohama is the official tire of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in Columbus, Ohio, and the Double-A Reading Phillies in Reading, Pa., YTC said recently.
Each team will offer different promotions, Yokohama said, such as in-store ticket giveaways, in-stadium contests like tire races, a pool party, family night specials and others. Yokohama also will have signage on the fields and a presence on the teams' Web sites and local radio broadcasts of games.
``The baseball sponsorships and promotions are designed to drive traffic to local dealers to enable them to sell more Yokohama tires,'' said Dan King, director of sales, consumer products for Yokohama.
OEConnection launches RepairLink
RICHFIELD, Ohio-OEConnection L.L.C., an e-commerce automotive parts procurement service dedicated primarily to new car dealers, has launched its latest Internet-based application, RepairLink, intended for fleets and automotive repair shops.
OEConnection is a joint venture created by DaimlerChrysler Group, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. (GM) and Snap-on Business Solutions.
The company said it developed RepairLink so vehicle dealerships can receive online orders from both fleets and repair shops.
GM, it added, collaborated with OEConnection during the application's development and is deploying RepairLink through all of its regions focusing on wholesale parts dealers that service key fleet accounts.
OEConnection said once a fleet or repair installer establishes a RepairLink buy-sell relationship with an auto dealership, parts orders can be processed in less than a minute.
The company, which also handles tires, said it serves more than 15,000 car dealerships, collision repairers, fleets and repair shops, and procures an estimated $8 billion in annual parts trade.
Insurance group adopts Zurich
SCHAUMBURG, Ill.-Universal Underwriters Group has adopted the Zurich brand name in a further step of its ongoing integration with Zurich North America Commercial (ZNAC).
Universal Underwriters, one of the nation's largest and oldest insurers of automotive aftermarket businesses, recently began branding itself as Zurich in collateral, advertisements and day-to-day contacts. The change in brand name will enhance already strong customer relationships by ``giving customers access to a greater depth of capabilities and resources,'' according to Bob Tschippert, senior vice president of Universal's automotive specialty markets.
Universal Underwriters said it will continue to evaluate its business practices to deliver more relevant and secure solutions to meet customers' needs.
Zurich Financial Services Group is an insurance-based financial services provider with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. It operates a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and other markets.
Falken relocates headquarters
FONTANA, Calif.-Falken Tire Corp. has moved to a new headquarters in Fontana.
Falken, which moved to the 337,000-sq.-ft. headquarters and warehouse in January, held a grand opening there in mid-March.
Falken said it had outgrown its previous headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The new facility-at 13649 Valley Blvd., Fontana, Calif. 92335-includes 22,000 square feet of office space and 54 truck docks.
Michelin seeking $2 billion in savings
CLERMONT-FERRAND, France-Group Michelin is looking to cut $2 billion to $2.2 billion in costs through fiscal 2010 in order to reach its goal of exceeding a 10-percent operating margin and growing more than 3.5 percent annually.
Michelin said it is targeting savings of $650 million to $715 million in raw materials purchasing, $910 million to $1 billion in industrial costs, and $390 million to $455 million in logistics, R&D and sales/administration costs under its Horizon 2010 plan.
Other goals of Horizon 2010 are: reducing inventory below 16 percent of net sales; increasing return on capital employed to more than 10 percent; and generating significant positive free cash flow. Underscoring its drive for growth, Michelin said it is budgeting $650 million in capital expenditures a year through 2010 in the emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.
Reducing raw materials costs will involve a ``value-to-cost'' approach, Michelin said, while cutting industrial costs will require efforts in several areas, including adoption of best practices, productivity improvements, reducing operating expenses-in areas such as energy and fluids-and streamlining industrial processes.
Reducing administration costs will involve streamlining the organization, cutting time to market and optimizing the supply chain, the company said.