Four tire makers hiking prices
AKRONFour tire makers/marketers have announced tire price increases due to rising raw materials, energy and transportation costs, effective Jan. 1.
Diamond Bar, Calif.-based Nexen Tire America Inc. said it will increase prices 8 percent on its products made in South Korea.
The company also said its parent, Nexen Tire Corp., recently transferred the molds for its SM702 passenger tires to a plant in South Korea from its plant in China. The tires come in the following sizes, according to Nexen's Web site: 165/70R13; 175/70R13; 175/70R14; 185/70R13; 185/70R14; 195/70R14; 205/70R14; 205/70R15; 215/70R15; 225/70R16; P205/70R15; and P215/70R15.
All back orders will not be affected by the price hikes, Nexen said, while all factory-direct container orders submitted for January production will be affected.
Continental Tire North America Inc. is raising prices up to 5 percent on all Continental, General and proprietary brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S.
The price increase will vary by market line and/or tire size and is due to increasing costs, Conti said.
Bridgestone Americas will raise prices by up to 5 percent on certain Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand passenger and light truck tires for both the OE and replacement markets.
Yokohama Tire Corp. also is hiking prices on all of its consumer tires by up to 6 percent. The price hikes affect all passenger, performance and light truck tires, and the company said there will be some in-line adjustments.
Yokohama's OTR and commercial tires will not be affected at this time. The tire maker's last price increase was July 1, 2008.
ATD income down on higher costs
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc. (ATD) reported lower net income in the quarter and nine months ended Oct. 3 on higher operating costs, while sales increased due to the first-time inclusion of revenue from its Am-Pac Tire Distributors Inc. acquisition.
ATD's net income of $5.3 million for the quarter was a drop of 18.7 percent from the 2008 period. The wholesaler attributed the decline mostly to higher selling, general and administrative expenses related to the acquisition of Am-Pac.
Sales in the quarter increased 9.5 percent to $549.5 million, with $63.4 million in Am-Pac-derived revenue offset slightly by lower tire, wheel and equipment sales in the existing ATD network, the company said in its third quarter 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For the nine months, net income plummetted 77.8 percent to $2.34 million on 8.4-percent higher sales of $1.65 billion. The sales increase resulted from both the added Am-Pac revenue ($215.6 million) and higher selling prices ($41 million), offset by lower comparable tire, wheel and equipment sales ($129.5 million), ATD said.
During the quarter, Huntersville-based ATD completed divesting the retail businesses acquired in the Am-Pac purchase, selling 10 retail outlets and closing one. ATD reported a net gain of about $1 million on the divestiture.
N.Y. cleans up millions of tires
ALBANY, N.Y.New York has cleaned up more than 26.5 million scrap tires in the past five years and is on track to clean up the remaining 7.5 million by year-end 2010, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Of 17 major tire dumps that existed in New York in 2004, 12 no longer exist, the DEC said, including the two largest: the Fortino site in Oswego County (11.4 million tires) and the Mohawk Tire Storage Facility site in Waterford, Saratoga County (5 million tires).
So far, 102 dump sites have been completely remediated, the DEC said.
The largest dump site remaining to be cleaned up is the New York Tire site in Suffolk County (2 million tires), according to the agency. Other large sites yet to be addressed are the Thomas Price site in Madison County, with 1 million tires; the Mahopac site in Putnam County, 750,000 tires; the Fortino 2 site in Onondaga County, 550,000 tires; and the Almag site in Rensselaer County, 550,000 tires.
New York launched a Waste Tire Stockpile Abatement Plan in the fall of 2004, around the same time it instituted a recycling fee of $2.50 on every new tire sold in the state.
The agency did not say what the state has spent to achieve the cleanup.
Cheng Shin to build Taiwan plant
TAIPEI, TaiwanCheng Shin Rubber Industry Co. Ltd. is budgeting more than $370 million for a tire factory to be built in western Taiwan in the coming two years.
The company also is budgeting $300 million to invest in its plants in China, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan, the company confirmed recently.
The plant, to be built in Chang-Hwa County on Taiwan's west coast, will be Cheng Shin's second tire factory in its home country.
Cheng Shinwhich goes to market in most countries as Maxxis Internationaldeclined to release additional details, saying the projects are still in the planning stage. Asian media reported the plant would make both passenger and truck tires.
With 2008 sales of $2.54 billion, Cheng Shin/Maxxis is considered the world's 11th largest tire maker, according to data published in Tire Business' Global Tire Report.
Cheng Shin/Maxxis operates seven tire plants, including four in China, where earlier this year it took full control of joint venture factories in Kunshan and Xiamen it had operated for 12 and seven years, respectively, with Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.
Pirelli leaving Grand-Am series
ROME, Ga.Pirelli Tire North America Inc. will withdraw as the race tire supplier for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series after the 2010 racing season in order to redeploy its resources toward a wider range of motorsports venues.
Pirelli's North American motorsport operations will reinforce our national network of motorsport tire distribution while accessing a greater breadth of the race tire market, said Tom Gravalos, vice president of motorsports, marketing and original equipment sales, without disclosing specifics of the firm's new direction.
Pirelli began supplying Grand-Am with P Zero Racing Slick and P Zero Racing Rain tires in the 2008 season. The three-year agreement expires at the end of the 2010 season.
Pirelli did not say what it has invested in the supply contract, but a price list on the firm's Web site shows competitors were charged $385 to $521 per tire, depending on size, this past season.
At the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, Pirelli launched the P-Zero Trofeo, a DOT-approved track tire offering enhanced grip for competition with a tread pattern derived partially from asphalt rally applications. The tire's asymmetrical tread offers sufficient wet grip to allow users to drive to and from the track, performance characteristics designed to appeal to the grassroots racing crowd.
Toyota recalls pickups over rust
WASHINGTONToyota Motor Corp. is recalling 110,000 Toyota Tundra pickups for the 2000 to 2003 model years after reports that rusted frames in cold weather may cause spare tires under the truck bed to break loose and fall onto the road.
Corrosion of the rear cross-member, which supports the spare tire, also eventually may affect the rear brake line and lengthen vehicle stopping distances, increasing the risk of a crash, Toyota said Nov. 24 in a statement.
The auto maker will contact owners of vehicles in 20 cold-weather states that have high road salt useincluding New York, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvaniaaccording to the company.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received about 300 complaints, including reports of three injuries, but no deaths.
NHTSA urged owners of the recalled Tundras to remove the spare tires before bringing the vehicles to a car dealership for repair.
Healthcare bill concerns groups
WASHINGTONThe Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) are among many business groups protesting the public plan and pay or play employer mandate portions of the massive healthcare package, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives Nov. 7 and is now being debated and amended in the U.S. Senate.
While MEMA and its members acknowledge the need for systemic healthcare reform to help drive down costs, said Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO, passage of the House bill posed several dangers to the employer-based system of health care coverage.
A public plan would unfairly shift costs to the private sector, and an employer mandate would only force some employers to drop employee health coverage altogether, Mr. McKenna contended. Further, mandated minimum benefits will not allow employers the flexibility to best meet the needs of their employees, he said.
As the health bill makes its way through the Senate, both MEMA and NFIB have pages on their Web sites urging members to write to their senators in opposition to a public plan and employer mandates.
The NFIB said it opposes the Senate bill due to the amount of new taxes, the creation of new mandates and the establishment of new entitlement programs. There is no doubt all these burdens will be paid for on the backs of small business. It noted that the costs to small business more than outweigh the benefits they may have realized.
Amerityre cuts loss, raises sales
BOULDER CITY, Nev.Polyurethane tire developer Amerityre Corp. cut its net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 30 by nearly 75 percent on 33.6-percent higher sales.
Amerityre attributed the improvement in the net lossto $280,056to the combined effects of higher sales and lower operating costs. Sales rose to $1.14 million on the strength of improved foam product revenues.
The net loss was the smallest and the sales the second highest in the firm's 15-year history. Nonetheless, it marked Amerityre's 59th consecutive quarter of net losses, pushing the company's cumulative loss to $58.8 million on sales of about $18 million.
Tire Safety Week set for June 6-12
WASHINGTONThe Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) will sponsor its ninth annual National Tire Safety Week June 6-12, 2010, the association has announced.
An integral part of the RMA's Be Tire SmartPlay Your PART program, National Tire Safety Week is a collaborative effort between tire manufacturers and tire dealers across the U.S. to educate motorists about proper tire care and maintenance.
Last year as in previous years, the RMA provided tire dealers, auto dealers and automotive repair shops with free Be Tire Smart brochures and other materials. Many retailers also used advertising, promotions, free tire pressure checks and continuing media outreach to promote the event.
More than 21,000 retailers participated in the event in 2009, according to the RMA. Also this year, the association released a survey of more than 5,400 vehicles. It showed that half of the vehicles had at least one underinflated tire, and nearly 20 percent had at least one tire underinflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi) or more.
For more information on National Tire Safety Week, visit www.betiresmart.org.
ITDG adds Miss. dealership to rolls
TEQUESTA, Fla.Independent Tire Dealers Group L.L.C. (ITDG) has added Big 10 Tire & Accessories of Jackson, Miss., to its membership.
Big 10 operates five locations in Mississippi and Louisiana and is not part of Mobile, Ala.-based Big 10 Tire Stores Inc.
ITDG, a dealer buying/marketing group, now has 115 members representing 300-plus tire and service centers in 23 states.
RMA: 11% drive on a bald tire
WASHINGTONA new survey commissioned by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) shows more than 11 percent of U.S. motorists are driving on at least one bald tire.
In this bad economy, drivers may be delaying necessary vehicle maintenance to save costs, said RMA President and CEO Charles Cannon. But that delay may cost you more dearly if worn-out tires lead to a crash with injuries or fatalities.
The survey monitored the tires on more than 7,000 vehicles, the RMA said, noting that driving on worn tires in wet weather conditions that frequently occur during fall and winter months can increase the risk of a crash.
In wet weather conditions, bald tires can hydroplane, which can lead to a loss of vehicle control and increase the risk of a crash. When a vehicle hydroplanes, the tire is riding on a film of water, the RMA said.
The RMA is urging motorists to check tire tread depth regularly and replace worn out tires before they become a serious safety risk. The legal minimum tread depth in most states is 2/32 inch.
The association noted that in addition to running on worn-out tires, many motorists are ignoring tire inflation pressure. Underinflated tires also pose a safety risk, wear out faster and increase vehicle fuel consumption.
Tire inflation pressure should be checked every month and before long trips.
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