Tire companies increase prices
AKRON—Four tire companies are raising tire prices due to escalating raw material and transportation costs.
Yokohama Tire Corp. is increasing prices on its light and medium commercial truck tires in the U.S. by up to 7 percent, effective March 1.
There will be in-line adjustments, as well, which Yokohama said will be announced at a later date. Off-the-road, light-truck and consumer tires will not be affected by the increase. Yokohama's last commercial truck tire price increase was in September 2008.
Titan Tire Corp. and Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. also are raising prices March 1. Titan will hike prices up to 6 percent on Titan-brand OTR, farm and construction tires and Goodyear-brand farm tires. Certain tire prices may rise in excess of 6 percent due to realignment and positioning of the product.
For the second time in several weeks, Trelleborg said it is increasing prices between 5 and 10 percent in Europe and North America, effective March 1, on its industrial, solid and construction tire lines.
The firm blamed currency fluctuations, in addition to rising raw material prices, for the price hike. The Swedish company also raised prices Feb. 1 by 5 percent in Europe and North America on its agricultural, forestry and light industrial application tires.
American Pacific Industries Inc. hiked prices Feb. 1 in North America by up to 8 percent on its Achilles, Advance, Armour, Farmking, Gladiator, Hartland and Pegasus brands. The increase applies to all tire types within each brand name and applies to the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Hankook earnings soar on high sales
SEOUL, South Korea—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. more than quadrupled operating income last year on 18-percent higher sales, buoyed by strong performances in the domestic market, China and the Middle East.
Hankook reported its operating profit jumped 381 percent to $429.3 million on $3.76 billion in sales, pushing the profit/sales ratio up eight percentage points to 11.4 percent.
For fiscal 2010, Hankook is looking to maintain earnings at the same level while increasing sales 6 percent.
Hankook Tire Vice Chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh attributed the performance to “our market diversification strategies and our priority on attaining premium quality.” Mr. Suh said the firm's goal of achieving sustainable growth will rely on its “ongoing efforts for customer safety and the environment as a leading global company.”
Globally, Hankook registered “significant” OE sales growth globally—including a 54-percent jump in China—along with 25 percent growth in the Middle Eastern markets and “substantial” growth in the Korean replacement market.
Hankook said its sales of ultra-high-performance tires rose 9.6 percent over 2008, thanks in part to “remarkable” growth in global OE demand.
In the U.S., the firm reported revenue of $725.3 million, a 3.2-percent increase over 2008, including both OE and replacement tire sales, according to Hankook Tire America Corp., Hankook's Wayne, N.J.-based sales subsidiary.
TIA proceeds on show feedback
BOWIE, Md.—The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has received all the feedback it requested from tire manufacturers on how to make the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show more relevant to tire makers' needs, TIA said.
TIA held a focus group meeting with representatives of major tire makers Dec. 17 and followed up with a Jan. 21 conference call, TIA said in a press release. The association said it will now compile the feedback, complete its recommendations, and submit those recommendations to SEMA leadership no later than mid-February.
TIA President Wayne Croswell described the focus group and conference call as “lively and productive.” TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said the association will act expeditiously in presenting its recommendations to SEMA.
Washington won't ban studded tires
OLYMPIA, Wash.—A plan by the Washington Department of Revenue to introduce into the state's legislature a bill banning studded winter tires apparently won't come to pass this year, according to the Northwest Tire Dealers Association (NWTDA).
Late last year, the NWTDA's newsletter ran an item that the Department of Revenue, together with the state's Department of Transportation, would introduce the bill soon after the Washington legislature's 2010 session began on Jan. 11.
However, the bill has not been introduced, and all current signs are that it won't be, said NWTDA Executive Director Dick Nordness. It wasn't plain, Mr. Nordness told Tire Business, whether this was an internal decision within the Department of Revenue or a sign that other state government officials did not support the measure.
A Seattle Times article from February 2009 quoted advocates of a studded-tire ban as saying the action would save Washington more than $18 million annually in road damage repairs. Since 1971, Washington has allowed the use of studded tires from Nov. 1 to April 1 annually.
Amerityre delisting from Nasdaq
BOULDER CITY, Nev.—Polyurethane tire developer Amerityre Corp. will delist its common stock from the Nasdaq Stock Market Feb. 4 and said it intends to relist it on Nasdaq's Over The Counter Bulletin Board.
The move is in response to a notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Amerityre no longer meets the minimum requirements of Nasdaq's Equity Standard Listing Rule 5550(b), which requires firms on the Nasdaq to have a minimum of $2.5 million in stockholders' equity, $35 million market value of listed securities or $500,000 of net income from continuing operations for the most recently completed fiscal year or two of the three most recently completed fiscal years, Amerityre said in a filing with the SEC.
Despite the Nasdaq issues, Amerityre said it believes its financial condition and operations are healthy and sustainable and that it should achieve higher revenues for the year ending June 30. Amerityre reported a loss of $280,056 in the three months ended Sept. 30 on sales of $1.14 million.
MITL finishes GPX solid tire deal
MALDEN, Mass.—MITL Acquisition Corp. L.L.C. has completed its $11 million acquistion of GPX International Tire Corp.'s solid tire business, clearing the way for the business to transition to Maine Industrial Tire L.L.C.
The firm said its first order of business is to consolidate shared distribution services with Dynamic Tire in Canada and Alliance Tire Group, which took over other GPX assets in GPX's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Maine Industrial Tire's assets consist primarily of tire plants in Gorham, Maine, and Hebei, China, a wheel plant in Red Lion, Pa., and rights to the Maine Tire, MITL, ITL and Brawler brand names.
Bryan Ganz, co-chairman of GPX, is CEO of the new company. Troy Kline is president and chief operating officer and Phil Fitzgerald director of China operations.
MITL Acquisition is the company formed by Mr. Ganz and his brothers Neil and David to facilitate the purchase.
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