Marangoni to add Unitread to plant
MADISON, Tenn.Marangoni Tread North America Inc. is investing $3.3 million through early next year to add production capacity in Madison for the firm's Unitread traditional precure tread rubber.
The project, already under way and part of a larger expansion program, will create four or five new jobs initially and more later, according to Bill Sweatman, president and CEO. The investment will be primarily for new presses, he said.
The new capacity will be about 1,000 treads per day, according to Marangoni S.p.A., the Rovereto, Italy-based parent company. Maran-goni North America currently imports this product from other production sites.
The expansion reflects growth in demand for Marangoni's products, Mr. Sweatman said, including new demand related to Marangoni's deal to provide Continental Tire the Americas' commercial dealer network with Conti-branded tread rubber.
The project will make the Madison plant Marangoni S.p.A.'s sixth production site for Unitread products worldwide. Other Unitread production sites are: Ferentino, Italy; Hamburg, Germany; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Rosario, Argentina; and in China at an unidentified off-take partner's site.
Marangoni opened the Madison Ringtread tread rubber plant in 2004.
Goodyear ramps up Va. plant output
DANVILLE, Va.Goodyear is ramping up production at its commercial tire plant in Danville in response to improving demand from the aviation and commercial truck tire markets, the company said.
To effect the change, Goodyear is recalling many of the 400 employees laid off at the plant in early 2009, a company spokeswoman said.
The plant, which was cut back to three shifts, five days a week in March 2009 because of the poor economy, will return to a continuous seven-day workweek in the coming months.
We're calling them (laid off workers) back as needed, the spokeswoman said. We're putting the plan together right now. It includes everythingthe recall itself and the necessary training. Everything is currently in motion.
The company and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 831 tentatively agreed on July 21 to terms of an agreement to allow the plant to return to a 12-hour continuous shift schedule, according to Local 831's website.
The plant employs about 2,000 and produces up to 13,000 units daily.
Volvo recall to fix TPMS errors
ROCKLEIGH, N.J.Volvo Cars of North America L.L.C. is recalling 3,635 vehicles, Model S80, because the tire and loading information label and a page in the owner's manual contain incorrect maximum permissible inflation pressure and the vehicles' tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) software has an incorrect trigger level.
The Rockleigh-based auto maker notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the voluntary recall program for vehicles model year 2007-2010, noting that the incorrect tire pressures listed do not represent a risk to motor vehicle safety. The company blamed human error for the problems.
Owners of affected vehicles will receive a warning regarding low tire pressure later than specified due to incorrect TPMS software. No technical reports have been received by Volvo for this condition, the car maker said.
To remedy the defect, the company said all vehicle owners will receive a letter with a new Tire and Loading Information label and an Owner's Manual label via first class mail. The letter will request that owners take their vehicles and the labels to an authorized Volvo retailer for a fix at no charge.
Senate bill may raise truck weight
WASHINGTONSenators from Idaho, Maine and Wisconsin have introduced a bill that would allow states to raise the maximum weight for trucks operating on their interstates above the federal limit of 80,000 pounds, in an effort to cut the number of trucks on the road and reduce both fuel usage and emissions.
The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2010, introduced by Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Susan Collins, R-Maine and Herb Kohl, D-Wis., would allow states to raise the limit on interstate highways within their borders to 97,000 pounds, provided those trucks run with six axles.
The proposed bill is backed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, a shippers' group.
The ATA estimates the trucking industry will haul 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than it does today, which will require 18 percent more trucks on the road by that time unless changes such as this are considered. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the use of six-axle trucks could save as much as $14.5 billion in shipping costs annually.
Conti shuffles commercial execs
FORT MILL, S.C.Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. has made several appointments to its Commercial Vehicle Tire Division.
The tire maker named Thomas Fanning as director of replacement sales, responsible for strategic selling initiatives across dealer and fleet channels for the Continental, General, AmeriSteel, Euzkadi and associated brands. He will report to Paul Williams, executive vice president-Truck the Americas.
Mr. Fanning replaces Shaun Uys, who is returning home to South Africa to pursue other opportunities within Continental's rubber group.
Succeeding Mr. Fanning as director of OE sales is Wes Garber. In this role, Mr. Garber will have responsibilities for developing and executing business strategies for the Americas which include market shares, profitability and achieving standard OE positions with major truck and trailer manufacturers.
Mr. Garber will report to Peter Matzke, Conti's global vice president of original equipment-truck tires, and indirectly to Mr. Williams. Mr. Garber also continues in his role as chairman of the board of directors of the joint venture which produces commercial vehicle tires at the GTY Tire Co. in Mt. Vernon, Ill.
Kristian Klotz will replace Mr. Garber as controller for Conti's truck tire business unit.
Goodyear taps Kramer chairman
AKRONGoodyear's board of directors has elected Richard Kramer chairman, effective Oct. 1.
Mr. Kramer, who will continue as president and CEO, succeeds Robert Keegan, who will step down as chairman and a director and retire from the company.
Mr. Kramer, 46, succeeded Mr. Keegan as president and CEO on April 13. Since joining Goodyear in 2000, Mr. Kramer has served as vice president of corporate finance, senior vice president of strategy, chief financial officer, president of the Akron-based tire maker's North American Tire unit and chief operating officer.
Mr. Keegan, 63, joined Goodyear in 2000 as chief operating officer. He became president and CEO in January 2003 and chairman of the board in July of that same year.
Goodyear to issue $900 mill. notes
AKRONGoodyear has priced its offering of $900 million aggregate principal amount of 8.25 percent senior notes due Aug. 15, 2020.
The notes, which will be senior unsecured obligations of the company, will be sold at 99.163 percent of the principal amount.
Goodyear said it expects the offering to close Aug. 13 of this year, subject to customary closing conditions.
The offering was increased from the $750 million offering that was previously announced. Goodyear said it intends to use net proceeds from the offeringalong with its current cash, cash equivalents and unused availability under its credit facilitiesto redeem $325 million in principal amount of 8.625 percent senior notes due 2011 and about $388 million in principal amount of 7.857 percent notes also due next year.
Goodyear plans to use the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes, the Akron-based tire maker said, including the repayment of other outstanding debts.
OTR conference opens registration
BOWIE, Md.The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has opened registration for its 2011 OTR Conference, scheduled for Feb. 16-19 at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami.
The annual conference is targeted at those who make, sell, service, repair or retread OTR tires.
The 2011 conference kicks off at 5 p.m. Feb. 16 with a networking reception and tabletop display exhibition.
There will be three general business sessions: from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 17; from 8:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 18; and from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 19. Speakers and topics have not been finalized, TIA said. The tabletop displays also will be open from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 18.
There's a golf tournament set for the afternoon of the 17th, a welcome reception that evening and a gala dinner for the evening of the 18th, TIA said. A spouses' program also is being arranged.
For more information, visit the TIA's OTR Conference website at http://tire industry.org/2011otrconference.asp or contact LaKisha Pindell at TIA, 800-876-8372, ext. 104 or [email protected]
SEMA Show adds Conti as a sponsor
FORT MILL, S.C.Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. will sponsor the media center at the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in addition to exhibiting at the Nov. 2-5 event.
The sponsorship is one element of the Fort Mill-based tire maker's participation at the event, which takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The media center is equipped with computers, a dedicated wireless hub, meeting rooms, a press conference area and other features.
Thanks to the tire maker's assistance, the media center will serve as home base to nearly 3,000 credentialed editors and reporters at the show, said Peter MacGillvray, SEMA vice president of communications and events.