Titan Tire will suspend production at its factory in Brownsville, Texas until market demand picks up. Production will continue at the plant in Des Moines, Iowa. A slump in the US agricultural and industrial tyre markets is blamed as the main cause, although US tyre manufacturers are under pressure from cheaper imported tyres. Titan currently has another factory standing idle – the former Fidelity Tire plant in Natchez.
In the USA, Goodyear has introduced a new OTR tyre, aimed at mining applications, size 45R57. The tyre is made in two pieces, with a casing and tread belt package that lock together and which are held together by air pressure. The tread belt package is replaceable and, should part of the tyre become damaged, replacement can be made in a fraction of the time needed for a conventional tyre.
The Trelleborg Group has signed an agreement with Smiths Group Plc of the UK to acquire its operations in polymer-based precision seals (Polymer Sealing Solutions – PSS). PSS has annual sales of approximately SEK 5.5 billion (599.37 million Euro) and some 6,000 employees, mainly in Europe and North America. Following the acquisition, the annual sales of the Trelleborg Group are expected to total SEK 22.5 billion (2.45 bn Euro), with approximately 21,000 employees in some 40 countries. The acquired operations will form a new business area within the Trelleborg Group.
Bridgestone Australia reported a drop in net profit of over 20 per cent for the first half of the year, to A$ 4.16 million (2.4 m Euro), while turnover was up 3 per cent to A$ 262.45 million (151.7 m Euro). Executive director of finance Andrew Moffatt blamed an increase of cheap, imported tyres for the fall in profits and Bridgestone is in negotiations with its workforce to increase productivity. No half-year dividend was declared, but the company expects to declare a “reasonable” year-end dividend.
Figures show that Trelleborg Wheel Systems achieved sales for the first half of the year of 1,470 million Swedish Kroner (SEK), or 160.2 million Euro. Operating profit was up 33 per cent to SEK 84 million (9.15 m Euro), compared with last year’s first half figure of SEK 63 million (6.87 m Euro). During the second quarter, turnover was SEK 713 million (77.7 m Euro) and operating profit was SEK 39 million (4.25 m Euro).
Bosal UK is to sell four of its 19 Silencer Distributors (UK) Limited exhaust wholesale branches to its long-time customer Southern Exhaust Supplies Ltd. The deal was described as “a multi-million Pound agreement” and SES has the option to purchase further SDL sites in the future. Bosal acquired SDL out of Receivership following the collapse of SDL parent company Finelist in December 2000. The purchase was made to ensure continued supply of Bosal exhaust products to the UK aftermarket in the short and medium term and was always described by Bosal as “a holding manoeuvre”.
Superior Industries is to be the supplier of aluminium wheels for the Ford F-150 truck, supplying five different styles of wheels for the 2004 model. The 2004 model is the latest version of the F-150, which has been the best-selling vehicle of any type in the USA for the past two decades and the country’s best-selling truck for the past 25 years.
S.C. Rubber Group has been established as the first Bandag dealer in Romania. Currently, only three per cent of tyres sold in Romania are retreads, so the company says that the potential is enormous. S.C. Rubber plans to create a network of 10 service outlets across the country, with the first two operating by the end of this year.
Gary Oliver, managing director of car and light truck tyre retreader C-Tyres, has been appointed President of the Retread Manufacturers Association in the UK. Oliver has been heavily involved in the formation of the RMA’s Marketing & Communications Committee, whose aim is to promote and market retreading in the UK. Gary Oliver succeeds Ian Smith, of Technic Tyre, as RMA President.
FGSPORT, the company that runs World Superbikes, has confirmed that a single company will supply tyres for the next two years to all competitors in the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock World Championships. The idea is to minimise advantages/disadvantages of different tyre brands. FGSPORT did not name the manufacturer involved, but speculation hints that it will be Pirelli.
Kwik-Fit Fleet has won a five-year solus contract, worth 30 million Pounds, to supply tyres to Motability Operations, which operates Europe’s largest vehicle fleet of 400,000 vehicles. Motability customers will have 24-hour access to a dedicated Kwik-Fit team via a single, local rate phone number.
Bridgestone Europe has officially opened the extension to its European Distribution Centre at Zeebrugge, Belgium. The size of the facility has doubled from 28,000 sq. m. to 56,000 sq. m., capable of holding 800,000 passenger car tyres as well as the 110,000 truck and bus tyres already housed on site.
Norwegian Bandag dealer Dekkmann has signed a contract to supply tyres to Leonard Nilsen & Sonner, the company that supplies transport to three coal mines, situated in Svalbard. Svalbard consists of 150 islands near the North Pole and driving conditions are extremely harsh. Nine trucks make the 26 km journey from mine to harbour 32 times every day, seven days a week. Last year, Dekkmann supplied Nilsen with 1,000 Bandag retreads.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has reported results for the second quarter of the year. Net income was $13 million, compared with the all-time record earnings of $39 m for Q2 last year. Turnover was up slightly at $840 m ($836 m) and operating profit was $38 m. The Tire Group reported turnover up 4 per cent to $432 m ($414 m) while operating profit declined to $14 m from $37 m in Q2 2002. The high cost of raw materials was blamed. Overall, unit sales of Cooper brand tyres rose 8 per cent in the quarter.
Bandag, Incorporated has reported consolidated net income of $8.7 million, or $0.45 per diluted share for second quarter 2003, compared to second quarter 2002 consolidated net income of $11.7 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, a decrease of 26% and 21% for consolidated net income and diluted earnings per share, respectively. Second quarter 2003 results were reduced by approximately $2.2 million due to net foreign exchange losses. Second quarter 2003 results were also reduced by approximately $1.5 million in net charges related to Bandag’s distribution subsidiary, Tire Distribution Systems, Inc. (TDS), for store divestitures and a real estate impairment charge. Consolidated net sales for second quarter 2003 were $204.1 million, a decline of approximately 12%, compared to consolidated net sales of $231.1 million in the prior year period.