Bridgestone Corporation has announced that it has settled its patent infringement dispute with major Chinese manufacturer, Shandong Chengshan Tire Co, Ltd.
The dispute centres around the patents the Japanese manufacturer acquired on the design of its R288 and M858 radial truck and bus tyres. Bridgestone reports that in November 2004, the company “discussed continuously” with Shandong Chengshan asking it to cease production of its CST66 and CST88 Shandong Chengshan tyres. Bridgestone contended that these radial truck and bus tyres closely resembled the design of its R288 and M858 products.
(Akron/Tire Review) Clemson University’s Office of Off-Campus Distance and Continuing Education in Clemson, SC, has set dates for the 22nd annual Tire Industry Conference. The Tire Industry Conference will be held 15-17 March at the Westin Resort located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Suppliers from the domestic and international tyre industry are expected to attend. To register, call 864-656-2200 or visit http://odce.clemson.edu.
Automotive Waste Solutions, a market leader in the field of automotive waste collection and disposal, has picked up the prestigious Motor Trader Environment Award.
The Motor Trader awards have been held for 15 years and this year there were 19 winners, chosen from more than 60 shortlisted companies and individuals. They were presented at a ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, attended by over 1,000 leading industry figures.
(Akron/Tire Review) Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is preparing for the winter months ahead with size additions to the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22 RFT, Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25, Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3 and Winterforce tyre lines.
London based tyre collection specialist Environmental Tyre Disposals (ETD) has announced a change in ownership which will take effect from Monday 1 August 2005. Following constructive negotiations over the past few months current majority shareholder, Paul Hanlon, has relinquished overall control of the company to managing director, Tony Allen who will now have ownership and control of ETD’s operations.
This development concludes a long running business partnership between Paul Hanlon and Tony Allen who in the last two decades have taken ETD from their initial launch as a modest casing dealer to their present position of being one of the leading players in the UK casing collection market. However, Mr Hanlon will remain with the company on a consultancy basis.
(Akron/Tire Review) United Steelworkers’ (USW) international leadership has extended approval to Titan Tire Corp to start negotiations with USW Local 745 in Freeport, Illinois. This move is a significant step towards Titan’s pending purchase of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co’s North American agricultural tyre business. Under the terms of Goodyear’s contract with the USW, any purchaser must reach a new contract agreement with the union.
Ten years ago Bosch was the first supplier to begin series production of its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) technology. What started as an option for high-end passenger cars is now available as a safety feature on most new cars and vans. The development of ESP can be traced back to 1983 when engineers at Bosch sought to optimise anti-lock braking systems (ABS).
To mark this milestone, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, patron of RoadSafe, attended a reception at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in London to celebrate with leading representatives from the road safety and motor industries.
In a speech at the event, Prince Michael congratulated Bosch on the development and pointed out the important safety benefits that can be derived from the fitment of ESP to all vehicles. He also noted that the installation rate on new cars being registered in the UK had increased from 20 to 29 per cent in only 12 months
Firestone has invested in a new mobile exhibition unit, which it recently put to the test during Grasslands 2005. The unit is available for free hire to support Agri Point dealers at relevant agricultural/country exhibitions subject to availability.
The 3,500 kg trailer unit features a hospitality seating area for up to 10 people and a well-equipped kitchen. The unit already has livery for Firestone including graphics panels featuring a number of advertisements from the current ‘Testimonial’ campaign.
Klaus Zimmermann has retired from his position as managing director of Ellerbrock Reifenrunderneuerungs-Technologie GmbH. However the MD is not walking away completely and after 30 years with the company has decided to remain a member of the company’s advisory committee.
The company’s management team is currently represented by Dirk Rohmann as managing director marketing and sales, Matthias Leppert as MD Technology and Wolfgang Schlingmann responsible for accounting.
(Akron/Tire Review) Cooper Tire & Rubber Co has appointed Charles G Yurkovich Jr as technical vice president. Mr Yurkovich will lead Cooper’s technical organisation in developing new products and technologies and improving current ones, said Cooper.
Prior to this appointment, he had worked in various technical management roles in the consumer, commercial and retread markets and held sales and marketing management positions at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Mr Yurkovich also holds US patents on light truck and medium truck tyre designs, according to Cooper.
Belarusian tyre manufacturer, Belshina, is in the process of modernising its truck tyre line-up. According to company reports, there are three new patterns of tubeless, all-steel radial truck tyres out on the market that have been manufactured with new tyre building machines supplied by Matador Machinery.
The “Bel-96” model will be available in 235/75 R 17.5, with the “Bel-118” in 295/80 R 22.5 and “Bel-108” in 275/70 R 22.5
The Republic of Belarus is well-known all over the world as a large producer of mining trucks, tractors and other farm machines. Belshina, or Belarus Tyre Works as it is sometimes called, is the chief supplier of tyres for these machines. Belshina produces over 180 tyre sizes for cars, trucks, mining trucks, road-building machines, electrical vehicles, tractors and farm machines and over 90 per cent of its tyres are radial. There are more than 14,000 workers employed in the factory.
(Akron/Tire Review) Groupe Michelin has announced plans to expand truck tyre capacity at its plant in Tours, France. Last month Tyres & Accessories learnt that Michelin would close down truck tyre production at the nearby Poitiers plant. A portion of the capacity from the Poitiers plant will be incorporated into the Tours facility, and the Poitiers plant will be converted into a warehouse, Michelin said. The manufacturer has already spent about $180 million on the Tours plants since 2000.
Michelin stated it would spend $65.3 million to expand capacity at Tours by 25 per cent, to more than 1 million units. This investment will continue through 2007, Michelin said. A spokesperson reportedly said that a large portion of the investment is earmarked for super-wide tyres (including the X-One) and low-profile tyres.
Varta is set to strengthen its already dominant position of OE car battery supplier in Europe through the acquisition of the European battery business of Delphi Corporation. The acquisition came into effect 1 July, following approval by the European Commission under antitrust laws.
The Retread Manufacturers Association (RMA) is to become an affiliate of the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA).
TRA president, Roger Hicks, welcomed the move and views it as further endorsement of the TRA and its membership. He commented: “We as a body are still formulating our larger objectives and the willingness of the RMA to join with us in this future process will add to our sense of purpose. Together with the British Rubber Manufacturers’ Association who affiliated earlier this year we believe we are now in key position to help ensure the UK not only meets its obligations under the EU Landfill Directive but does so from a position of real strength and influence.”
RMA chairman, Patrick O’Connell, said: “Retreading plays a crucial role in the tyre recovery process and, as such, we are delighted to join the TRA as an affiliate member. Our decision to join the TRA should be seen as indicative of the RMA’s willingness to co-operate with other industry associations and of our desire to continue to play an active role in issues of cross-industry interest.”
The Volkswagen Golf GTI, which fits Bridgestone Potenza tyres, has been voted the ‘Greatest Drive’ of 2005 by Auto Express magazine.
“This is excellent news,” said Andy Lane, consumer marketing manager at Bridgestone UK. “The Golf GTI is an exciting, top-of-the-range car that requires the very best in grip and control, and this is just another example of how the UK’s top cars can perform at their best on Bridgestone rubber.”