Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. has successfully filed a trademark infringement complaint to the Guilin Industrial & Commercial Administration Bureau. The complaint, which was wholly upheld, was against Guilin Car Wings Car Accessory Co., Ltd for closely resembling the appearance of “car wing” outlets run by Bridgestone Corporation’s Chinese subsidiary.
The Akron Beacon Journal has reported that nearly 200 retired unionised workers have protested outside Goodyear’s corporate headquarters and later in front of Bridgestone Firestone’s Akron Technical Center to protest what they said are the tyremakers’ proposals to reduce retiree benefits. The protests, were aimed at pressuring Goodyear and Bridgestone in contract negotiations with the United Steelworkers of America. The union and two tyremakers are working under day-to-day extensions of contracts that expired in July. Negotiations started in June.
Sapphire Energy Recovery is celebrating the recovery of its 50 millionth end of life tyre at its processing facility in West Thurrock, Essex. Sales and marketing manager, Ryan Mifflin explained: “Fifty million tyres represents a saving of more than three quarters million cubic metres of landfill space, enables tyre manufacturers to meet their producer responsibility obligations and provides tyre change depots with a sustainable disposal route.”
Kwik-Fit has announced the launch a brand new vehicle air conditioning recharge service across 100 centres in Greater London and the South East. Recent research from Kwik-Fit has found that almost 900,000 motorists from Greater London drive a car with a neglected and depleted air con, which can lead to trouble, as more than 630,000 motorists from Greater London admit they’ve lost their temper because of the heat.
(Akron/Tire Review) TRIB has a new free CD available that provides an inside look at today’s modern retread plants. The e-tour highlights all steps of the retread process from the initial inspection through the final inspection after which the tire is ready for another full life. The CD was produced in a modern pre-cure retread plant, according to TRIB, and single copies are available at no cost to interested parties. TRIB said there is a nominal charge for multiple copies. To order, call 888-473-8732 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. A Spanish language version is also available.
(Akron/Tire Review) Amtel-Vredestein is taking a 350 million ruble credit line loan at 13 per cent from Rosbank, according to a report out of Russia. The credit facility was taken by subsidiary Amtel-Chernozemie OJSC, which pledged 20 per cent of its assets (about 1,78 billion rubles) as loan security.
If the current raw material price trend continues, it could help improve margins at tyre manufacturers. Natural rubber, which accounts for about a quarter of tyre raw material costs, is down over 20 per cent from the all-time high it hit earlier this year.
Amtel-Vredestein N.V. is to introduce its latest products for the first time in Russia at the Moscow International Motor Show 2006 (30 August to 10 September.) Tyres to be spotlighted include the Vredestein Sportrac 3, Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta, the new Amtel NordMaster ST-310 and the Amtel NordMaster CL winter tyres.
Tyres & Accessories has learnt that Michelin is planning to investment a double-digit million pound figure in its Baldovie, Dundee production facility. Yesterday the manufacturer announced the Dundee factory is to keep annual production at 6.5 million units, but plans to lay off almost 10 per cent of its workforce.
Michelin’s Baldovie production plant produces Michelin, BFGoodrich and Kleber passenger car tyres exclusively in the 13 – 15-inch range.
In the US, property developer Bill Bean is close to acquiring the two Indiana factories closed last April by Amcast, putting 500 workers out of a job. The factories made wheels for General Motor’s Corvette and light trucks and were shut down after Amcast failed to agree terms with GM, which was undergoing substantial financial restructuring.
Continental AG has narrowed the search for its first Chinese production facility to two possible locations, Tyres & Accessories has learnt. Both plots are greenfield sites and the selection is expected to come down to which area offers the best economic incentives. Continental AG board member Dr Hans-Joachim Nikolin told T&A the plant will follow the same model as the company’s recently opened, Camacari, Brazil, factory and will produce 4 to 6 million passenger car tyres and between 400,000 and 600,000 truck tyres using “standard” Continental technology.
Aftermarket parts supplier Motaquip has launched two new catalogues. The first of these is the company’s 2006/2007 Batteries Catalogue, which provides Motaquip’s factor customers with details of two-, three- and four-year warranty products, covering 97 per cent of cars on UK roads. The company has also introduced a range of Midtonics battery testers and chargers.
(Akron/Tire Review) United Steelworkers say that negotiations with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. continue, but “progress has been slow.” The union also indicated that some job action may be on the horizon. “Goodyear has not moved from its ‘cut and gut’ agenda. Your bargaining committee has remained steadfast and is determined to achieve a contract that is fair and equitable, that protects our retirees and that provides job security for our members, the union said in a memo to members.
UK TV viewers of BBC’s Top Gear motoring programme will be familiar with the character called “The Stig” – an anonymous driver who regularly puts cars through their paces by driving them at the limit. Italian tyre manufacturer Marangoni has its own version of the Stig who, according to the company, has the task of assisting the Marangoni research and development team in testing and analysing each product’s ‘intelligence’, on track and road. The information gained is used to ensure performance, comfort and safety are optimised for everyday drivers. The main difference is that the identity of Marangoni’s ‘Stig’ is not shrouded in mystery – he is in fact former F3 driver and European GT Champion, Cristiano del Balzo – the current Director of the Italian equivalent of the MSA, the CSAI Velocità.
Varta has added a new 180 amp/hour SHD (Super Heavy Duty) battery, suitable for numerous European heavy truck applications, to its advanced calcium-silver PROmotive range. This range offers 70 per cent coverage of the European commercial vehicle market and, says Varta, it is the first range of 100 per cent, maintenance-free HGV batteries to incorporate the innovative, calcium-silver technology.