Dunlop Race Academy 2006 winner, Rob Parkman put in an inspiring performance during the Ginetta Championship final at Donington in an October weekend meeting. Despite the driving rain, Rob put his academy training to the test and finished 19th in the second race after qualifying 31st out of 38 entrants on the grid in a race-prepared Ginetta G20.
(Akron/Tire Review) Hunter Engineering won the Best New Product Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) for its DSP600 Digital Imaging Alignment Sensors. The NSPE award recognizes engineering ingenuity, functionality, safety, construction, marketing success and economic contribution. Hunter said the DSP600 Sensors were nominated for the national award after winning the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) New Product Award in 2005. Representatives from MSPE presented the 2006 NSPE New Product Award to Hunter Engineering executives during a recent visit to the company’s Bridgeton, Missouri, headquarters.
(Akron/Tire Review) The Associated Press has reported that Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire has begun cutting employment at its Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, tyre plant, which is scheduled to close by the end of this year. Some 400 employees, said the report, will be laid off by the end of this month. In April, BFNAT announced that it would close the plant, eliminating 1,400 jobs there.
Titan achieved a 52 per cent increase in net sales in third quarter 2006. Net sales were $156.1 million, compared to $102.7 million the year before. Titan recorded gross profit of $17.1 million, a 56 per cent increase when compared to the $11 million of gross profit in third quarter 2005. However, a 40 per cent tax rate in 2006 meant Titan recorded third quarter net income of $0.5 million, compared to last year’s third quarter net income of $1.2 million. Using a 40 per cent tax rate on last year’s pre-tax income, Titan’s third quarter 2005 net income would have been $0.2 million.
Goodyear Dunlop plans to “blow the lid off the fast-fit industry” by expanding its Hi-Q operation, mainly through franchised outlets. At present, the manufacturer owns all but 22 of its 150 retail sites. Peter Tye, Goodyear Dunlop franchise development manager, says: “Our aim is to revolutionize the industry and to become a challenging force within UK fast fit.
“We intend to grow our network to 250, and the planned split is 100 owned by us and the rest by franchise holders. We expect all our current franchisees to continue with us, and we’re going through a consultation exercise with them looking at the benefits,” Tye added.
Following its recent 170-million euros investment in a tyre production factory in Romania, it seems that the Italian company may be on the verge of investing a further 70 million euros in a plant to produce filters for diesel engines, according to local media reports. The country manager of Pirelli Romania, Guglielmo Fiocchi, is quoted as saying: “Next year we could start the construction of a new plant for production of filters for diesel engines in Gorj, with the actual production most likely to begin early in 2008, if the project is approved.”
A long-awaited £6.20 increase in the MoT test fee has been put back more than six weeks by the Department for Transport. Testers expected the increase to be brought in on 1 October, but have now learned it has been put back until 24 November. Some now fear this deadline will slip even further back into December, the NTDA website reported. The traditional date for an MoT fee increase is 1 August.
Dunlop India Limited’s plant in Sahagange, reportedly the oldest tyre plant in Asia, restarts production today (Tuesday 30 October) after years of inactivity. Dunlop’s Ambattur plant re-opened a little over a month ago. “We are dealing with old machines at Sahagange. The problem has been compounded by damage and thefts when the plant had be closed,” S K Paul, managing director of Dunlop India, told reporters at the opening of the Ambattur plant.
Kwik-Fit will now perform tyre safety checks on around 10,000 British Gas light commercial vehicles as a part of the new three-year solus fast-fit contract won by Kwik-Fit Fleet. The contract, one of the largest won by Kwik-Fit Fleet, will see mobile technicians at the UK’s largest independent fast-fit company undertake quarterly tyre wear and tear checks on all vehicles, to assist British Gas comply with its at-work driving duty of care responsibilities.
(Las Vegas/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America is using the SEMA Show to launch the ContiSportContact 3 performance tyre line. Released in Europe earlier this year, the tyre makes its North American debut this week in Las Vegas. Already OE on the Audi TT and A6, the ContiSportContact 3 was developed for high performance vehicles and provides shorter braking distances, enhanced handling characteristics and superior grip on wet roads, according to CTNA.
(Las Vegas/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America said it will continue its unique joint marketing partnership with Wholesale Tire and Wheel Corp. (WTW), marketer of the Giovanna wheel brand. The joint marketing deal was announced at last year’s SEMA Show, and saw the launch of two Continental-produced Giovanna edition tyres. This year’s SEMA Show will see the addition of nine performance and two light truck/SUV tyres to the collection.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced the forthcoming closure of its tyre manufacturing facility in Tyler, Texas, as part of the company’s previously announced strategy to exit certain segments of the private label tyre business. When it made the private label announcement in June, Goodyear said that the decision would require a corresponding reduction in North American Tire’s manufacturing capacity and that plant performance, capabilities, cost savings opportunity and the focus on serving NAT customers would dictate capacity reduction.
Michelin is to announce plans to incorporate Transense TPMS technology into its next generation of truck tyres at a press conference later this week. The news broke after a report in the Independent suggested that UK company Transense’s battery-less design would be used. There were also suggestions from industry insiders that Michelin may go further and announce the use of the system in car tyres as well.
Aldi is fitting Michelin A2 Energy tyres to all vehicles based at its southern distribution centre in Chelmsford, Essex, following a 12 month road test which demonstrated a fuel saving of 2.3 per cent. The trial saw a 38-tonne Scania tractor unit (X268 KON) fitted with Energy tyres, with fuel consumption measured on a weekly basis and compared against figures for the same vehicle over the previous 12 month period.
Kerala (India) Congress leader and former minister K M Mani said a State Government probe into the affairs of Palazhi Tyres Ltd politically motivated. Mani said that no financial irregularity has been committed and the company documents will speak themselves.
“The only fault with the company is that the mission for setting up a tyre factory has not become a reality till date, for various reasons. It owns 37 acres of well-kept rubber estate having big valuation at Valavoor in Meenachil taluk. The company has been registered as per company and co-operative laws and it has an audited annual balance sheet,” KM Mani told local newspapers.