Analysts have praised Michelin’s strong first quarter sales which saw sales increase 9.5 per cent when restated from foreign exchange impact. The company also reported market share gains of 4.9 and 4.4 per cent in Europe and the US respectively. “…this gives us comfort in our first half EBIT of 900 million euros, 40 per cent (250 million euros), significantly above consensus,” Deutsche Bank analysts commented, reporting the consensus as 765 million or 120 million euros. Meanwhile Thomas Aney of Dresdner Kleinwort maintained his “hold” rating on Michelin, while raising his estimates for the company.
AV-TO, the retail and distribution subsidiary of Amtel-Vredestein, N.V. has announced that Dilshod Mansurov has been appointed as Executive Director of the company. Mr. Mansurov’s responsibilities will include supervision of all AV-TO retail and distribution operations. He will report to AV-TO General Director, Aleksandr Tryndin.
Mansurov has held senior positions at the Megapolis (a leading Russian FMCG group) since 2003. From 1994 to 2002 he held several executive sales and marketing positions at British American Tobacco (Central Asia). He graduated with an honours degree from the Uzbek State University of World Languages in 1995.
(Akron/Tire Review) Bandag Inc. released financial results for the first quarter of 2007.
Consolidated net sales were $227.0 million, compared to $212.4 million in first quarter of 2006, an increase of 7 per cent.
Consolidated net earnings were $14.9 million for the first quarter of 2007, compared to first quarter 2006 consolidated earnings of $5.7 million.
North American business unit volume increased 2 per cent, while net sales decreased 1 per cent. TDS net sales decreased $0.3 million, or 1 per cent. Consolidated operating and other expenses decreased $9.6 million, or 15 per cent, compared to the prior year period. Operating and other expenses decreased in all business units with the exception of vehicle services.
Current British Formula Ford Champion, 23 year-old Nathan Freke from Kidderminster whose dominance in the series saw him netting 12 outright wins in 2006, is to join Marangoni as a corporate Instructor. The McLaren Autosport BRDC 2006 Young Driver finalist, one of the UK’s most promising young talents, will team up with Marangoni ‘Stig’, Cristiano del Balzo to provide high speed experience drives to major corporate customers at the Italian tyre manufacturer’s test track.
Said Derek Carruthers, Marangoni (Car Tyre Division) Sales & Marketing Director, “We are delighted to have secured the services of Nathan for a Marangoni Corporate Event in May. This hugely talented young driver will add a whole new dimension to the event and the opportunity to sit beside a driver who is already showing such potential is certain to be eagerly sought after by Marangoni Corporate guests.” While in Italy, Nathan will have the unique opportunity of gaining venue experience on the circuits where Cristiano both races and evaluates tyres for Marangoni, as part of the ongoing R&D programme.
The Beckair Pneu-Power is a bladeless, motorless fan which provides either powerful vacuum or powerful flow for extracting and conveying all kinds of materials in the processing, manufacturing and bulk handling industries. Because it has no moving parts or electrical connections, it can also be used in hazardous areas.
Using a small volume of compressed air as the power source (supplied through a flexible, 10mm hose) the Pneu-Power draws large volumes of ambient air into a small chamber, amplifying the air flow up to 25 times. Completely maintenance-free, the device operates at low noise levels.
(Akron/Tire Review) Possibly the quietest, one of the most accomplished and certainly one of the most respected head of a major tyre company, Jim Micali has also had one of the longest careers, having first joined what is now Michelin North America some 30 years ago as a staff attorney. Micali worked his way up through a number of assignments, including two stints in France, before becoming chairman and president in 1996.
In 2001, Micali was appointed to the Groupe Michelin executive council, and served a term as RMA chairman in 2002. He has also served on the boards of Sonoco and Lafarge North America, and was named distinguished senior fellow in political economy and leadership management at Furman University in 2004, where he is still a guest lecturer. Micali also received the Order of Merit from the French government.
This past December, Micali sat down with Tire Review to discuss legacy and raw material costs and their impact on North American tyre manufacturing and competition, and how MNA is tackling these key issues.
Berwickshire based Rocklug Tyres are well aware of the affect a good tyre – and a bad one – can have on the performance of an earthmover. That is why the company, who have been in the tyre business since 1974, decided to make the provision of quality remoulded OTR tyres one of their priorities.
When Rocklug Tyres co-director Graham Redpath spoke to Tyres & Accessories he likened earthmoving machinery to high performance cars. “They are designed around a particular tyre and are optimised for its specifications,” he said. “For example, a Caterpillar 50 tonne dump truck may be homologated for Bridgestone tyres, and it works at its best when fitted with these. But if the operator is unable to replace the OE tyres with another set and instead must fit cross-ply tyres sourced from China, the equipment will not be able to work to its full design capacity. In many cases there have been major shortcomings in the tonne-per-hour capabilities specified for these machines.”
(Akron/Tire Review) Falken Tire Corp. has announced the availability of its Solaris and Executive wheels.
The Solaris wheel “combines a traditional mesh face with an eight-spoke overlay creating a distinctive look,” said the company. Made or SUV and large passenger vehicle applications, the Solaris comes in 20 to 24-inch sizes and in two finishes, chrome or black machined.
The Executive wheel features a “full-face design and aggressive lip,” Falken said. It is available in a chrome, black-face/chrome-lip and black-face/machined-lip finishes, with sizes ranging from an 18 to 22-inch for the domestic and import market.
The Supervisory Board of Continental AG has appointed Heinz-Gerhard Wente (56), member of the Executive Board of ContiTech AG, to the Executive Board of Continental AG. The decision will take effect from 3 May 2007 when he will assume responsibility for Human Resources at Continental AG in addition to his current function at ContiTech AG. Wente will also serve as Continental AG’s Director of Labor Relations.
Wente succeeds Thomas Sattelberger who has held the position of Continental AG’s Human Resources director since July 1, 2003. Sattelberger had requested the Supervisory Board of Continental AG that he be granted early release from his contract and premature termination of his appointment to Continental AG’s Executive Board in order to take up a new challenge in another large company.
Motorists in Saudi Arabia are now able to benefit from the convenience of having all their automotive purchasing and servicing needs met under the one roof. The giant Tamimi Group has announced the opening of four car care hypercentres, a concept Tyres & Accessories are informed is brand new to the Middle East. The centres will trade under the brand name ‘Redcap’ and will cater for every make and model, from the smallest car to the largest SUV.
The chain’s initial four hypercentres have opened in the cities of Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Hassa, with a fifth outlet opening in Al Khobar in the near future. The Tamimi Group state that Redcap hypercentres in numerous other locations – including outlets in Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait – are also in the pipeline.
(Akron/Tire Review – Des Monies Register) Union workers at the Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) agricultural tyre plant in Des Moines, Iowa, approved a new labor contract by six votes.
The agreement, which covers about 1,225 employees, is set to expire in July 2009. BFNAT will invest up to $100 million in the Des Moines plant as well as two others, according to the contract. Additionally, a new tiered wage system provides lower pay rates for new employees, starting at $13 an hour.
“It gives us some protection for retiree health care and definitely protects our plant security for the term of the agreement,” said Al Skinner, Local 310 president. “Companies expect us to compete competitively internationally, which is impossible. They (international competition) work for pennies on the dollar. They expect us to compete with them. It’s virtually impossible for us to do that.”
Wolverhampton-based Bickford Truck Services, which specialises in hiring commercial vehicles for the construction industry, has appointed ATS Euromaster as principal tyre supplier for its fleet of over 300 trucks. The customer’s fitment policy also specifies a range of budget tyres including Taurus, Kumho and Matador. The fleet ranges from 7.5 to 44 tonnes and includes tippers, grab loaders, flatbeds, skip loaders, cranes, hook lifts, beavertails and tractor units, which are supplied on a mixture of contract hire and rental agreements to civil engineering companies nationwide.
Roger Bickford, joint Managing Director, explains: “Our fleet spends a lot of time operating off-road on construction sites, where the rugged terrain increases the chances of picking up tyre damage. This problem is escalated by the nature of some contracts, which can include penalty charges for unexpected downtime where vehicles are not back on the road within a designated time window.
Varta Automotive Batteries says that recent evidence from both sides of the Atlantic of a growing trend in premature battery failure caused by the retrofitting of power-sapping accessories has again raised the issue of like-for-like battery fitment.
RAC patrols attending more than half the call-outs in 2006 believe the use of in-car accessories has resulted in an increase in flat batteries. In the USA, a leading car customiser has experienced an increase in reported battery failures from customers who have add-on electronics such as i-pods and Sat Nav systems.
This incidence of batteries “dying young” is likely to have an increased impact on the aftermarket; recent SMMT figures show that sales of retrofitted in-car entertainment and Sat Nav systems grew between 2001 and 2005 from 100,000 to almost 1.9 million units.
Varta’s technicians warn that unless owners fitting these accessories upgraded their batteries to the same specification that would have been used by the vehicle manufacturer had the accessories been factory fitted, it could lead to premature battery failure.
QuickSilver’s ‘Titanium SuperSports’ exhaust system for the newest range of Lamborghini Gallardo’s is designed and tuned to provide a sound track to match the looks and performance of this SuperCar.
The newly developed exhaust system for the Gallardo is designed to be amazingly lightweight and give the best sound and performance possible. Sound is such an important part of driving a sports car and the special internal design of the box mixes the exhaust gases to give a crisper exhaust note, says QuickSilver. The Gallardo’s original factory silencers are cleverly designed and when the valves open also give quite a lot of volume but the exhaust gasses are not mixed so the sound is essentially just two five cylinder engines running side by side and not the great sound a V10 can produce.
Offering comfort and stability without sacrificing any of the thrills of driving, the exclusive Prestivo range from Stapleton’s is available in two tread patterns; the Prestivo 2000 and the Prestivo Sport. There are 35 tyre sizes available in the Prestivo 2000 range and 21 in the Sport range.
Available exclusively to members of Stapleton’s Prestivo Partners scheme, the range is said to have had a warm recept since its introduction last year. Steve Parker, Stapleton’s trading director, says: “Interest in the Prestivo range has exceeded our targets but has not surprised us as we feel the attractive support package has encouraged customers to sign up to the scheme.”
The Prestivo Partners scheme was created to ensure all retailers receive the backing and support they need to maximise sales of Prestivo Tyres. Partners enjoy attractive rebates, branded clothing, in-store support including posters, POS materials and other branded support items.