A case has been brought against Goodyear and M&T Inc, the owner of a local Big O Tire store. The widows of three men killed in a rollover claim that the Kelly Springfield Metric Radial suffered a tread separation, resulting in the deaths of their husbands. It is not clear whether the action has been pending, or whether this case has been brought subsequent to the Bridgestone/Firestone recall.
Engineered Products Consolidation At Goodyear Plant
Goodyear is to consolidate and streamline fabric production for its engineered products (conveyor belts, hoses, air springs) at its plant at Cartersville, Georgia. Automotive and truck tyre fabric production was discontinued at the plant last year.
Eurofleet Tyres & Services, daughter of Bandag and the German retail cooperative Team-Group, which was first introduced in June at REIFEN 2000 in Essen, reports a positive development. It has more than 1,300 service partners which cover not only the Western European territory, but also Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will call the newest Blimp Spirit of Goodyear in order to honour its 100,000 employees world-wide. The replacement of the former Blimp became necessary because the Spirit of Akron crashed at the end of October.
The German Hofmann Werkstatt-Technik GmbH from Pfungstadt has been renamed. Now it is called Snap-on Deutschland Holding GmbH, Business Unit Hofmann Werkstatt-Technik. The address has remained the same.
Phoenix, supplier to the vehicle industry, itself a tyre manufacturer many years ago and still specialising, though not exclusively, in rubber parts for the automobile industry, is not reaching its turnover and profit targets as quickly as planned. Air springs, an area in which Continental is also involved, however, promises to develop into a jewel for the group from 2001 and gives ground for hope of steep rises in turnover and earnings in the long term.
Italian brand Melber had to leave the German aftermarket for alloy wheels last year. In co-operation with Euro Consulting and sales manager Josef Holder the company is now planning a relaunch of the brand in the German market.
The Australian Conglomerate, Pacific Dunlop Ltd., cannot reach its income figure from 1998 of A$ 188m. In the first half of 1999 the company reached a net income of A$74.5m compared with A$ 101.7 million for the first six half of 1998.
Michelin India Private Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Maharashtra to acquire a block of land at Talegon in the Pune district. No time scale for the start of construction has been decided.
The news that BMW was going to sell its loss-making (1999 losses alone were 1 billion Euros) subsidiary Rover provoked an understandably strong reaction in Britain. Some estimated that 50,000 jobs (including those of suppliers) could be lost and BMW’s name was mud with workers, unions and the British Government, which accused BMW of lying. Undeterred, BMW began breaking up the Rover group, selling Land Rover to Ford for 3 billion Euros and the Longbridge car factory to venture capitalists Alchemy Partners, with BMW writing off debts of £2 million. BMW is retaining the factory at Cowley, where the new Mini will be made. Alchemy plans to re-name Rover as MG Cars and to move away from volume production to make sports cars and sports saloons. This would keep the Longbridge factory open, but with a much reduced workforce. Amid the thousands of paragraphs criticising BMW, some industry pundits have questioned the vulnerability of the German group and there are rumours of larger companies (VW and Ford are two who have been mentioned) sniffing around BMW. The major shareholder in BMW is the Quandt family, whose members insist that the company will remain independent. More details in the April issue of TYRES & ACCESSORIES.
King Juan Carlos recently visited Bridgestone/Firestone plant in Burgos, one of the groups three tyre plants in Spain. The reason for the visit was the 100th birthday of Firestone this year. In 1990 Burgos was the groups first European tyre factory to start producing Bridgestone-branded tyres, at that time Firestones new parent company.
Jim ODonnell (50) has been appointed Managing Director of BMW (GB), effective June 1. He succeeds Kevin Gaskell, who left the company in February. ODonnells former roles include Sales & Marketing Director for BMW South Africa and, most recently, Sales Director of BMW (GB).
At the recent conference of the UK National Tyre Dealers Association (NTDA), Chairman of Council Ashley Croft announced that the Rapid-Fit chain of retailers had applied for membership. Rapid-Fit consists of 300+ fast-fit depots, owned by individual Ford car dealers. This will bring the number of centres in NTDA membership to more than 2,000.