Kumho has entered into an agreement with Daimler AG to provide tyres for OE fitment to the new Mercedes-Benz Viano X-Clusive, the German manufacturer’s luxury MPV first displayed at last October’s Tokyo motor show and scheduled for release in March.
The new vehicle will be supplied with 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, and the agreement with Kumho will see around 10,000 tyres delivered. The Viano X-Clusive is the second Mercedes-Benz model to be supplied by the South Korean manufacturer – its tyres have also been fitted as OE to the A-Class since February 2007.
Canada based tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system producer SmarTire Systems has announced that the revenue for its fiscal year ending July 31, 2007 increased to $3,661,821 from $3,455,649 during fiscal 2006. However this rise in revenue was again accompanied by a net loss; $19.6 million or $0.07 per share, a reduced loss from fiscal year 2006, in which net figures were $28.8 million or ($0.10) per share in the red.
Cash used to fund operating and investing activities in fiscal 2007 decreased to $5.1 million from $8.1 million in fiscal 2006. The decrease in cash used was primarily due to the closure of the company’s UK office in late February, the reduction in the number of company employees by approximately 45 per cent and the issuance of shares to settle debt. Smartire state it anticipates that cash required for operating and investing activities in fiscal 2008 will decrease by another 50-60 per cent of the amount of the cash used to fund operating and investing activities in fiscal in fiscal 2007. The company’s operating expenses for the year increased to $7.7 million from $7.1 million in fiscal year 2006.
Local government is giving the Continental Teves brake facility in the US state of North Carolina a helping hand in order to help it remain competitive. On October 19 Henderson County agreed to give Conti $32,150 next year – an amount equalling 80 per cent of the company’s annual property tax – and up to that amount for each of the following four years, and the Town of Fletcher will give the manufacturer exactly half this amount.
Continental sought economic incentives to help secure new contracts, in particular with Daimler and Chrysler to manufacture brake callipers for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Durango and Dakota and the Mercedes M Class vehicles. The funding will enable the Teves plant to create 35 new jobs. “We in the automotive industry are competing on a worldwide basis,” said plant manager Bobby Nelon. “It’s absolutely necessary we come together as a community and industry so the Town of Fletcher and county of Henderson can continue to prosper.”
Vredestein Banden B.V. CEO Robert H. Oudshoorn is to return to Amtel-Vredestein’s Board after a 6-month absence to join new Amtel-Vredestein CEO and Executive Board Chairman, Petr Zolotarev and CFO Vadim Pesochinsky, who joined the Company in July 2007.
Amtel-Vredestein has increased the size of its Executive Board from a maximum of four to six and has nominated four new members. The election of the nominees will be included among the agenda items at an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM) scheduled for 2 October 2007 in Enschede, The Netherlands.
Other new members are Vredestein Consulting Managing Director, Kornelis (Kees) Hettema; Amtel-Vredestein Deputy General Director of Sales and Operations, Ilya Ivanov; and Vredestein Banden Director of Corporate Marketing & Sales, Marc Luyten.
Daimler has sold 80.1 per cent of Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus for 5.5 billion euros, far below the $36 billion price-tag the company originally paid. Daimler will retain a 19.9 per cent minority share and has committed to reinvesting 4.5 billion euros back into Chrysler, leaving Daimler with just 1 billion euros. Despite this market observers report that margins in all industrial activities (Mercedes trucks, vans and buses) are likely to rise sharply over the next few years.
Analysts at Deutsche Bank have calculated that Cerberus’ bid values Chrysler at -3.4 billion euros. They also have pointed out that the deal will have implications on GM and Ford and signal a harder line when it comes to any future labour negotiations:
At the end of April Bridgestone UK announced details of its Expert Level Truck Point Dealer Audit Programme, naming the first three recipients. The accreditation scheme is the latest stage in the multi-million-pound total tyre management investment programme Bridgestone has been engaged in for the last three years. A further 46 external “Expert Level” audits were scheduled to have been completed at the end of April. Bridgestone plan to hold an official awards ceremony for the remaining Expert Level dealers at the annual Truck Point conference in October.
Talking to Tyres & Accessories, Bridgestone representatives described how working with Lloyd’s register made their scheme “a first.” As external auditors, LRQA (Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance), a leading management systems assessment body, carry out the necessary checks independently, adding greater value to the validation of the Expert Level dealers.
The objective of the programme is to recognise the high service standards of Expert Level Truck Point dealers, and to further improve the service standards of the entire network. The Expert Level Truck Point Audit Programme audits customer service provision, casing management, health & safety policy, equipment checks, administration, invoicing and training within Truck Point dealers.
Vintage Tyre Supplies (VTS) is publicising the launch of the new Avon Turbospeed in size 670R16 (97V). This completely new tyre was designed by Avon Tyres of Great Britain as a modern replacement for 650 and 670-16 cross-ply products.
“It has been introduced to enhance the driving experience by providing better grip in all conditions, it will not only last longer but provide a superior ride. And it has a special introductory price £179.50 +vat including free delivery to a UK mainland address,” VTS’s Chris Marchant told Tyres & Accessories
Popular applications include: Austin Sheerline and Princess, Bentley 4,1/4 and 4,1/2 litre, BMW 501, Rolls Royce Silver Dawn, AC 2 litre and Sports, Jaguar mk V and VII, Riley Pathfinder, Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, Daimler Regency, Empress and many American cars.
DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses North America has announced details of plans to have SmarTire Systems Inc. supply tyre pressure and temperature monitoring systems (TPMS) as an optional upgrade on their vehicles.
Nobody would deny the safety and convenience benefits afforded by Michelin’s revolutionary PAX run-flat tyres, which allow motorists to travel safely for 125 miles (below 50 mph) on punctured tyres. More problematical, however, is finding someone who can fix the puncture, or replace the tyre. Good news then for PAX customers in the Midlands – Chemix in Halesowen has now received full Michelin accreditation for the supply and fit, including puncture repairs of PAX tyres.
(Akron/Tire Review) TIA is keeping a tight focus on the tyre pressure monitoring system issue, and is using its Tires at Two seminars at the upcoming SEMA Show to help attendees better understand the technology and service of these units. In addition, TIA is again presenting its highly popular panel discussion “Successful Tire Dealers Share Their Secrets.” TIA’s Tires at Two seminars will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – Oct. 31-Nov. 2 – of this year’s SEMA Show.
KYB is to supply shock absorbers as original equipment for the new Lexus GS luxury sport saloon.
Hajime Sato, MD of KYB Europe, described the agreement with Lexus as “great news” and it is the latest in a series of global OE contracts with manufacturers such as Audi-VW group, Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Toyota.
Dieter Zetsche, the Chrysler group CEO who was set to take over the running of DaimlerChrysler on 1 January 2006, will now also take over at struggling Mercedes Car Group on 1 September, DaimlerChrysler has announced.
Current Mercedes chief Eckhard Cordes, who was passed over in the race for the group chief executive job, is leaving the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker at the end of August at his own request, the Stuttgart-based company said in a statement, the Reuters news agency has reported.
Under the accelerated switchover, Daimler said Chrysler group COO Tom LaSorda will become up to CEO on 1 September, four months earlier than first planned. The fact that Zetsche might take over at Mercedes had been well documented in the German media, but may last far longer than the time it would take simply to find a permanent replacement for Cordes.
Continental has appointed Mike Nyren as its truck and remould brand manager. In his new role Mr Nyren will be responsible for the development and implementation of strategies for the Uniroyal and Semperit truck tyre brands.
Nyren comes to Conti from Daimler Chrysler, where he worked as marketing executive for the commercial vehicles business. Talking about his recent appointment he said: “I am really looking forward to my new role, especially working at Continental which is renowned for its high standards of engineering and product quality.”
In a statement summing up the company’s plans for the New Year, Pirelli has called 2005 “the year of OE.” In the company’s words, its New Year strategy will be based on four key business pillars – MIRS, original equipment, brand and new products.
The company recently announced that it would be bringing a fourth MIRS system into operation. In addition Pirelli highlighted the fact that its “Fist” advertising campaign has received awards for its “original equipment on the world’s finest” message.
Gaetano Mannino, president and CEO of Pirelli Tire North America, explained that only a few days into the New Year, the list of vehicles riding on Pirellis includes the following well-known names: The Dodge Ram SRT-10, SRT-10 Quad Cab and the Durango, made by Daimler-Chrysler; Ford’s F250 and F350 pickup trucks and the Five Hundred, Freestyle and Mustang GT. Chevrolet’s new Cobalt is also shod with Pirellis as an OE fitment.
Matador has completed a majority share purchase agreement with joint-stock company Pal-Inalfa from Vrable, Slovakia. The acquisition will now provide the group with access to the suppliers and producers segment of the car industry.