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.
Dr. Wolfgang Ziebarth (50), former member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, will be appointed to the company’s Executive Board with effect from October 1st, 2000. In December, Dr. Ziebarth is to assume responsibility for the Continental Automotive Systems Group, thus succeeding Hans Albert Beller (62) who is to begin his planned retirement after building up the unit for the past seven years.
Directors of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. have declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share. The dividend is payable December 15, to shareholders of record on November 16. The payout represents an annual rate of $1.20 per share.
From the 1st till the 10th of December the 33rd “Essen-Motor-Show-International” opened its gates. For ten days, more than 550 exhibitors in 18 exhibition halls were showing the whole range of individual vehicle models for the world market and the broad palette of vehicle accessories. The Essen-Motor-Show enjoys the international reputation of being the biggest and most comprehensive show for automobile tuners. The tuning business is booming in Europe. Whereas the German passenger car market has decline by more than ten per cent this year, the tuning companies are reporting increasing turnovers. After 7.8 billion DM in the previous year it is expected that the eight billion DM benchmark is going to to be reached this year. But the tuning business guarantees not only high net earnings, it guarantees jobs as well. In 1999 the sector employed 18.000 people. For the car tuners the Essen-Motor-Show is traditionally the most important platform for presenting their products. The exhibitors have shown numerous world premieres in Essen. A review on this event is features in the December edition of NEUE REIFENZEITUNG.
There is a theory that all news stories are born equal. The level of their importance increases as the story reaches the top of the pile on the news editor’s desk. The Firestone recall moved latent news about possible problems with Goodyear tyres to the top of the pile. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have 58 complaints against Goodyear, 46 of which were filed after the announcement of the Firestone recall. Goodyear is facing a pincer movement, on the one hand being accused of being too slow in their introduction of changes made to the Load Range E tyre to improve safety, and on the other of carrying out a “silent recall”. Learn more about this in TYRES & ACCESSORIES’s December edition.
In December, Taiwanese tyre manufacturer Cheng Shin, producer of the Maxxis brand, opened a technical centre in Georgia where the company employs five people. Cheng Shin already has an R&D centre in Taiwan, employing more than 150 technical staff. The company does not plan to open other R&D centres outside Taiwan.
Dr. Dieter Hillecke (61), Technical Managing Director of Dunlop Germany, retires on 31st December 1999. Before joining Dunlop in 1985, Hillecke filled various positions within the Pirelli international group.
In the USA, General Tire has begun a recall of 4,750 truck tyres, produced between December 1998 and February 1999. A Continental Group spokesman pointed out that the company is not acting under any legal obligation, and the move is a precautionary one.
The news group Reuters has been named as sponsor of the BMW-Williams F1 team for three years. In December, BMW and oil company Castrol announced that they would work together but the main sponsor was only revealed today.
From December to March, cars, light trucks, trailers and buses (up to 30 t) in Sweden must be fitted with M+S tyres. In the past, many motorists – particularly in the south of the country – drove on summer tyres all year round, especially on used cars or second family cars.
There are persistent rumours that Michelin will be entering Formula 1 from the year 2001. BMW/Williams is the most likely partner. It is expected that Michelin will make an announcement in December this year. Other rumours say that Goodyear intends to return to Formula 1 Racing as well, but research carried out by NEUE REIFENZEITUNG confirmed them to be unfounded. Very recently the Americans even anounced to pull out of the IRL and CART Series in the USA.
Finland has followed its neighbour Sweden by passing a law which means that, from 1st December to 29th February, all cars in Finland must be fitted with M+S tyres, having a minimum tread depth of at least three millimetres. The law applies not only to Finnish motorists, but to foreign drivers too.