In the UK Scott Harvey (14) is suing Dunlop Tyres and a family member who was driving a car when a tyre burst at 60 mph. Harvey was not wearing a seat belt in the back of the car and was thrown clear, suffering head injuries and fractures and had to have two fingers removed from his right hand. Dunlop made no comment, saying that the case was in the hands of the company’s legal team.
The automotive parts division of TRW is to be sold to investment firm Blackstone Group for $4.7 billion, once TRW’s merger with Northrop Grumman is finalised. TRW recently sold its aeronautical systems business to Goodrich for $1.5 billion. TRW makes seat belt systems, air bag systems and other components, with annual sales over $10 billion. Blackstone has raised a private equity fund worth $6.45 billion and the TRW purchase will be the first through the fund.
The first 15 seat passenger van tyre related roll-over case has begun at Wichita Falls, Texas. This is the first case to come to court since the NHTSA issues an advisory about the vehicles in April 2001. The first hearing will establish the validity of expert testimony. The defendants are DaimlerChrysler Corp, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc, Michelin North America Inc, and Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation. The case arose after the alleged tread separation of a Michelin tyre which is claimed to have caused the vehicle to roll over several times resulting in four deaths.
With an average consumption of 3.18 litres Diesel per 100 kilometres, a series Seat Arosa 1.4 TDI completed the 6,367 kilometres distance from Nordkap to Tarifa in the south of Spain. “Across Europe In 100 hours, For 200 Euro” was the target of the fuel saving ride, made on ContiEcoContact EP tyres with an insignificantly higher-than usual pressure (2.8 bar) and at an average speed of 83 km/h.
Peter Schütterle is once again in the driver’s seat at Pneuhage after the resignation of three managers. Hanshugo Sürth, Kurt Scholl and Holger Abeln left the company on 13th March. The company, one of the largest tyre retail and wholesale groups in Germany, made a loss last year. This came as a big surprise – possibly even for Schütterle, the owner of the group, who until now has not been involved in the group on a day-to-day basis.
According to the German magazine Stern VW has to reduce its profit expectations for the actual business year by 1.9 billion DM in comparison with its mid-term forecast. In February VW-boss Ferdinand Piëch already requested better results from subsidiary companies Audi, Seat and Skoda. Critics fear that the latest excursion into the luxury-segment (D1) will have a negative effect on the core business of VW.
Light alloy wheel supplier Ronal has been honoured by the Volkswagen Group with the Corporate Supplier Award “The Leading Edge”. Ronal is a supplier of the car brands VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda and has also received new development orders for the prestigious Bentley brand.
Pirelli will supply the Ford Focus WRC from the beginning of 2001 in the World Rally Championships. Drivers will be Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz. Pirelli also equips Subaru with rally tyres as part of a long-term contract and cooperates with Seat.