News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 27, 2012

Yokohama highlights trends in the US tire market

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 7:00 am

Mike McNulty at R&P News has posted an interesting interview with two of Yokohama Tire’s top people in the US: Rick Phillips, director of the Yokohama’s commercial sales, and Fred Koplin, director of marketing communications. Among the points

* In commercial tires (mainly light to heavy commercial truck tires), Yokohama “have literally sold everything that we are able to build.”
* Tiremakers are entering 2012 with very little truck tire inventory, similar to the situation in 2011.
* Truck tire demand is expected to continue to outstrip supply through at least mid-year 2012, with demand especially tight in the OEM segment.
* Raw material, transportation, labor and associated costs have risen faster than tire price increases, implying future price hikes.
* Yokohama recently expanded at Salem, VA, and is expanding worldwide in Russia and the Philippines.
* Product focus is shifting to higher-end tires.
* Areas of the world where most growth for tires will occur include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the United States.

Yes, you read that last item correctly. Maybe it’s time to change the BRIC countries to BRICUS?

Cooper, union reach agreement at Texarkana

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 6:36 am

On Thursday, Cooper Tire & Rubber announced that United Steelworkers Local 752L overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year labor agreement at the Company’s Texarkana, Ark., plant. The agreement, which affects approximately 1,500 union members, received a 1,006 to 141 endorsement as reported shortly after voting concluded at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Representatives from both the company and the Union expressed their appreciation for the high level of professionalism and efficiency that extended beyond the negotiating teams to the entire workforce at the Texarkana plant. The parties are equally consistent in their optimism for the future of the Texarkana facility and the ability of the plant employees to be even more productive under the terms of the new contract. In addition to wage and benefit changes which will be implemented over the course of the four-year accord, the company plans additional investment in the plant, which was applauded by both salaried and hourly employees.

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