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Basic Rubber's family focus still strong after four decades
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WALLED LAKE, Mich.—Family is the most important value for the owners of Basic Rubber & Plastics Co. Inc., according to David Smith, president and one of the three brothers who own the...
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WALLED LAKE, Mich.—Family is the most important value for the owners of Basic Rubber & Plastics, which welcomed guests during a recent plant tour for the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers. WALLED LAKE, Mich.—Family is the most important value for the owners of Basic Rubber & Plastics, which welcomed guests during a recent plant tour for the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers. $ WALLED LAKE, Mich.—Family is the most important value for the owners of Basic Rubber & Plastics, which welcomed guests during a recent plant tour for the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers.
Nokian breaks ground on Tennessee tire plant
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DAYTON, Tenn.—The smiles were almost as abundant as the southeast heat and humidity as executives from Nokian Tyres P.L.C. and officials from the state of Tennessee broke ground on the tire...
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DAYTON, Tenn.—The smiles were almost as abundant as the southeast heat and humidity as executives from Nokian and officials from the state of Tennessee broke ground on the tire maker's first North American facility. DAYTON, Tenn.—The smiles were almost as abundant as the southeast heat and humidity as executives from Nokian and officials from the state of Tennessee broke ground on the tire maker's first North American facility. $DAYTON, Tenn.—The smiles were almost as abundant as the southeast heat and humidity as executives from Nokian and officials from the state of Tennessee broke ground on the tire maker's first North American facility.
Michelin to follow Continental as IMSA tire supplier
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—The International Motor Sports Association is switching tire suppliers for the various sports car road-racing championships it organizes throughout North America....
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Michelin will take over from Continental as the tire supplier for the International Motor Sports Association's various sports car road-racing championships. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Michelin will take over from Continental as the tire supplier for the International Motor Sports Association's various sports car road-racing championships. $DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Michelin will take over from Continental as the tire supplier for the International Motor Sports Association's various sports car road-racing championships.
Clariant rejects appeal to rethink Huntsman merger
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MUTTENZ, Switzerland—Chemical giant Clariant A.G. has rejected a request to rethink its planned merger of equals with Woodlands, Texas-based Huntsman Corp. In an open letter to Clariant,...
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MUTTENZ, Switzerland—Chemical giant Clariant has rejected a request to rethink its planned merger of equals with U.S.-based Huntsman. MUTTENZ, Switzerland—Chemical giant Clariant has rejected a request to rethink its planned merger of equals with U.S.-based Huntsman. $MUTTENZ, Switzerland—Chemical giant Clariant has rejected a request to rethink its planned merger of equals with U.S.-based Huntsman.
Hoosier Gasket receives 'E' award from U.S. Department of Commerce
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INDIANAPOLIS—By increasing the company's percentage of exported goods, Indiana-based Hoosier Gasket Corp. has seen its revenue and employee base rise by about 25 percent during the last...
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INDIANAPOLIS—By increasing the company's percentage of exported goods, Indiana-based Hoosier Gasket has seen its revenue and employee base rise by about 25 percent during the last decade. INDIANAPOLIS—By increasing the company's percentage of exported goods, Indiana-based Hoosier Gasket has seen its revenue and employee base rise by about 25 percent during the last decade. $ INDIANAPOLIS—By increasing the company's percentage of exported goods, Indiana-based Hoosier Gasket has seen its revenue and employee base rise by about 25 percent during the last decade.
Louisville grants ASRC petition to modify emissions goals
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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District has granted most of American Synthetic Rubber Co.'s requests for modification of its emissions goals under Louisville's...
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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District has granted most of American Synthetic Rubber Co.'s requests for modification of its emissions goals under Louisville's Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program. LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District has granted most of American Synthetic Rubber Co.'s requests for modification of its emissions goals under Louisville's Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program. $LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District has granted most of American Synthetic Rubber Co.'s requests for modification of its emissions goals under Louisville's Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program.
Robotic system helps manage and track costly shipping containers
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GREEN, Ohio—Automotive suppliers have a problem.Yes, there is the uncertainty surrounding renegotiation of NAFTA and unrelenting increases in raw material costs. But this problem has to do...
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GREEN, Ohio—For original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers looking to better track returnable containers, there's an expense of manual cycle counts, meaning someone is physically counting packaging units. Last month, Surgere announced the commercial launch of a robot designed to take some of the sting out of reusable containers. GREEN, Ohio—For original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers looking to better track returnable containers, there's an expense of manual cycle counts, meaning someone is physically counting packaging units. Last month, Surgere announced the commercial launch of a robot designed to take some of the sting out of reusable containers. $GREEN, Ohio—For original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers looking to better track returnable containers, there's an expense of manual cycle counts, meaning someone is physically counting packaging units. Last month, Surgere announced the commercial launch of a robot designed to take some of the sting out of reusable containers.
H.B. Fuller to buy Royal Adhesives
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ST. PAUL, Minn.—H.B. Fuller Co. has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Royal Adhesives & Sealants L.L.C. from its private equity owner American Securities L.L.C. for about $1.58...
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ST. PAUL, Minn.—H.B. Fuller has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Royal Adhesives & Sealants from its private equity owner American Securities for about $1.58 billion. ST. PAUL, Minn.—H.B. Fuller has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Royal Adhesives & Sealants from its private equity owner American Securities for about $1.58 billion. $ ST. PAUL, Minn.—H.B. Fuller has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Royal Adhesives & Sealants from its private equity owner American Securities for about $1.58 billion.
In plastics M&A, market is ripe for sellers
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AKRON—It's a good time to own a plastics, polymer or specialty chemical company—especially if you're of a mind to sell it.That could have ramifications for some of the Akron area's...
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AKRON—It's a good time to own a plastics, polymer or specialty chemical company—especially if you're of a mind to sell it. AKRON—It's a good time to own a plastics, polymer or specialty chemical company—especially if you're of a mind to sell it. $AKRON—It's a good time to own a plastics, polymer or specialty chemical company—especially if you're of a mind to sell it.
Monolith targets U.S. for carbon black
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HALLAM, Neb.—Monolith Materials, a next-generation manufacturer of natural gas-based carbon black, is trying to bring a different form of carbon black manufacturing to America. To this end, ...
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HALLAM, Neb.—Monolith Materials, a next-generation manufacturer of natural gas-based carbon black, is trying to bring a different form of carbon black manufacturing to America. HALLAM, Neb.—Monolith Materials, a next-generation manufacturer of natural gas-based carbon black, is trying to bring a different form of carbon black manufacturing to America. $HALLAM, Neb.—Monolith Materials, a next-generation manufacturer of natural gas-based carbon black, is trying to bring a different form of carbon black manufacturing to America.
Digital Edition
Digital Edition
Published on September 5, 2005

Bridgestone sees opportunities abounding

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Date Published September 5, 2005
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Bridgestone Corp.'s chairman is bullish about the company's future, despite certain ``challenges,'' like huge raw material cost increases.

``This is a time of tremendous opportunity for Bridgestone, and we are moving aggressively to capitalize on that opportunity even while addressing huge challenges,'' Shigeo Watanabe, chairman, president and CEO of the Japanese company, said in a letter published in the firm's 2004 annual report.

Five years removed from the largest tire recall in tire industry history, Bridgestone is pushing for more market share, backed by a $2 billion-plus capital spending plan and coupled with steady earnings growth.

One aspect of Bridgestone's strategy that separates it from its major competitors is its belief in vertical integration.

While major competitors Goodyear and Groupe Michelin are moving away from certain captive supply sources, Bridgestone is investing heavily in in-house supplies. Those include carbon black, steel and textile cord, and natural and synthetic rubber. The company also is solidifying its captive retail distribution networks in North America, Europe and Japan.

In the annual report, Watanabe said that while the firm will continue to buy most of its raw materials from third-party sources, it will upgrade its in-house capabilities in developing, producing and using those materials. ``That will help us create better tires, and it will help ensure reliable access to crucial raw materials,'' he wrote.

The company didn't respond to requests for comment, and its U.S. operations referred all questions to Japan.

Bridgestone has committed more than $360 million through 2007 to enhancing its raw materials supply situation. Included in that are the recent purchases of Goodyear's NR plantation in Indonesia, a new carbon black plant in Thailand, two steel cord factories in China, and expansions of steel cord capacity in Japan and the U.S.

Noting demand for passenger tires in industrialized nations is shifting toward high-performance tires and tires of larger rim sizes, Watanabe said the tire maker will deploy production resources to accommodate that fact.

The firm also will expand production capacity to handle higher global demand for auto tires, especically in emerging markets. And an increase in truck tire consumption will require further capacity expansion in that sector.

The amount of new daily capacity coming on stream for the tire maker in the next two to three years is roughly 45,000 units. That's equivalent to as much as $1.5 billion in new sales, depending on the mix.

The firm is financing much of its growth through adequate cash flow and controlled debt. The firm's interest-bearing debt declined last year by 2 percent. The debt-equity ratio stood at 0.34 at year-end, the lowest it's been in five years.

Short term, Bridgestone sees sales rising steadily this year and next, but the unstable raw materials situation likely will keep a lid on earnings gains, the company said in its half-year results.

Bridgestone also is betting heavily on China, where it has three tire plants and a steel cord factory plus a second steel cord facility under construction. The firm has invested $500 million in China since 2002.

* * *

Bridgestone capital investment priorities

* Deploying production to serve the shift in demand for auto and light truck tires in industrialized markets toward high-performance and larger diameter rim sizes.

* Expanding capacity to serve the growth in global demand for passenger tires, especially in emerging markets.

* Expanding capacity to serve the increase in worldwide consumption of truck and bus tires and for off-the-road tires.

* Boosting capabilities in producing raw materials for tires.

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