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Datwyler opens Delaware plant
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MIDDLETOWN, Del.—The sealing unit of Datwyler Holding A.G. celebrated the grand opening of its new medical manufacturing plant in Middletown. The site represents a $100 million investment,...
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MIDDLETOWN, Del.—The sealing unit of Datwyler Holding celebrated the grand opening of its new medical manufacturing plant in Middletown. MIDDLETOWN, Del.—The sealing unit of Datwyler Holding celebrated the grand opening of its new medical manufacturing plant in Middletown. $MIDDLETOWN, Del.—The sealing unit of Datwyler Holding celebrated the grand opening of its new medical manufacturing plant in Middletown.
Yokohama to combine R&D efforts into new center
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CORNELIUS, N.C.—Yokohama Tire Corp. has opened a new research and development facility in Cornelius, designed to bring together its R&D efforts into one location.Yokohama Development...
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CORNELIUS, N.C.—Yokohama has opened a new research and development facility in Cornelius, designed to bring together its research and development efforts into one location. CORNELIUS, N.C.—Yokohama has opened a new research and development facility in Cornelius, designed to bring together its research and development efforts into one location. $CORNELIUS, N.C.—Yokohama has opened a new research and development facility in Cornelius, designed to bring together its research and development efforts into one location.
Photos: Goodyear tires drive NASCAR tradition
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AKRON—The first thing you sense while you tour the Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing facility in Akron is the enormous amount of pride, workmanship and know-how that goes into each of ...
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AKRON—The first thing you sense while you tour the Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing facility in Akron is the enormous amount of pride, workmanship and know-how that goes into each of the 4,000-plus racing tires. AKRON—The first thing you sense while you tour the Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing facility in Akron is the enormous amount of pride, workmanship and know-how that goes into each of the 4,000-plus racing tires. $AKRON—The first thing you sense while you tour the Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing facility in Akron is the enormous amount of pride, workmanship and know-how that goes into each of the 4,000-plus racing tires.
Electrification shaking up rubber auto parts sector
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Electrification is shaking up the automotive parts supply-chain: forcing rubber product companies to add new capabilities to their established areas of expertise in materials science and...
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Electrification is shaking up the automotive parts supply-chain: forcing rubber product companies to add new capabilities to their established areas of expertise in materials science and technology. Electrification is shaking up the automotive parts supply-chain: forcing rubber product companies to add new capabilities to their established areas of expertise in materials science and technology. $Electrification is shaking up the automotive parts supply-chain: forcing rubber product companies to add new capabilities to their established areas of expertise in materials science and technology.
Evonik opens tire silicas plant in South Carolina
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry.The $120 million investment comes in...
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry. GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry. $GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry.
Long development journey pays off for Tweel, Michelin
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AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the ...
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AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the tire maker's easily recognizable product that combines a non-pneumatic tire with a polyurethane spoked wheel. AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the tire maker's easily recognizable product that combines a non-pneumatic tire with a polyurethane spoked wheel. $AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the tire maker's easily recognizable product that combines a non-pneumatic tire with a polyurethane spoked wheel.
Old Dana taps the fountain of youth
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MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future. Dana Inc. has made two key...
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MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future. MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future. $MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future.
Kent Elastomer to expand headquarters
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KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products Inc. is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force.The firm broke ground on an extension to the office area of its Kent facility,...
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KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force. KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force. $KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force.
Private equity firm KKR set to acquire Minnesota Rubber & Plastics
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MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion L.L.C., which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR & Co. L.P. Terms of the...
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MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion, which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR. MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion, which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR. $ MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion, which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR.
Video: Miller calls Louisville Rubber Division meeting a success LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This week's ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference has been a success on all levels, according to Executive Director Ed Miller. LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This week's ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference has been a success on all levels, according to Executive Director Ed Miller. $LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This week's ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference has been a success on all levels, according to Executive Director Ed Miller.
Digital Edition
Digital Edition
Published on September 3, 2007

'Made in USA' not the norm for trailer tires

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Date Published September 3, 2007
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Imports will continue to rule in the niche market of trailer tires for camping and boating customers, according to participants in the field.

No one knows for sure how many trailer tires are imported versus manufactured in the U.S. But like other high-volume tires, trailer tires tend to bring low margins, according to Jeff Kreitzman, CEO of American Pacific Industries Inc.

Kreitzman estimates the U.S. replacement ST, or Special Tires, trailer tire market consists of 6 million to 10 million units.

API has trailer tires made for it by an undisclosed tire manufacturer at its Qingdao, China, plant, but Kreitzman declined to comment on how many units are imported or sold in the U.S.

API plans to launch its own ST trailer tire line in the Gladiator brand next spring, Kreitzman said. Currently, API sells Gladiator-brand medium truck and earthmover tires.

``We have a pretty good customer base in (Gladiator),'' he said. ``We figure it's a natural fit.''

Loosely defined, ST trailer tires are used in a variety of towing applications, including boat, utility and travel trailers, said Tim Landis, vice president of aftermarket and replacement tire sales for Long Beach, Calif.-based Greenball Corp.

Competition in the U.S. trailer tire market has driven prices for the products down and lowered profitability, Kreitzman and Landis both said. However, Landis said Greenball is seeing its radial ST trailer tire business growing as more original equipment manufacturers are preferring radials to bias-ply because of radials' greater load carrying capacity and smoother ride. He declined to disclose sales.

Greenball imports its Towmaster and Transmaster trailer tire brands from Indonesia, Taiwan and China, Landis said.

Other companies that supply ST trailer tires are Goodyear, Titan International Inc., Maxxis International Inc., Carlisle Tire & Wheel Co. and American Kenda Rubber Industries Co. Ltd. Of those firms, Goodyear and Maxxis both said they manufacture their trailer tires in Asia, but neither would say at which plants.

Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO, recently said that except for a few contracts with trailer manufacturers, Titan is out of the trailer tire business.

The travel trailer and camper manufacturing industry reported revenues of $9.28 billion in 2006 with a 15.9 percent gross profit. These numbers reflect sales in all trailer segments, including those that would not use ST-type tires.

In the boating trailer sector, research firm Statistical Surveys Inc. tracks boat trailer registrations in all states and noted that new registrations fell 34 percent to 64,898 units through May 31 compared with the year-ago period. New boat trailer registrations at year-end 2006 totaled 204,405 units, down from 223,978 in 2005, according to Randy Lemasters, sales and marketing manager for Statistical Surveys.

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