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International news: Dayco Products opens sales facility in Buenos Aires

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Dayco Products opens sales facility in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—Dayco Products L.L.C. has opened a sales office in Buenos Aires.

The firm expects it to generate new business in the region and support its current aftermarket business partners. Dayco appointed Dario Taha, aftermarket sales manager in South America, to run the office.

“We're excited to open this new sales office in South America as we continue to take vital steps to globalize our operations in order to provide a seamless service experience for our customers,” Dayco CEO John Bohenick said in a statement.

“To make this happen, we're investing in global core capacities that underscore value creation, which include a drive to innovate, an ability to push the boundaries of endurance, a bias toward system dynamics and an urge to serve our customers.”

Dayco said it entered the Argentina market in November 1995 by importing, marketing and selling automotive belts. The new office is part of an internal expansion project in the region. Dayco said it is strengthening its ties with customers in South America.

Amaral picked to head new Cooper sales office in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Brazil—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has established a sales office in Sao Paulo to support local distributors and dealers and help further the company's Latin America expansion.

The office, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Brasil Fabricacao, Importacao e Distribuicao de Pneus Ltda., will operate under the leadership of General Manager Durval Amaral, a former Goodyear executive who joined Cooper last year after working the past couple of years as an industry consultant and university professor.

Luis Ceneviz, managing director of Cooper's Latin America Tire Operations, noted Cooper has “put in place an outstanding core leadership team with decades of industry experience and knowledge specific to Latin America.”

Amaral worked for Goodyear for 28 years in various executive capacities—in Brazil, Venezuela and the U.S., according to his LinkedIn page. He left Goodyear in late 2012.

Cooper hired Ceneviz—formerly an executive with Apollo Tyres Ltd. and Goodyear—in February 2015 to oversee its Latin America Tire Operations, made up of Mexico, Central and South America.

Cooper is targeting Latin/South America for exponential growth as part of its global growth strategy, according to statements the company made in 2014. At that time it said it anticipated selling 4 million to 5 million units throughout Latin America by 2020.

Woodbridge forms joint venture for China market

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario—Woodbridge GSK High Polymer Technology Co. Ltd. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Component Co. Ltd. have formed a joint venture to focus on the production of molded polyurethane foam for the Chinese market.

The joint venture, operating under the Woodbridge GSK High Polymer Technology name and based in Wuhan, China, will provide the polyurethane foam to auto makers for seat cushioning, head restraints and arm rests.

Greg Yan, general manager of China operations for the Mississauga-based Woodbridge Group, the parent of Woodbridge GSK, said Guangzhou Automotive “has become a very important auto parts enterprise in south China.”

Expansion of Bridgestone Hungary plant on schedule

TATABANYA, Hungary—Bridgestone Europe officials have dismissed reports that the company was significantly delaying a planned expansion of its tire production facility in Hungary.

In June 2013, Bridgestone announced a nearly $289 million expansion of the Tatabanya plant to boost capacity to around 6.5 million tires per year, or about 18,000 tires a day.

The plant manufactures premium radial tires for passenger cars, including run-flat and UHP tires. The expansion was scheduled to be completed during the first half of 2017 and create more than 500 new jobs.

Asked about reports that the project was being delayed by up to three years, Jake Romsholt, managing director of Bridgestone Europe's consumer business unit, said “there had been no reassessment and (the project) is approximately on time.”

A Bridgestone spokesman said reports about a delay likely were based on a misinterpretation of a Hungarian news release intended to highlight the employment opportunities at the new facility.

Meanwhile, Romsholt, who has speaking just after the Jan. 19 launch of the company's DriveGuard extended mobility tire in Nice, France, went on to say that the Hungary plant was “part of the possibilities” as a site for the production of the new tire.

The European version of DriveGuard is currently being manufactured solely at Bridgestone's Poznan facility in Poland, with a variant for the North American market being supplied from Japan.