Japan's Bridgestone Corp. once again has surfaced as the largest maker of tire and non-tire rubber products for 1993, outpacing Goodyear and Groupe Michelin. Goodyear slipped ahead of Michelin in Rubber & Plastics News' ranking of the world's top 25 rubber product makers, based both on a sales decline by Michelin and a shift in currency exchange rates.
The value of the French franc slipped against the dollar by about 7 percent, using the annual averaged rates for comparison.
The rest of the top 10 remained unchanged: Continental A.G. at No. 4, followed by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., Pirelli S.p.A., Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., BTR P.L.C. and Hutchinson S.A.
If Sumitomo's Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. subsidiary were included in Sumitomo's figures, it would slide past Continental into fourth.
Twelve of the 25 companies on the list are predominantly tire manufacturers and Bandag Inc., ranked No. 25, realizes nearly its entire sales volume from tires.
The largest companies with no or little tire presence are BTR and Hutchinson, ranked ninth and 10th.
The devaluation of the British pound in late 1992 affected both BTR and Laird Group P.L.C. negatively.
BTR failed to overtake Toyo for eighth, while Laird slipped three places to 23rd.
The biggest climber was Dayco Products Inc.'s owner, Mark IV Industries Inc., whose acquisition of Pirelli's transmission belting business helped push it up five places to 17th.
Cleveland-based Standard Products Co. slipped slightly on the list, falling to No. 24 this year from No. 23 in 1992.
Japan leads the rankings with eight companies, ahead of the U.S. with seven. France, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom have two companies each in the top 25, while Italy and Australia have one each.
The 25 firms making up this list totaled nearly $65 billion in sales of tires and rubber products.
RPN compiled this list from information in surveys, annual reports and industry sources. Non-U.S. companies' results were translated into U.S. dollars at the average annual exchange rate for 1993.