AKRON (Dec. 28)—General Motors Corp.´s decision to phase out its 103-year-old Oldsmobile brand apparently will have little tire industry impact. The auto maker announced Dec. 12 it would discontinue the Olds nameplate over the next three years, or sooner, if the brand is no longer "economically viable." Oldsmobile´s sales through the end of November stood at nearly 266,000 units, down 18.5 percent vs. 1999, according to Automotive News, a Crain Communications publication. The brand´s sales have declined steadily since 1986, when more than 1 million Oldsmobiles were sold. According to estimates, Michelin North America Inc. provides about 40 percent of the original equipment tires used by GM. A Michelin spokeswoman said the company provides OE tires for three Oldsmobile models: Alero, Aurora and Bravada. However, only about 25 percent of Michelin´s tire sales are OE, the spokeswoman said.
Oldsmobile demise will have little effect on tire industry
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