VELP, Netherlands (Dec. 11)—Dutch tire and rubber product maker Vredestein N.V. said it will suffer a "substantial loss" in fiscal 2001 rather than a profit, as previously forecast. Difficult trading conditions, onetime provisions and write-downs is causing the decline, the firm said. Sales and margins at Vredestein Banden are under considerable pressure as a result of lower sales in the entire automotive industry, especially in Germany, the firm's most important market, the company said. Winter tire sales suffered from mild weather in October and the late start of the winter season. The European foot and mouth disease crisis also impacted the agricultural tire business, the firm added. Returns from Norwegian-based boot company Viking will also be lower than expected and the group said it would take extra costs to accelerate a reorganization of this business.