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Tire news, reviews, tips and links!

Why tire prices are on the rise

Talk about inflation. Tire prices are on the rise, and a lot of consumers aren’t going to be very happy. In fact, tire industry analysts like Saul Ludwig predict that the prices of wholesale tires will be 5-10% higher by the time the new year rolls around. But why?

There are a few factors that are contributing to the rise in prices. First off, raw materials like rubber and oil are also rising in price, forcing manufacturers to charge more in order to maintain profit margins.  Secondly, supplies are low as manufacturers remain cautious in the recessed global economy, and demand is high at a time when lots of consumers are in the market for snow tires. Simple Economics 101 tells you that low supply and high demand equals higher prices. Another contributing factor is the Chinese tire tariff recently imposed by President Obama. In light of the tariff, many manufacturers are raising prices in order to offset the hefty 35% tax.

Goodyear was the first major tire manufacturer to announce a price hike. Starting December 1st, all Goodyear replacement tires sold in the U.S. will be subject to a 6% price increase. Cooper Tire has also increased its prices to offset the tire tariff. Industry analysts expect that the rising cost of raw materials will result in a 5-10% increase for Cooper across its lineup in 2010.

Despite the surge of buying, tire shipments are still expected to drop in 2010, as the tire industry continues to suffer the effects from a hard hit automotive industry.

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Filed under: Tire News

Yokohoma Tire celebrates 40th anniversary in the states

Yokohama has already perfected a method for using orange oil to create rubber, instead of petroleum.

40 years ago today, the Yokohoma Tire Corporation opened up its doors in Los Angeles. Today it remains one of the most competitive and innovative tire manufacturers in the world, one that remains committed to a quality product and environmental responsibility.

Takao Oishi, president and CEO of Yokohoma Tire Company, reiterated the company’s vision on the 40th anniversary of their launch in the U.S.: “Our philosophy in the U.S. is to embrace corporate social responsibility with a focus on a triple bottom line. This triple bottom line consists of the economy, society and environment. Specific to environmental stewardship, we are affecting positive changes in our manufacturing processes, materials and product performance. Our overall corporate goal is to deliver the best products at competitive prices and on time while minimizing impact to our planet.”

One of the more innovative examples of Yokohama’s creativity and eco-responsibility are their series of orange oil infused tires. Instead of using petroleum to make the rubber used for most tires, Yokohama has used the oil from processed orange rinds to manufacture rubber that has less of an impact on the environment. Yokohama also claims that orange oil improves the grip of the tires, reducing rolling resistance and improving overall gas mileage.

In addition to the orange oil tires, Yokohama also features a full lineup of passenger car, light truck, commercial truck, high-performance and construction tires. For access to the complete inventory of wholesale Yokohama tires, contact Future Tire at 516-752-9200.

Filed under: Eco-friendly Tires, Yokohama Tires, , ,

1 out of every 9 drivers running on bald tires

 

A new RMA survey that monitored 7,000 vehicles found that almost 11% of drivers are riding on at least one bald tire.

When it comes to tires, bald is definitely not beautiful. In a study that should be distributed far and wide in the wake of announcing the dates for 2010 Tire Safety Week, a new RMA survey found that at least 11% of motorists in the U.S. are driving on at least one bald tire.

Rubber Manufacturers Association CEO Charles Cannon speculates that the global economy could be at least partly responsible for the surprising survey results: “In this bad economy, drivers may be delaying necessary vehicle maintenance to save costs. But that delay may cost you more dearly if worn-out tires lead to a crash with injuries or fatalities.”

Driving on worn tires is especially dangerous during this time of the year, when wet or icy road surfaces pose even greater difficulties for worn tires that are past their functional prime. Bald tires are susceptible to losing grip on the road on wet roads, causing hydroplaning and loss of control that can easily lead to a crash. Hydroplaning is a dangerous occurence that involves the vehicle riding on a thin film of water, not the actual road surface. Bald tires that can’t efficiently move water can hydroplane quite easily.

The RMA urges motorists to monitor the tread depth on their tires to make sure it is always above the legal 2/32 inch. In addition to checking tire tread, drivers should also keep an eye on tire inflation. Bald and underinflated tires are a recipe for disaster for you and everyone you share the nation’s roads with.

Recommended reading: How To Properly Maintain Your Tires.

Filed under: Rubber Manufacturers Association, Tire Care, Tire Safety, , , ,

RMA announces Tire Safety Week dates for 2010

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Each year, the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association sponsors a week-long event that aims to raise awareness about tire safety and proper tire maintenance. In 2010, Tire Safety Week will be held from June 6-12. During this time, tire retailers, tire wholesalers, manufacturers, and other businesses in the industry are encouraged to participate and help spread the word about tire safety. Many participants use this awareness week to promote their own businesses with advertising, specials, and in-store promotions. It really is a great way to help not only your business, but the general public. More than 21,000 dealers and shops participated in the event last year.

If you’d like to get more information about National Tire Safety Week, visit the official web site at http://www.betiresmart.org. If you do choose  to participate, the  RMA will send you a bunch of materials that will help you organize and plan your own campaign. You’ve got plenty of time to plan – but don’t procrastinate and miss out on this great opportunity for publicity and education!

 

Filed under: Tire News, ,

Hankook unveils new all-season tire at SEMA

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Hankook unveiled their latest all-season tire at the annual SEMA conference in Las Vegas.

Consumers looking for a strong, lightweight and fuel-efficient tire have a new option in North America. At the Specialty Equipment Market Association industry trade show in Las Vegas, Hankook unveiled their newest all-season tire: the Optimo H724. According to director of brand communications Bill Bainbridge, the new tire delivers a safe and comfortable ride, as well as all-season traction and mileage that one would expect from more expensive tires.

Bainbridge also notes, “Other benefits include improved handling and noise control. Additionally, the Optimo H724 provides an environmentally responsible option for consumers, offering longer mileage performance.”

The new tire features improved carcass construction and a more durable tread compound that lasts longer than other tires at comparable price points. Not to mention, the new tread design performed well in hydroplaning tests and has been extensively tested well above the normal standards for snow traction control.

Consumers looking to purchase the new all-season Hankook H724 can expect all 38 sizes to be available early next year. Contact your local tire wholesaler for availability and pricing.

 

Filed under: Hankook Tires, ,

Winter Tire Tips

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Snow tires can make a serious difference for you, your vehicle, and other drivers on the road this winter.

Winter is fast-approaching and many areas of the country have already seen the first snowfalls of the season. The cold weather often comes hand-in-hand with treacherous driving conditions, and paying attention to your tires could make the difference between a safe or dangerous winter for you, your vehicle, and everyone else on the road. Here are some basic winter tire tips to keep in mind as the temperatures begin to drop.

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. Don’t skimp when it comes to maintaining proper tire pressure in the winter. The cold weather and temperature fluctuations will cause your tires to lose air faster than normal, and an underinflated tire on a slick road is never a good scenario. Make sure to check your air pressure every time you  fill up your tank at the very least!
  • Switch to snow tires. Perhaps the best way to stay safe on the road this winter is to have snow tires installed on your vehicle. These special tires feature treads that are engineered to provide the most amount of grip and traction in the snow. All-season tires just won’t cut it in parts of the country that see lots of the white stuff every year. While snow tires are designed to retain their elasticity in cold temperatures, regular tires harden up and lose their ability  to hold onto the road surface. If you do decide to use snow tires, don’t mix and match –  go with 4 tires to get the most performance out of your investment.
  • Make sure your tires are in good condition. If you’ve decided to forego winter tires this year, or if you’re re-installing last year’s winter tires, make sure to check the treads to ensure they are in good condition. You can use the penny test to make sure that the tire treads are deep enough. Aside from the penny test, just look for any gouges or damage to the rubber. You don’t want to be driving on tires that are going to explode on impact with the first pothole of the season!

Winter driving demands equipment that can handle the job! Don’t skimp on important safety measures like snow tires this year – if your tires help you avoid just a single accident or fender bender, they’ve easily paid for themselves. You’ll also get increased peace of mind the whole winter long.

For access to a complete inventory of wholesale snow tires, contact Future Tire at 516-752-9200.

Filed under: Snow Tires, ,

Cooper Tire names new Chief Financial Officer

Cooper Tire and Rubber Company has named Brad Hughes as its new VP and CFO. Hughes was nominated for the position after former CFO Phil Weaver announced his retirement, effective at the end of this year, back in May. Weaver had been the CFO at Cooper for 10 years, and had been working for the company for 19 years.

Brad Hughes had previously worked as global product development controller for Ford. Prior to this position he worked as a finance director for Ford’s South American Operations in Brazil. He also served as director of European Business Strategy and Implementation in Germany and as the European Manufacturing Controller in Germany. Hughes’ extensive experience and impressive resume in the tire industry is complimented by his Masters in Business Administration, which he received from the University of Michigan Business School.

Chairman, President and CEO Roy Armes said, “Brad Hughes is a solid, seasoned financial executive with broad exposure in several financial disciplines and a wealth of international experience. He has been a consistent high performer in very demanding roles throughout his career. Brad’s global business development experience, coupled with his astute analytical abilities and financial insights, make him an excellent fit for Cooper as we expand the company’s global presence and work to enhance our already-strong financial position.”

For wholesale Cooper tires, contact Future Tire, a New York/Philadelphia based wholesale tire distributor.

Filed under: Cooper Tires, Tire News,

Rubber Manufacturers Association predicts 13% decline in shipments

flattire

The RMA has revised it's 2009 tire shipment estimates, and the numbers don't look very good.

It seems that for every good piece of news we see these days, there’s a not-so-good one that follows soon after. Today is a not-so-good day, as the RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association) has posted its 2009 tire shipment prediction: a 13% drop (282 million units to 246 million units). This decrease in tire shipments can be traced directly to sharp decreases in demand for wholesale OE tires and commercial truck tires.

Tire shipments peaked at 321 million units almost 9 years ago. Since then, low consumer confidence and high unemployment rates have made it extremely difficult for the automotive industry to maintain stable growth. Despite the current state of the economy, both the consumer and commercial sectors appear poised for a rebound in 2010. If the economic pendulum does swing back the other way, the tire industry could see 6% growth this year, reaching the 260 million unit level.

The revised 13% decrease can be broken down into the following categories:

OE passenger tires: Decreases in domestic vehicle production will result in a 43% drop in OE passenger tire shipments.

OE light truck tires: 9% decrease expected, followed by little or no growth through 2010 as domestic vehicle production remains weak.

Replacement passenger tires: 6% decline followed by resumed growth in the next fiscal year (nearly 3% rebound is expected.

Replacement light truck tires: 11% drop, little or no growth expected in 2010.

Filed under: Tire News, , , ,

Cooper Tire reports promising Q3 results

While some tire manufacturers are feeling the heat of the recession, Cooper Tire seems to be doing something right. Yesterday they reported very promising results for the third quarter, namely an operating profit of $71 million dollars. This number is a $118 million improvement from the same period last year! Net sales increased by $9 million and net income grew by $102 million. Not too shabby for a manufacturer in one of the industries hardest hit by the economic downturn.

cooper

Cooper attributed its third quarter numbers to lower raw material costs, manufacturing improvements, and improved usage of capacity. The eventful quarter for Cooper included the deactivation of its plant in Albany, GA, which resulted in nearly $13 million worth of restructuring costs.

Roy Armes, CEO of Cooper Tire, gave some insight into the company’s recent successes: “The positive results during the quarter were the outcome of successfully executing on our plan in an environment where a positive price to raw material relationship existed. This resulted in extremely positive margin growth and an operating profit during the quarter of nearly 9 percent. Raw material prices have escalated in recent months, but we do not expect a return to the high levels of 2008. In this environment, our operating results will be significantly affected by our ability to hold or increase prices.”

Cooper Tire is a multi-national tire manufacturer that specializes in passenger car, light truck, and medium truck tires. For access to wholesale Cooper Tires, visit FutureTire.com. For more information about Cooper, visit their website at CooperTire.com.

Filed under: Cooper Tires, Tire News, Uncategorized,