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Which tire manufacturers will be affected by GM’s summer plant closures?

GM's recently announced plant closures are not a good sign for the tire industry's top manufacturers.

GM's recently announced plant closures are not a good sign for the tire industry's top manufacturers.

By now you’ve probably heard that GM has decided to idle its U.S. plants for 9 weeks during the summer in a desperate effort to cut costs and stay afloat. In addition to these temporary closures, GM also announced the permanent closures of 16 of their assembly plants by 2012. The Pontiac brand is also on its way out. These measures reflect the state of the economic situation, the state of the auto industry, and illustrate the future of some of the tire industry’s biggest manufacturers. After all, all of those plants have been using a fair amount of original equipment tires that will soon no longer be needed. So which manufacturers are going to be affected?

According to Modern Tire Dealer, the affected GM plants receives 38% of its OE light vehicle tires from Goodyear. After Goodyear, a 31% chunk comes in from Bridgestone, split 18%/15% between Bridgestone and Firestone lines. Continental is next with a 14% share, and the list is rounded out by Michelin, BFGoodrich, Hankook,  and Pirelli. It will be interesting to see how the GM plant closures and the elimination of the Pontiac brand affect the tire industry, but suffice to say, it won’t be in a positive way. With manufacturers already struggling with stagnating demand, it looks to be a tough summer for the world’s top tire companies.


Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Michellin Tires, Tire News, , , ,

Michelin tire recall: 597 tires affected in the United States

Michelin Pilot Alpine Tire RecallIf you have purchased Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 ZP winter tires in size 225/50 R17 94H in the United States, you may be affected by the latest recall from French tire manufacturer Michelin. Michelin is recalling 597 of their Pilot Alpin winter tires after discovering they were non-compliant with the NHTSA requirement for a marking which indicates the tire has been certified to its motor vehicle safety standard.

However, the tire meets all of its performance requirements and does not pose any safety hazards on the road. The tires are simply missing the letters “DOT” from the sidewall which is required by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

If you believe that you might be affected by the tire recall, return the tires to your local dealer for a free inspection and potential replacement. Or, call Michelin Consumer Care at 1-800-847-3435. If you buy tires online, contact your online dealer for return and replacement instructions.

Source: Official Michelin Press Release

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Michelin announces new tire designed to help save gas


As gas and energy prices continue to remain a top concern for drivers, tire manufacturers are exploring new ways to meet the eco-friendly and money-saving demands of their consumer base. Michelin announced today that they have completed the design of an all-new energy-saving tire that is “unprecedented” in the industry. The Michelin Energy Saver All-Season tire will debut at 2009 North American International Auto Show and will be available for purchase in the summer.

According to the press release, Michelin engineers were able to create the fuel-efficient tire by working to decrease the levels of rolling  resistance in the tires. Precision engineering techniques reduce the sound and heat created as a byproduct of the rubber contacting asphault, which results in less energy loss.

“During these trying economic times, it is essential that we provide consumers with a product that is long-lasting, good for the environment and a smart investment,” said Florent Menegaux, president of Michelin’s worldwide passenger car and light truck tire business and a member of the Michelin Group Executive Council. “The Michelin Energy Saver All-Season tire provides the solution that consumers are looking for. It’s everything you would expect from a Michelin and more.”

The target market for the new tires are vehicle owners who drive less than 10,000 miles per year and want an eco-friendly alternative to regular radials. Check with your local wholesale tire distributor in a few months to see when these tires will become available for distribution.

Filed under: Eco-friendly Tires, Michellin Tires, Tire News, , , ,

Michelin expects 4th quarter profit drop

michellin-tires-logoThe current worldwide economic downturn is hitting tire manufacturers hard, as sales to carmakers continue to drop steeply in the face of lower consumer demand for new vehicles. Michelin announced today that they expected their recent production cuts to bite into their 4th quarter profits.

As car sales decline across the globe, demand for passenger car and light truck tires continues to mirror the drop.  Tire sales to carmakers fell by 33.5% in Europe and 31% in North America last month compared to November 2007 sales figures.

Michelin North America plans to make use of temporary layoffs at the Donaldson plant in South Carolina in order to reduce production of wholesale tires.  The French tiremaker is only one of many manufacturers that are feeling the pinch thanks to lower auto sales across the board.

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