Issue: Dec 2004


Supply and Demand



by AI Staff

North America

Timken to Receive Payment under U.S. Trade Law

The Timken Company has been notified that it will receive payments of $39.7 million under the U.S. Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA). Timken expects to receive these payments in 2004 and to use these proceeds for general corporate purposes and to reduce debt. The payments include $6.5 million related to the Torrington bearing business acquired by Timken in February 2003.

The CDSOA provides for distribution of monies collected by U.S. Customs from antidumping cases to qualifying domestic producers that have continued to invest in their technology, equipment and people. It is the fourth year the company has received a payment under CDSOA.

A bearing manufacturer, Timken qualified for a distribution of monies based upon the companys consistent U.S. investments in production technology to remain competitive globally. During the past five years, the company has spent more than $250 million on research and development to support bearing and steel programs and improve manufacturing processes.

Dunlop Expands Product Line to Cater to Tuners

According to Dunlop research, auto enthusiasts buy up to 10 percent of U.S. replacement tires 22.5 million tires to upgrade sport compact cars. According to SEMA, consumers spend an average of $1,500 to personalize their vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership.

Because tire and wheel modifications top consumer wish lists, Dunlop marketers figure new tire lines that are tailored for customizers. An estimated 60 percent have upgraded or plan to purchase new tires.

The new flagship tire, the SP Sport Maxx, is available in 26 sizes in 16- through 22-inch rim diameters. The tires stylized tread pattern and ultra-performance levels were made to deliver an attractive package for the customizer, according to Andy Traicoff, director of Dunlop brand marketing in North America.

Tread designs and sidewall treatments are underappreciated by many, but for the passionate driver, tire styling is just as important as body kits, upgraded wheels and a more powerful engine. If the tread design looks boring, nobody will buy it. The pattern must fit customer needs.

For the fast-growing sport compact car segment, Dunlop offers 12 sizes of the new Direzza DZ101 and 27 sizes of the popular SP Sport FM901 ultra-performance tires. From 1997 through 2002, retail dollars spent on performance products used to modify sport compact cars skyrocketed 894 percent.

Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Add to Dealers Credit Evaluation System with RouteOne

Chrysler Financial, a DaimlerChrysler Services North America business unit, announced the successful first months launch of a major improvement to its Automated Credit Evaluation (ACE) system with the addition of RouteOne, a credit aggregation management system. The new system was nationally launched over the last few weeks to more than 4,000 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers in the United States.

RouteOne has been designed to provide dealerships with a single point-of-entry to submit credit applications to Chrysler Financial and other financial institutions, and provides the management tools necessary to effectively manage and track daily operations in the Finance and Insurance (F&I) department. This dealer-focused solution was designed with real-world dealership input and fits seamlessly into the dealerships current sales process.




Asia

Mitsubishi Materials Establishes Subsidiary in Shanghai

Powder metallurgy products and tools company Mitsubishi Materials has established a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China, for production of sintered parts used for automobile engines and transmissions.

Mitsubishi Materials will install production equipment with the aim of launching manufacturing operations in January 2005. Production of passenger and commercial vehicles in China reached a combined total of 4.4 million units in 2003, bringing the country to the No. 4 spot in the world production race.


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