Auto Service World
Feature   December 1, 2001   by CARS Magazine

Short Lines (December 01, 2001)

Formula 1 racing team Prost Grand Prix, has gone into receivership, with debts estimated at $US 30 million. Former driver Pedro Diniz and Belgian brewer Interbrew were reported as possible buyers fo...


Formula 1 racing team Prost Grand Prix, has gone into receivership, with debts estimated at $US 30 million. Former driver Pedro Diniz and Belgian brewer Interbrew were reported as possible buyers for the struggling team founded by four-time world champion Alain Prost.

Kuhmo Industrial Co. is poised to divest itself of the company’s tire operations, as the latest Korean major industrial concern to restructure this year. Reuters reports that Kuhmo is ready to sell 80 percent of the company’s tire operations for $US 1.5 billion. Possible buyers included U.S. investment fund JP Morgan and private equity fund Carlyle Group. Kuhmo seeks to retain management control of the tire unit after the sale, which has the potential to unlock considerable OEM business with Korean automakers.

Car and truck sales slid in September, dropping 5.3 percent over August, according to Statistics Canada. The decrease is the largest since the 11.2 percent drop in October 2000. Falling truck sales were a large part of the decline, which were affected strongly by the events of September 11th.

The Brazilian unit of Bridgestone-Firestone has recalled just under 40,000 tires fitted as original equipment on Brazilian-built Ford F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks. Associated Press cited the company as announcing the recall as a “preventative measure” after 16 tread separation incidents were reported. No accidents or injuries as a result of the separations have been reported.

KBi/Kold-Ban International, Ltd. has announced the appointment of Chris De Guerre as North American Sales Manager. In this newly created position, De Guerre will be responsible for the North American sales and marketing activities of KBi products to the OE, OES, POE, Fleet, Warehouse Distributor and other channels of the on-and-off road – heavy duty truck and equipment industries.

Previously De Guerre was retained on a consultant basis for the Canadian market. Prior to joining KBi, De Guerre held an increasing number of senior management positions in the Automotive, Consumer Electronics and Recreational Vehicle industries. Kold-Ban International, Ltd. manufactures diesel engine starting aids and associated equipment.