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Goodyear forms global alliance with Sumitomo.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Akron, OH, received clearance from the European Commission for its global alliance with Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. This represents the third and final major regulatory clearance of Goodyear's alliance with SRI. The alliance teams Goodyear and Dunlop. In the United States, the Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-merger notification waiting period expired in March without action taken by either the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission. The Japanese Fair Trade Commission authorized the transaction in June. Goodyear anticipates closing the transaction September 1.

After announcing its intention to enter the North American brake hose market, Freudenberg-NOK, Plymouth, MI, has solidified its commitment by signing an agreement to enter into MMU Auto-Components, an existing joint venture between Meiji Rubber & Chemical, Ltd. and Mitsubishi, both of Japan. The new company, Flexitech, will supply brake hose and other hose assemblies for the North American market. Flexitech, which is 51% owned by Freudenberg-NOK, 29.4% owned by Meiji and 19.6% owned by Mitsubishi, offers brake hose assemblies, as well as power steering, vacuum, oil cooler and automatic transmission hose assemblies. Current customers include Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Honda of America and Subaru-Isuzu Automotive. Sales in 1999 for the joint venture are expected to exceed $8 million.

Almost three years after introducing North America's first total engine sealing program and two years after being awarded the industry's first global total engine sealing program, Freudenberg-NOK has signed a development agreement with Ford Motor, pioneering the supplier's first total transmission sealing program. According to the company, the global Freudenberg and NOK Group would like to bring the benefits of the total sealing concept to a future Ford transmission. This total cost solution consists of factors such as reduced warranty, longer product life and single-point supplier responsibility.

The Rhein Chemie (Qingdao) Ltd. plant opened July 3 in the northern Chinese seaport of Qingdao. The company is a joint venture between the German Rhein

Chemie and the Chinese Red Star Chemical Group, Qingdao/Shandong. Rhein Chemie's parent company, Bayer, will retain a 90% share in the company via Bayer (China) Ltd. Red Star has been a subsidiary of Qingdao Kal Lian (Group) Ltd. since 1998, along with 27 other companies. There are six rubber processing companies in the group, including China's second biggest tire manufacturer, Qingdao No. 2. The group as a whole achieved a turnover of $720 million last year.

Kraton Polymers, Houston, TX, a supplier of styrenic block copolymers, is working with Italian shoe sole compounder Franceschetti Elastomeri to offer efficiently produced compounds suitable for a variety of shoe soles.

Rapra Technology Limited, U.K., a rubber and plastics consultancy, has joined the International Rubber Study Group's Panel of Associates, which links the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Group more closely with a range of major rubber companies and organizations worldwide. Rapra Technology Limited is said to be Europe's leading independent plastics and rubber specialist, providing technical and information services for all industry sectors. The IRSG is an intergovernmental organization providing authoritative statistics on the production, consumption and trade in natural and synthetic rubber and rubber products. Two Indian carbon black suppliers, Hi-Tech Carbon and Philips Carbon Black, representing 80% of India's domestic industry, have also joined the IRSG's Panel of Associates.

A novel, year-old business-government partnership is helping Continental General Tire, Charlotte, NC, and the state of North Carolina achieve important strategic objectives. The arrangement helps Continental General Tire optimize tire recycling and helps North Carolina rid its landfills of scrap tires. Boosted by a $1.2 million state grant, Continental General Tire's recycling program aims to increase recycled rubber content in its tires and assure a stable local supply of recycled rubber material. Grant money is designated for use over four years to subsidize intense research aimed at expanding recycled material usage. Since the grant arrangement began in July 1998, Continental General Tire's recycling program has kept 500,000 used tires out of landfills and significantly increased the percentage of recycled rubber material in its tires.

Pappenheimer Kunstoffmaschinen-Vertrieb (PKV), Pappenheim, Germany, will represent Dyna-Purge purging compounds in Germany for Shuman Plastics, Buffalo, NY, the developer and manufacturer of Dyna-Purge.

Moldings supplied by Northern Rubber, U.K., to Delphi Automotive Systems, a worldwide supplier of automotive parts, are said to have contributed to obtaining the zero defect target for dampers and struts on the Freelander and Rover 200, and are featured on the Rover 75. Northern Rubber is also supplying Nastech, Bennington, VT, with rubber coupling assemblies for the steering columns of the Isuzu Rodeo (Frontera in Europe) off-road vehicle.

Wardwell Braiding Machine, Central Falls, RI, announced a manufacturing partnership with Cunegatti Costruzione Meccaniche, based in Milan, Italy. Cunegatti manufactures winders and unrolling systems.
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Title Annotation:Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
Comment:Goodyear forms global alliance with Sumitomo.(Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.)
Publication:Rubber World
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 1999
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