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Nexen on pricing: 'We regret to inform you...'

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Nexen Tire America Inc. will raise tire prices up to 8% effective April 1, 2011. The increases will be applied to warehouse orders and April FDC production.

"As we move forward to recover from the global economic recession, over the past year, Nexen Tire has made internal adjustments in an effort to reduce cost expenses and increase efficiency," wrote John Aben, vice president of sales and marketing, in a letter to Nexen customers. "Yet the tire industry continues to face challenges with the increase of raw materials, particularly the surge in cost for natural rubber.

"With the uncertainty in the cost of natural rubber, we regret to inform you we have to make the necessary adjustments to minimize cost and maintain operations."

Nexen is the latest tire manufacturer to announce price increases this year.

Consumer

* Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. will increase prices on passenger and light truck tires by an average of 8%, with in-line adjustments, effective March 1.

* Hankook Tire America Corp. will increase prices on its full line of passenger and light truck tires by a weighted average of 7%. The increases will go into effect April 1.

* Cooper will raise prices on its light vehicle tires effective March 15. The increases in total will average around 8% to 9%, with in-line adjustments.

* Continental Tire the Americas LLC will raise consumer tire prices in the U.S. up to 6%, with some in-line adjustments, effective April 1.

* Federal Corp. will raise prices on its passenger and light truck tires by up to 12% effective March 1. The percentage increase will vary by product lines and continents. There also will be in-line adjustments for all onward orders and remaining back orders.

* Yokohama Tire Corp. will increase prices by up to 8% on all of its consumer tires effective March 1, 2011. In-line adjustments will be announced at a later date.

* Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. will raise prices on all passenger, light truck and medium truck tires effective March 1. Kumho says the details of this increase will be provided to its customers in the near future.

* Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will raise consumer tire prices on March 1. The increase, up to 6%, will apply to all brands in the United States and Canada.

* Falken Tire Corp. also will raise prices on March 1. The price hikes on Falken passenger and light truck tires will range from 5% to 8% depending on the size, with in-line adjustments as needed.

* Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC will raise replacement and original equipment consumer tire prices one month later, on April 1, The increases on Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S. and Canada will vary up to 8%.

* Michelin North America Inc. ("the increases will vary by product line") raised consumer tire prices on Feb. 1. Nexen Tire America Inc. (up to 8%) did the same on Jan. 1.

Commercial

* Toyo will increase prices on its commercial truck and OTR tires by an average of 8%, with in-line adjustments, effective March 1.

* Michelin is increasing prices on its commercial products in the United States effective March 1. The company will raise prices an average of 12% on Michelin and BFGoodrich truck tires and Michelin Retread Technologies and Oliver retread products.

* Hankook will increase prices on its medium truck tires by a weighted average of 9%. The increases will go into effect on tire shipments made on or after March 15, 2011.

* Titan Tire Corp. will raise prices on its farm and construction tires effective April 1, 2011. The increases, up to 8%, will apply to both Titan branded products and Goodyear branded tires manufactured by Titan. Certain tire prices "may rise in excess of 8% due to realignment and positioning of the product," said the company.

* Cooper Tire raised its commercial truck tire prices 12% across the board during the week of Feb. 6, 2010.

* The Bridgestone Off Road Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division will increase prices on its mining, construction and industrial tires by 12%, "with some in-line adjustments." The increases are scheduled to begin March 1.

The Bridgestone Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division announced a 4% price increase effective April 1 on the following tires: Firestone agricultural, construction and forestry tires; Bridgestone garden tires; and Regency tires sold in the United States and Canadian replacement markets.

* Michelin will increase prices on Michelin brand replacement agricultural tires sold in the U.S. and Canada on March 1. The hikes will be up to 8%.

The company already increased prices on its Michelin earthmover and industrial replacement tires sold in North America up to 7% on Feb. 1. It increased prices on Oliver and MegaMile retread rubber products sold in the U.S. up to 7% on Jan. 3.

CGS Tyres Group (7.5% to 10% on farm and industrial tires), Titan Tire Corp. (up to 8% on farm and OTR tires), Yokohama Tire Corp. (up to 5% on bias and radial OTR tires) and Continental Tire the Americas LLC (up to 8% on truck tires) raised their commercial tire prices on Jan. 1.

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