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Cooper announces price increases, some tiremakers report 'no plans' to follow suit

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will raise its passenger and light truck tire prices by up to 4% on March 1, 2002.

The increases "will impact all customers and all divisions," according to a Cooper spokesperson.

Other tiremakers who have announced price increases within the past week include Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding (BFAH) Inc., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Michelin North America Inc. (MNA).

BFAH's Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC unit is hiking Bridgestone and Firestone brand commercial truck and Bridgestone, Firestone and Dayton brand passenger and light truck tire prices up to 3% on Feb. 1 next year; it also is increasing associate and private brand passenger and light truck tire prices up to 3% on that date.

Goodyear is raising its Goodyear, Kelly and Dunlop brand passenger and light truck tire prices up to 5% at the beginning of next month; the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker also is hiking its Goodyear brand medium commercial truck tire prices up to 3% that day, plus its Dunlop, Kelly and Steelmark medium truck prices up to 5%.

MNA will boost Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brand passenger and light truck tire rates up to 6% on March 1, 2002.

So far, Continental Tire North America Inc. and Toyo Tire (USA) Corp. have no plans to join in the price increases, according to spokepeople from both organizations.

However, Hankook Tire America Corp. officials say the Korean-owned company may follow suit and raise its passenger, light truck and medium commercial truck tire prices by similar amounts "if the other (manufacturers) follow through," says a Hankook spokesman. "It's touch and go."

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