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TruPar, Solideal partner on GM tyre deal

Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 ( #256 ) - MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, United States
News Story
TruPar president Tom McDonnell
TruPar America Inc and a unit of Luxembourg-based Solideal International SA have won a five-year global contract to supply General Motors Corp (GM) with replacement tyres for forklifts, internal transport vehicles and other mobile equipment.

Tom McDonnell, president and owner of Madison Heights-based TruPar, said: "For years, Monarch had the [GM replacement] contract for tyres. We partnered with Solideal Tire Inc and got the global tyre contract." Terms were not disclosed.

Previously, GM had purchased Monarch-brand products from the industrial tyre segment of Sweden-based Trelleborg AB’s wheel systems business. Trelleborg acquired Monarch, of Hartville, Ohio, USA, in 1991.

McDonnell said the GM tyre deal should generate 2006 sales of USD1.5 million for the TruPar-Solideal partnership.

Rusty Ellis, national accounts manager with Solideal Tire Inc, in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, said: "Solideal is 22 years old and one of the largest replacement tyre manufacturers in the world."

He said Solideal was manufacturing solid rubber and industrial pneumatic rubber tyres for GM in Sri Lanka and special-use polyurethane tyres in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. "Polyurethane works better for certain forklifts because of load-lifting capacity" and heat-dissipation requirements when running extremely heavy or mostly empty loads with heavy counterweights.

While it focuses on the aftermarket, Solideal sells original equipment tyres to the USA forklift divisions of Komatsu Ltd and Nissan Motor Co Ltd and several European original equipment manufacturers, including Melroe Co for its Bobcat skid-steer loaders.

On April 11, Paul Gaines joined Solideal Tire as president. The US operation also supplies tyres in other north American countries through affiliated companies Solideal Canada and Solideal de Mexico.

In a separate move, GM extended TruPar’s exclusive contract for non-warranty mobile equipment items in the USA to five years, concurrent with the global tyre pact ( News #188).

Effective from September 2004, TruPar had obtained the GM contract for three years with a two-year option. TruPar supplies replacement parts for 10,000 pieces of GM mobile equipment, including 7,000 forklifts, operating at more than 60 GM manufacturing, fabrication-stamping and spare parts facilities in the USA.

GM formerly sourced the items from Hyster Co, of Greenville, North Carolina, USA. Hyster, a unit of Nacco Industries Inc, manufactures and supplies GM with original equipment forklifts and parts.

TruPar had won GM contracts to supply non-warranty mobile equipment parts in the USA for Yale, Allis-Chalmers and Clark forklifts in 1996-1997 and a large blanket pact for 20,000 line items in 1997.

TruPar had 2005 sales of USD20 million, of which GM accounted for about 60 per cent, McDonnell said.

Last September, TruPar moved its corporate office to Madison Heights from Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, to get closer to GM’s headquarters. TruPar now employs 25 people in Michigan and 20 in Pennsylvania.
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