|Transcription||Seiberling To Build In Colombia
By JOSEPH E. KUEBLER
Business and Industrial Writer
Seiberling Rubber Co. is starting another chapter in its expansion story.
This was made known Saturday as the company announced it was joining forces with a rubber products firm in Colombia to manufacture tires in the South American republic.
The two concerns, along with a group of Colombian investors, are forming a corporation to build a plant that will produce Seiberling tires. Colombian policy prohibits the importing of tires in sizes made in that country.
Productos de Caucho Villegas, S. A. expects to get into operation on a limited basis late this year with full production scheduled for 1955. Seiberling's entry into the foreign market comes just a month after the announcement of its move into plastics. Construction of a plant to make rigid plastics is now under way in Newcomerstown, O.
President J. P. Seiberling and Octavio Villegas Llano, general manager of the Colombian corporation in Bogota, the capital, disclosed the completion of negotiations in a joint statement.
ALMACEN VILLEGAS the
predecessor firm, is being consolidated into the enlarged corporation which will continue manufacturing its present lines. These include rubber flooring, shoes, tire repair material and other rubber products.
Plans call for the erection of a tire factory addition to the present plant.
Colombians will be the principal owners of the company. In addition to its minority interest, the Akron firm will engineer the new plant, supervise its construction, and will furnish machinery, molds and specifications and will supply its trade marks.
Training of key personnel also will be in Seiberling's hands. Technical assistance, supervision and sales aids are
to be provided from here.
VILLEGAS REVEALED that virtually all capital has been pledged. The firm is being incorporated for 7 million Colombian pesos, about $2,800,000.
Some Colombian distributors who sold Seiberling tires before import restrictions were tightened have been among the first investors in the new venture, Villegas added.
Seiberling is entering what is rapidly becoming a highly competitive tire market. B. F. Goodrich has an associated company in Colombia which is now doubling the capacity of its plant.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. revealed recently that it had acquired a new plant site to more than double its output in Colombia. An associated company of U. S. Rubber is installing machinery in its rubber products plant to build tires, too.
COLOMBIA'S AUTO and
truck registration is rising steadily but there were only 83,800 cars registered there in 1953.
Villegas said he was proud to announce "our new association with Seiberling."
"The name has an excellent reputation in Colombia" he added. "We shall strive to become not the largest tire maker, but the best."
Seiberling expressed great optimism for the venture. He said the country has a "booming automotive market" which offers tremendous opportunities.
"We have confidence in the country and the organization which we are joining" he continued. "I feel the company has
a great future."
NEGOTIATIONS for Seiberling were handled by Claude Pitts, vice president and general manager of its export subsidiary. He reported that the deal will add new export business for the plant here because the increased Colombian distribution will require tires of types not made there.
Arrangements also may be made later to ship some Colombian tires to other South and Central American countries. Such transportation savings
would greatly improve Seiberling's competitive position, Pitts added.
Two of the eight directors of the new company will be furnished by Seiberling. The predecessor firm was organized in 1942 with 10,000 pesos capitalization and late in 1953 it had grown to 150 times its original size.
While the Akron company has had a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary for a number of years, the Colombian affiliation will be its first full scale overseas manufacturing venture.
Seiberling gives technical aid to companies in France and England and recently set up a corporation to sell British-made Seiberling tires.
PHOTO CAPTION: On To Colombia - In Akron to sign papers making the Seiberling Rubber Co. a stockholder in a Colombian tire firm is Jorge Jaramillo Restrepo (center) sales manager of the company, who points out the site of the plant to J. P. Seiberling (left), president of Seiberling, and Claude Pitts, general manager of Seiberling's export company. |