ERJ staff report (TB)
San Francisco, California -- Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc., Continental Tire the Americas LLC and Yokohama Tire Corp. have agreed to settle all claims regarding Toyo's lawsuit filed a year ago against its partners in the GTY Tire Co. joint truck tyre venture.
Under the terms of the settlement, Toyo will withdraw from the GTY joint venture formed in 1988. Continental and Yokohama have agreed to produce â€œa certain quantity of truck and bus radial tyresâ€ for Toyo at GTY's Mount Vernon, Illinois, plant and Toyo may purchase tyres from GTY monthly for approximately the next year, according to the agreement. Toyo declined to release further details.
Toyo filed suit Jan. 11, 2010, against Continental and Yokohama after the two GTY partners shut off Toyo's supply of truck tyres from the factory and terminated Toyo's status as a joint venture partner. Conti and Yokohama claimed Toyo Tire's parent company, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., is involved in a technology exchange with Bridgestone Corp., a major competitor, which they considered grounds for terminating Toyo's participation in the GTY venture.
Toyo Tire and Bridgestone disclosed in 2008 they were exploring a technology and production cooperation agreement, but Toyo argued in court briefs this involved the firms' Japanese parent companies and focused on consumer tyres, not commercial tyres.
In July, the District Court for the Central District of California ordered Conti and Yokohama to comply with the GTY partnership agreement by providing Toyo with its allocation of the truck and bus radial tyres from the GTY plant.
Toyo anticipated sourcing up to 290,000 tyres from GTY in 2010-a total that represented more than 60 percent of the firm's annual truck tyre sales in North America, according to testimony in Toyo's lawsuit.
Conti has a 51-percent ownership stake in GTY, Yokohama owns a third and Toyo owned 16 percent, according to company records.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)