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Titan Tires

Titan Tires
Titan has a heritage of over 100 years in the off-highway wheel manufacturing business. Since Titan's entrance into the tire market in 1993, we have evolved into a leading global supplier of complete wheel and tire assemblies for off-highway vehicles. Titan's primary markets include agriculture, earthmoving/construction and consumer applications. Strategic acquisitions have built Titan into a successful worldwide corporation serving the most respected names in the original equipment industry. With that support, Titan is expanding its focus in the off-highway markets.
Titan traces its roots to the Electric Wheel Company in Quincy, Illinois. Founded by John A. Stillwell and three associates, the company originally produced wheels for wagons and farm implements, later progressing into the manufacture of wagons, tractors and other implements.
Electric Wheel became a division of Firestone Tire & Rubber's Steel Product Division.
Due to setbacks caused by several strikes in the farm implement manufacturing industry, Firestone shut down its operations and sold off certain assets.
Certain assets of the Firestone facility were purchased by Titan Proform of Toronto, led by the late Canadian industrialist Joseph Tanenbaum and Maurice Taylor Jr., current Titan chairman and CEO. The new company was named Can-Am Industries.
When Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company decided to exit the steel wheel and rim business, it provided an excellent opportunity for Can-Am to purchase certain agricultural wheel-making assets. Can-Am installed the Goodyear equipment to manufacture "power adjust" wheels at the Quincy facility.
Can-Am purchased certain assets of French & Hecht is wheel plant in Walcott, Iowa, an indirect subsidiary of the Fruehauf Corporation. This purchase added to the capacity to manufacture wheels and rims for the agricultural industry.
Can-Am entered a joint venture agreement with New Warrington Wheel Company of Merseyside, England, marking the company's expansion into the European market. Ownership was increased in 1991, and the Titan name was added.
Tanenbaum began restructuring his holdings in Can-Am. MascoTech, Inc., a leading auto parts manufacturer headquartered in Taylor, Michigan, split ownership with Tannenbaum and Taylor through a leveraged buyout. The company was renamed Titan Wheel International, Inc. and a new era began.
Titan acquired certain assets of Berkeley-Davis International, Inc., a specialist in welding and technology equipment. This expertise was used to strengthen Titan's technological abilities in steel welding. This subsidiary was sold in 1996 as Titan redefined its focus on wheel and tire assemblies.
Taylor and MascoTech bought out Tanenbaum's interest in Titan, thereby resulting in Taylor holding 53% ownership.
Titan acquired certain assets of Auto Wheel Group, Inc. from NI Industries, Inc., a MascoTech affiliate. As Automotive Wheels, the company manufactured steel and aluminum rims sold to wheel manufacturers in the automotive and light truck aftermarket, as well as assemblies and steel wheels for sale to OEMs in the North American automobile industry. Titan became a publicly traded company on NASDAQ in May of 1993. The initial offering included 2,700,000 shares of common stock offered at $15 per share.
Titan also announced the stock exchange purchase of Dyneer Corporation, a manufacturer of small diameter off-road wheels and tires for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), lawn and garden equipment, golf cars, recreational and utility trailers, as well as mechanical differentials, clutches and brakes. The purchase of Dyneer extended Titan's product offering into the smaller wheel market and marked the entry into the tire business. Titan acquired certain assets of Dotson Wheel of Saltville, Virginia, now known as Titan Wheel Corporation of Virginia. This acquisition added to the company's strength by expanding the ability to produce wheels for the construction and mining industries.
Titan announced the purchase of Nieman's Ltd. with its two facilities in Ventura, Iowa, and Elkhart, Indiana, a national distributor of tires, wheels, axle assemblies and component parts to OEMs. In March, the company's growing size and revenues prompted a move to the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol TWI. In July 1994, Titan acquired certain assets of the Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corporation facility in Des Moines, Iowa, under the name of Titan Tire Corporation. The facility specializes in manufacturing agricultural tires, complementing Titan's line of agricultural wheels. This allowed agricultural equipment buyers to receive the added service of a wheel and tire assembly both manufactured by Titan. Also in 1994, Titan purchased a facility in Greenwood, South Carolina, in order to expand Titan's wheel production and distribution network in the southeastern United States. Titan expanded its manufacturing base in Europe in November of 1994, buying 50 percent of the Sirmac Group of Italy, a major European manufacturer of specialty wheels and other products for the agricultural and construction markets.
In February of 1995, Titan purchased from Lemmerz Holding GmbH, Lemmerz UK Limited (now Titan Steel Wheels, Limited), an England-based manufacturer of steel wheels for off-road specialty vehicles. Titan Steel Wheels, Ltd. is now the largest manufacturer of construction wheels in Europe with an 80 percent market share. In December, the company purchased certain assets of Metallbau Grasdorf GmbH near Hannover, Germany. Titan Germany GmbH manufactures wheels and rims for the earthmoving and agricultural markets, supporting Titan's facilities in England and Italy. Titan stock split three-for-two twice in 1995. The first stock split was effective on February 15, 1995, with a March 15 payable date. The second three-for-two split had a record date of July 31, 1995 and a payable date of August 31.
In July, Titan completed the acquisition of the Sirmac Group of Italy. Sirmac, in Modena, produces idler wheels for Caterpillar, Inc. Siria, in Bologna, manufactures agricultural wheels. In September, Titan announced plans to build an agricultural and construction tire plant in Brownsville, Texas. Tractech, the subsidiary which manufactured differentials, was divested as Titan chose to concentrate on wheel and tire assemblies. This marked the elimination of Titan's engineered products sector.
Titan acquired the wheel subsidiary of the French manufacturing company, Delachaux, which has been renamed Titan France SA.
Titan reorganized its operations into separate wheel and tire groups, Titan Wheel Corporation and Titan Tire Corporation, to provide the framework for continued world-wide expansion in both sectors. The wheel and tire groups have individual presidents, while Taylor serves as chairman and CEO of the parent company. A breakthrough concept in wheel and tire assemblies, named the Grizz LSW series, was unveiled. The assemblies, which were designed to meet the needs of off-highway vehicle applications, feature a larger wheel and a lower tire sidewall than traditional designs. A corporate name change to Titan International, Inc. was approved by the shareholders in May to more accurately reflect the identity as a manufacturer of both wheels and tires. Titan acquired certain assets of American Welding of Warren, Ohio, which served as a development center for patent-pending multi-piece off-highway wheels, utilizing the plant's capacity to produce rolled and seamless rings. Titan divested the Automotive Wheels facility in a continuing effort to concentrate on core business.
Titan purchased the assets of Condere Corporation, including Fidelity Tire, through U.S. Bankruptcy Court and renamed the Natchez, Mississippi, tire manufacturing facility Titan Tire Corporation of Natchez.
Subsidiary Titan Europe Plc acquired 35.9% of the stock of Wheels India Limited, the largest manufacturer of steel wheels for all applications in the Indian sub-continent. Caterpillar Inc. became one of the first original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to take advantage of Titan’s private branding program for LSW and standard assemblies, resulting in tires bearing the Caterpillar name.
In April 2000, Titan exited the lawn and garden and ATV wheel and tire business for original equipment manufacturers with the sale of certain assets of facilities located in Clinton, Tennessee, and Slinger, Wisconsin, to Carlisle Tire & Wheel Company. Titan remained active in the aftermarket for these products.
Labor strikes brought against Titan in 1998 by the United Steelworkers of America at facilities in Des Moines, Iowa, and Natchez, Mississippi, were settled resulting in five-year contracts.
Titan became the only tire manufacturer to receive the Society for Engineering in Agricultural, Food and Biological Systems (ASAE) AE50 award for innovation in product technology four consecutive years.
Titan flagship wheel facility in Quincy, Illinois, expanded manufacturing capability in December when Titan Wheel Corporation of Iowa ceased wheel manufacturing in Walcott, Iowa.
Titan Europe Plc, previously a wholly-owned subsidiary, was admitted to trading on London’s AIM Exchange. A Titan subsidiary retained a 30 percent interest in this new European public company.
Titan Tire Corporation closed on the acquisition of Goodyear's North American farm tire assets, which included the manufacturing facility in Freeport, Illinois.
Titan Tire Corporation of Bryan acquired the off-the-road (OTR) tire assets of Continental Tire North America, Inc. in Bryan, Ohio. This acquisition expanded Titan's product offering into larger earthmoving, construction and mining tires, in addition to the added manufacturing capacity of the Bryan, Ohio, facility.
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