The United Steelworkers' strike at Goodyear plants in North America seems likely to affect the powersports industry if it continues.
About 15,000 steelworkers went on strike on Oct. 5 at 16 plants, including the Buffalo plant, the lone Goodyear-Dunlop plant in the United States that makes motorcycle and ATV tires.
“There will certainly be some effect on our supply that we get from Dunlop,” said Greg Blackwell, vice president of sales for LeMans Corp., which owns Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties.
Blackwell said that even before the strike Dunlop was having supply issues with some of its models, including some of its Harley-Davidson tires.
Dunlop has notified LeMans that it plans to fill orders from its current inventory. The company in media reports also said it is supplying tires from nonunion plants and its international operations. It has more than 100 facilities in 29 countries.
Blackwell said LeMans has notified its sales reps of the strike, of the potential for a supply shortage for the Dunlop brand and “other products that we have in stock that can be used” as replacements.
“If there's a shortage, people with motorcycles are not going to sit around waiting for their tires,” Blackwell said. “They want to be out riding.”
Dunlop, the market share leader in motorcycle tire sales, makes more than 4 million tires a year at its Buffalo plant.
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business