Jan. 17, 2011 – Adventure touring business has new owners

An off-road adventure touring and race provider has come under new management.
Wide Open Excursions, which has provided such services since 1997, has been purchased by its management team. Partners R. Brent Fenimore, Robert Smith and Fred Blum acquired the company from Christian Hammarskjöld, who will retain ownership of Wide Open Holdings that owns the Wide Open brand name.
Wide Open Excursions will maintain its operations in Ensenada, Mexico and is expanding its operations in Cabo San Lucas with a new office and mechanical facility to be completed in February, the company said in a press release.
Expansion plans in the U.S. include cooperative agreements with independent off-road adventure companies in Florida, Pennsylvania and Utah in 2011 with international expansion plans slated for the first quarter of 2012. Nevada operations were launched to provide the same off-road driving experiences under a similar arrangement in 2010.
Fenimore, who has been Wide Open Excursions’ managing director for the past two years, will now fill the role of vice president and managing director. Smith, a former consultant with the company, will now fill the role of vice president of sales and marketing; and Blum, Smith’s long-time business partner, will be the vice president of business development.
“We are looking forward to making Wide Open Excursions more accessible to enthusiasts and want to expand our off-road adventure tour offerings and driving experiences to a much broader audience all over the country while we improve upon our already-successful tour and race operations in Mexico,” said Fenimore.
Since 1997, Wide Open Excursions has provided more than 16,000 guests and corporate clients with the world’s most unique and adrenaline-filled adventure opportunity.

Bridgestone says its sales remain above 2009 levels

Bridgestone Corp. is continuing to see elevated worldwide sales this year, with positive results also seen in its Americas division.
The company overall is up 12 percent in its worldwide sales over the year-ago period, according to its third-quarter earnings report.
The company said the unit sales of passenger cars, light trucks, trucks and buses in North America tire operations exceeded greatly those of the first three quarters of fiscal 2009. Overall the company’s Americas division sales rose 9 percent through its first three quarters.
Bridgestone did note that raw material prices and materials continue to rise.

Cooper Tire’s sales rise 10 percent over year ago

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., which includes motorcycle tire brand Avon Tyres, concluded its restructuring during its recent quarter, the company reported.
Restructuring charges of $5 million, which was related primarily to the closure of its Albany, Ga., facility, occurred in its most quarter.
The company’s net income dropped slightly for its latest quarter, but its sales rose 10 percent to $883 million.
Price increases and mix helped overcome higher raw material prices, the company said. Also contributing favorably to results was improved manufacturing, increased utilization of capacity and lower restructuring costs.
“We entered the third quarter with lower inventory in contrast with a year ago when high levels of inventory were available to support demand,” Roy Armes, the company’s CEO, said in a press release. “We are taking action to increase our production levels and intend to produce 10 percent more units in 2011 than in 2010.”
Through its first nine months, Cooper generated $2.4 billion in net sales, an increase of 22 percent over the prior year. Net income was $100 million for the same period, compared with $13 million in 2009. PSB

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