On June 17, the day Michelin North America announced it would relocate its Michelin Americas Small Tires (MAST) business unit from Akron to Greenville, S.C., ace TIRE BUSINESS photographer and Managing Editor Larry Wingert snapped this photo of MAST's former Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. Akron headquarters, with the Goodyear blimp flying overhead. Looking for additional office space, perhaps?
Mum's the word
Clermont-Ferrand, France-based Groupe Michelin, the world's largest tire maker, has a reputation for being tight lipped when talking about the company, especially to journalists.
A Forbes magazine writer discovered that in preparing a story published in the Aug. 1 issue.
Writer Roula Khalaf noted Francois Michelin refused to be interviewed for the story, and reported that an underling responded to his interview request with the question: ``Will it make a better tire if he spoke to Forbes?''
Just another challenge. That's how Don Smith of Milwaukee describes being the first legally blind person to compete in a demolition derby in Oregon.
You read that right. His '73 Ford LTD, dubbed ``Blind Man's Bluff,'' was recently battered front and rear by nine other cars at Banks Speedway in Oregon, and 66-year-old Mr. Smith admits he was scared.
He lost the event, but said it was ``fun.''
After losing his sight 30 years ago when a disease left scar tissue over his retinas, he said his life ``went into an awful tailspin.'' His wife left him and his business disintegrated.
Today, he's a sales trainer and is president of the Oregon Speakers Association.
Mr. Smith's daughter, Tracy Hebert of Oregon City, said when her dad gets an idea, ``he will not stop until he's done it.''
Their job futures may be somewhat unresolved, but at least some workers at the former Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp. plant in Des Moines, Iowa, have a few more bucks in their pockets.
As PATC sold the plant to Titan Tire Co., a subsidiary of Titan Wheel International Inc., the factory was struck by the United Rubber Workers when contract talks between the union and PATC broke down.
Before the strike, a group of 10 workers there claimed $1.8 million from a June 15 ``Lucky Day'' jackpot. They called themselves ``The Strong Finish Trust''-referring to the tire plant's finishing department, where eight of the 10 winners toiled. They had been pooling their money for state lotto games for 15 months, and will split $48,240 a year, after taxes, for the next 25 years.
The new owners of the plant, which made Armstrong-brand farm tires, and the URW were reported working to resolve differences so production could resume.
Stop this guy!
Eye-catching ads: The Robert Bosch Corp.'s slightly ``sinister'' full-pagers in car magazines for its Bosch spark plugs.
One featured the headline, ``Last year, we helped this man snatch $1.6 million in purses,'' under a somewhat menacing looking photo of race driver Mark Martin, whom the ad went on to say is ``one of the few drivers in NASCAR history to win four consecutive victories''-of course, while running Bosch spark plugs.
Car without an antidote
Chrysler Corp., maker of the Dodge Viper, recently showed its ``Dodge Venom'' concept car. Oh, those snakeoil salesmen.
Ever wonder how ``the Brickyard''-the speedway where the ``Indianapolis 500'' and ``Brickyard 400'' are run-got its nickname? Because it has 3.2 million bricks in it. You can amaze your friends with this practically worthless fact.