NEW ORLEANS-At its annual membership meeting Oct. 12, the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association adopted resolutions that called on tire manufacturers to standardize warranty adjustment forms and national account delivery receipts, as well as sidewall markings indicating tire size and speed rating. Reacting to General Motors Corp.'s decision to include tires in the bumper-to-bumper warranties for its 1996 model cars and light trucks (except Saturns), the NTDRA also called on tire makers to structure these warranty adjustment programs in such as way as to keep independent tire dealers involved.
Regarding consumer warranty adjustments and national account business, the association pointed out that most transactions are manually produced on documents supplied by the tire makers.
Standardized, automated systems, compatible with the broadest possible range of systems used by independent tire dealers, would make these transactions less costly and time-consuming, the NTDRA said.
In the interest of safety-to tire technicians and the motoring public-the association called on manufacturers to use letters and numerals at least 1/2-inch tall when marking tire size and speed rating on the sidewall.
Nokian Tyres' logo presents new image
Nokian Tyres Ltd. introduced a new logo that draws on the company's history to suggest a ``powerful sense of movement,'' an ecological concern and a global focus.
The new mark, which evolved from one used in 1965, uses white, blue and green colors to convey images of the forest and snow and a circular shape ``to suggest not only a tire and speed by also a steering wheel in the hands of a skilled driver,'' the Nokia, Finland-based firm said.
NTDRA plans debt collection service
The National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association is estab-lishing a collection service designed to help member dealers with delinquent commercial accounts.
The Milliken and Michaels collection firm will provide the service, using a network of more than 12,000 private investigators and four levels of collection activities or ``attitude codes'' dealers can select:
Audit approach: Maintains the bond between the dealer and customer using audit terminology;
Problem-solving approach: Audit terminology is used to find out if a problem or dispute exists but a threat of collection agency activity will be used if warranted;
Full collections approach without financial investigation: The debtor is advised that a third-party agency has been notified and legal action will be pursued; and
Full collections approach with financial investigation: A private investigator is assigned to make face-to-face contact with the debtor.
Milliken and Michaels will provide all investigation information to the dealer's attorney for legal action or can provide legal assistance through its network of about 5,000 attorneys.
More complete information about the program will be provided by mid-November, the NTDRA said.
Incorporate in Nev., exhibitor advises
Small businesses should be incorporated for tax advantages and protection from liability, and the best state in which to incorporate is Nevada, according to C.W. ``Al'' Allen, president and CEO of Sage International Inc.
Even business owners who already have incorporated in another state should consider establishing an additional corporation in Nevada, said Mr. Allen, whose Reno-based company just happens to incorporate businesses in Nevada and provide the ``Nevada business presence''-office, telephone, business license and bank account-required by state law.
Nevada has no corporate taxes at all, Mr. Allen said, and no succession tax, stock transfer tax, franchise tax or state income tax, either.
Nevada also does not allow the officers or directors of a corporation to be sued for activities of the corporation, and it is the only state that does not share information with the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Allen said.
For more information, contact Sage International Inc., 1135 Terminal Way, Suite 209, Reno, Nev. 89502; (800) 254-5779 or (702) 786-5515. Fax: (702) 786-2013.media blitz launched
Money Express print media blitz launched
Bank One, Dayton, N.A., issuer of the NTDRA's Money Express credit card, has stepped up its promotional activities for the same-as-cash program and announced it will halve the merchant discount rate.
Bank One has sent news features on the Money Express 90-days-same-as-cash program to 10,000 newspapers nationwide. The release includes a toll-free telephone number motorists can call to locate the nearest Money Express dealer.
Beginning next year, dealers participating in the same-as-cash program will pay a processing fee of 0.96 percent, just over half the 1.85 percent previously charged.
Bank One also plans to simplify the Money Express credit application and said it plans additional promotions, with new point-of-sale incentives and displays, as well as marketing resources, for 1996.
Steelworkers blast Bridgestone at show
Grabbing dealers' attention with a giant puppet depicting ``Mother Jones,'' a colorful labor figure of the 1800s, members of the United Steelworkers union used the NTDRA trade show as a forum to denounce Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp. and its president, Yoichiro Kaizaki, as ``unfair'' to tire production workers in the U.S.
Addressing conventioners through an electronic amplifier hidden within the 15-ft.-high figure, representatives of the steel workers union, which merged with the former United Rubber Workers in July, accused the company of ``running over American workers'' by refusing to rehire more than 1,300 former employees, following a 10- month strike that ended in May.
On Oct. 11, just one night prior to the opening of the NTDRA convention, boisterous members of the union had also turned up unexpectedly at a Bridgestone reception for dealers attending the company's retail sales conference in the same city.
Demonstrators there also had denounced the company and attempted to pass out union leaflets urging, ``Don't buy Bridgestone tires,'' before being ejected from the reception by New Orleans police.
Union representatives at the trade show vowed to ``continue doing whatever is necessary'' to bring about what they termed ``a just end'' to the dispute. They demanded the company rehire the former striking workers and return to the bargaining table with union representatives.
The two episodes took place approximately one week before the company and union announced bargaining would resume Nov. 6.