Falken Tire to add Ohtsu brand tires RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.—Falken Tire Corp., a subsidiary of Japan's Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., has taken over the responsibility of marketing its parent company's Ohtsu-brand tires in North America, effective Jan. 1.
New York-based Chatani Enterprises Inc., had been handling the Ohtsu brand, but Falken said both companies agreed that the move would help make Ohtsu more competitive and would serve customers better.
Chatani retains an equity interest in Falken, whose Falken-brand tires, which focus on high-performance lines, also are made by Ohtsu.
Tire explosion kills Md. worker
LUSBY, Md.—State occupational safety officials are investigating the death of a construction worker who died when a tire on a dump truck he was servicing exploded.
Timothy Goddard, 34, was working Dec. 3 at a construction site at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby.
He changed two rear tires on the truck, and was underneath the vehicle inspecting the tires when one of them exploded.
Mr. Goddard suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick, Md.
Officials at the Maryland Department of Labor office in Waldorf, Md., did not return phone calls.
Address him as 'Professor Hylton'
SELINSGROVE, Pa.—Charles D. ``Tony'' Hylton, former communications director for the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association—now the Tire Association of North America—is giving college students the benefit of his experience.
Mr. Hylton is spending the 1998-99 academic year as a visiting assistant professor of communications at Susquehanna University, a small liberal arts college in Selinsgrove, north of Harrisburg, Pa.
His teaching schedule includes introduction to journalism for freshmen, corporate communications for upperclassmen and public relations management for seniors.
``The kids are interested in becoming public relations managerial types—but not just to do press releases,'' Mr. Hylton said of his students. ``They look on it as a management function."
When his academic job ends in May, Mr. Hylton will resume full-time consulting and seek jobs within the tire industry, he said.
NHTSA proposes change in tire IDs
WASHINGTON—International standardization and easier tire identification are behind the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's proposing a change in the tire identification number molded into a tire sidewall.
NHTSA wants to change the three-digit date of manufacture at the end of the number to four digits, and reduce the height of the numbers from 6 to 4 millimeters.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association and the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation petitioned NHTSA for the change. The four-digit number, they argued, identifies tires according to the week of manufacture, as opposed to only the month, as the three-digit number does.
Pinpointing the date of manufacture more closely, the RMA and ETRTO said, will make tires more traceable during recalls. The Economic Commission for Europe already has authorized the change. Implementing the change in the U.S. would harmonize U.S. and European standards, the associations said.
In its rulemaking, NHTSA approved an RMA request for a phase-in period between now and January 2000 for U.S. tire makers to adopt the new ID number.