Heafner T.O. Hass unit gets v.p.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Heafner Tire Group Inc. has named James Williams vice president-business development for its T.O. Haas Division, effective immediately.
Mr. Williams was general manager of the Knoxville, Tenn., warehouse for Heafner's Southeast Division. He also has held positions with other organizations including McGriff Treading Co. Inc. and the Heafner-Itco Wholesale Division.
Heafner President and CEO Donald Roof said Mr. Williams' promotion is significant because "it is the highest level inter-company movement of an executive to date in Heafner's consolidation over the past three years."
Group acquires TravelCenters
NEW YORK—Oak Hill Capital Partners L.P., a private equity investment group, signed a definitive agreement June 1 to acquire TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA), the largest owner/operator of full-service travel centers in the U.S.
The buyout of Westlake, Ohio-based TA, for about $731 million, is expected to close in the third quarter. The firm has 160 outlets and 13,500 employees nationwide, and is presently owned by institutional investors led by Clipper Group, TA management and truck manufacturer Freightliner Corp.
Both the management team and Freightliner will continue to hold a significant equity position in TA, which also is one of the nation's largest truck tire distribution networks. The company sells an estimated 250,000 truck tires annually and is a major distributor of the Bridgestone and Firestone brands.
Consumer Reports likes BFS Dueler
AKRON—Consumer Reports magazine has added the Bridgestone Dueler H/L to its list of top-rated all-season tires for sport-utility vehicles.
In its August issue, CR said the Dueler H/L scored a tie in recent tests with the BFGoodrich Radial Long Trail T/A, which was rated the best overall performer in the magazine's November 1999 issue.
Both tires "performed extremely well" in CR tests weighted heavily toward braking, handling and (anti) hydroplaning performance, the publication said.
The only test in which the Dueler H/L scored below the Radial Long Trail T/A, CR said, was in snow traction—where the Dueler H/L's score was "poor compared to its rival's good score."
Two tire problems on NHTSA's list
WASHINGTON—Mazda (North America) Inc. and Fleetwood Enterprises are contacting vehicle owners about tire-related safety problems, according to the latest recall list from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Mazda is sending revised information to owners of 58,621 MPV minivans made between March 1999 and March 2000. Some 39,095 of the MPVs have tire information labels that don't comply with federal standards; another 19,526 equipped with 16-inch original equipment tires have the wrong inflation pressure on the label.
Fleetwood, meanwhile, is recalling 3,897 Fleetwood Jamboree, Tioga and Montara motor homes because their spare wheels have insufficient weight-carrying capacity when matched with a maximum-load tire. The company will provide higher-capacity wheels free of charge, NHTSA said.
Titan may face NLRB complaint
NATCHEZ, Miss.—Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board in New Orleans may issue an unfair labor practice complaint against tire maker Titan International Inc.
The possible action concerns Titan's treatment of employees when it bought the Fidelity Tire Manufacturing Co. plant in Natchez in 1998.
United Steelworkers Local 303, which staffed the plant under Fidelity and went on strike shortly after the takeover, claims Titan was obligated to hire them and assume their collective bargaining agreement. Titan has pointed to the USWA's rejection of the contract in place as the problem.
An NLRB hearing could occur as early as this fall.