Wells joins ITRA as marketing dir.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The International Tire & Rubber Association has appointed Jim Wells as director of marketing and sales.
Mr. Wells' responsibilities include marketing and promotional activities for the World ITRA Expo, increasing ITRA's membership base and promoting new member services and training programs.
A Louisville native, Mr. Wells served as the Midwest division marketing director for the last 17 years at the Winn-Dixie supermarket chain prior to joining ITRA. He reports to ITRA Executive Director Marvin Bozarth.
Pacific Dunlop sells battery unit
MELBOURNE, Australia—Pacific Dunlop Ltd. has sold its battery unit, GNB Technologies to Exide Corp. for $333 million (U.S.).
The sale initially was announced in May and conditional upon due diligence, regulatory approvals and financial arrangements by Exide.
Toyota to retain Firestone tires
ERLANGER, Ky.—Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to keep Firestone tires as original equipment on all Toyota vehicles.
The car maker said it had received no complaints from customers regarding Firestone tires and saw no reason to discontinue its relationship with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.
No recalled Firestone ATX, ATX II or Wilderness AT tires are used as OE on Toyota's pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S.
Toyota is the second Japanese car maker to say it is sticking with Firestone.
Last month Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said it would equip its revamped 2001 Civics with Firestones.
Heafner to merge CPW, Calif. Tire
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Heafner Tire Group Inc. will combine its Competition Parts Warehouse and California Tire operations.
Both divisions have headquarters in California and together operate 12 distribution centers. The merged operations will form the Western Division of Heafner from which future expansion into the western states will be managed, Heafner said.
In conjunction with this merger, the division will operate as Heafner Tire Group—Western Division and will phase out the names CPW and California Tire.
"The consolidation of these two operations will allow us to improve our overall customer service capabilities and bring `one-stop-shopping' to our West Coast customers," said Heafner Tire Group President and CEO Don Roof.
The combination of the two divisions began this quarter and is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2001.
ITEC to move to Asia in '01
AKRON—The International Tire Exhibition and Conference is changing to an annual format and adding sites in Asia and Europe to the rotation.
ITEC, sponsored by Rubber & Plastics News, sister publication to Tire Business, has been held biennially in Akron since 1994. The first event outside the U.S. will take place Sept. 18-20, 2001, at the Coex conference hall in Pusan, South Korea.
ITEC will return to Akron in 2002 and then move in 2003 to a European site yet to be determined. The pattern will then repeat itself, with ITEC being held in Akron in even years and alternating between Asia and Europe in odd years.
The ITEC Asia and ITEC Europe events will be organized by RPN in conjunction with European Rubber Journal, a sister publication, and Crain Communications Ltd.
Smithers marks 75th anniversary
AKRON—Smithers Scientific Services Inc. is celebrating its 75th anniversary as an independent research and consulting firm.
Smithers was founded as a one-man tire analysis operation in 1925 in a garage in South Akron. The company now employs more than 300 people in five locations in the U.S.
The firm, originally called Smithers Laboratories, combined with Hochschwender & Associates Inc. in 1972 to form Smithers Scientific Services. Smithers' client base grew to include designers and manufacturers of not only tires but also automotive, aerospace, elastomeric, plastic, steel, chemical, medical and transportation products.