Cooper Tire names president
FINDLAY, Ohio-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has named D. Richard Stephens president of its Cooper Tire unit, replacing John Fahl who retired earlier this year.
Mr. Stephens, 54, a 25-five year Cooper veteran, had been president of its International Tire Division since December 2000. He will be responsible for the firm's worldwide tire operations, which include three operating units: North American Tire Division, International Tire Division and Commercial Products Division.
Court clears Michelin in suit
ALICE, Texas-A Texas jury has cleared Michelin Tire Corp. of negligence in a personal injury lawsuit involving a Uniroyal Laredo tire, while its insurance carrier reached a settlement with the plaintiffs.
The Jim Wells County jury ruled in Michelin's favor at the end of the Nov. 26-30 trial over a suit filed by the family of Noe Benavides, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent who died in an April 1999 accident involving a 9-year-old Laredo tire that separeted.
Attorneys for the survivors of Mr. Benavides sought $80 million from Michelin in damages, claiming the tire separated due to design defects, materials and the manufacturing process.
Michelin's insurance carrier agreed to a confidential settlement with the Benavides family.
Florida group, ASA to merge
BOCA RATON, Fla.-The Florida Independent Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association and the Automotive Service Association of Florida (ASA-FL) are merging to form a single organization.
FITDRA's board and ASA-FL's board unanimously accepted a merger plan at their Dec. 1 meetings. Members will vote in January. Two-thirds must approve the plan for the groups to merge Feb. 1.
BFS closes Decatur plant
DECATUR, Ill.-Bridgestone/Firestone's Decatur plant made its last tire Dec. 14, ending the facility's 38-year production run.
More than 1,800 hourly and salaried workers will lose their jobs by year-end. The plant was shut down as BFS reduces capacity and cuts expenses in North America to ensure its financial health.
The facility also was linked to the Firestone tire recall that began in August 2000 when it was revealed that 2.7 million of the Wilderness AT tires being recalled were made there.
Cooper to debut safety program
FINDLAY, Ohio-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is joining with the National Safety Council on a three-year program to educate consumers on tire maintenance and safety. The two will create a brochure that will be distributed by Cooper dealers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as by the council's 37,500 members.
Cooper said the brochure will be done early in 2002. The tire maker embarked on a public tire safety program last month as part of a settlement agreement in 32 class-action lawsuits against it.
TB subscription prices increase
AKRON-Tire Business is raising its annual subscription price by $3, to $71, in response to higher newsprint and postage costs. The change is effective Jan. 1.
In Canada, the price of a one-year subscription will rise to $96, including GST. Subscriptions to the Middle East and Europe will increase to $166, while those to all other countries will be $231.
Paid subscribers also have complete access to TB's Web site-www.tirebusiness.com.