BFS announces exec assignments
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone said Isao Togashi, 60, vice chairman of BFS North American Tire (BFNT), will take over as executive vice president of manufacturing and technology for Bridgestone Corp. He will resign his current position in Nashville in late March and head to Tokyo.
Mr. Togashi will be succeeded by Yasuyoshi Kawaguchi, 57, who also will serve as president of manufacturing and technology operations of BFNT.
The company also announced that John Lampe, chairman, CEO and president of BFS Americas Holdings and chairman of BFNT, will take on additional responsibilities as president of BFNT. He said Mr. Togashi ``was here for Bridgestone/Firestone when the company, and I, needed him most.''
Mr. Kawaguchi will be responsible for research, product development and manufacturing.
Toyo changes board of directors
OSAKA, Japan-Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has named President and CEO Shozo Katayama its board chairman and CEO.
Yoshio Kataoka will succeed Mr. Katayama as president and COO, the company said.
Mr. Kataoka was previously president of Toyo's chemical/industrial products. Both appointments will be effective April 1, Toyo said.
Yokohama to cut 100 at plant
SALEM, Va.-Yokohama Tire Corp. said it will lay off about 100 employees at its Salem plant, phasing out the positions over the coming weeks.
The layoffs are part of a plan to adjust inventory and production levels to meet slowing market conditions, Yokohama said. Over the past few months the company took production days out of its schedule to avoid layoffs. Because conditions have not improved, it said the layoffs were unavoidable.
``In this highly competitive global marketplace, all tire manufacturers have to balance requirements with production capacity and inventory levels,'' said James MacMaster, executive vice president of Yokohama's business division.
The last major layoff at the Salem facility was in 1996, when about 125 were temporarily laid off.
Goodyear mulls ad agencies
TONAWANDA, N.Y.-Goodyear is conducting a global review for its Dunlop Tires ad account, now handled by Beachwood, Ohio-based Marcus Thomas, which also handles advertising for Goodyear's Kelly tires.
According to a report in Advertising Age magazine, Goodyear plans sharply higher ad spending-between $10 million and $30 million a year-for Dunlop, said persons familiar with the review.
Contenders for the ad account include Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York and London; 180, in Amsterdam; and WPP Group's Y&R Advertising in New York.
RMA designates tire safety week
TUCSON, Ariz.-The Rubber Manufacturers Association has designated April 29-May 3 as ``National Tire Safety Week.'' This is the first time the tire industry has set aside a week to educate drivers about tire safety, said RMA President Donald B. Shea.
Festivities will include a 10-city, two-week promotional tour and free tire safety checks through the RMA's partners. They include AAA, Big O Tires Inc., Big 10 Tires, Tire Kingdom Inc., Merchant's Inc., National Tire & Battery, Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc., Tire Centers L.L.C., Discount Tire Co. and Sullivan Tire Co.
AAIG releases tracking standard
SOUTHFIELD, Mich.-The Automotive Industry Action Group, a standards-setting body for the industry, has released its tire and wheel label and radio frequency identification (RFID) standard.
In July, the group released the interim labeling portion of the standard, enabling car and tire makers to begin using a bar-code label for tracking tires and wheels.
The final standard includes protocol for RFID tags that are molded into the tire, enabling data capture and encryption.
NHTSA hires audit firm Andersen
WASHINGTON-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is paying the audit firm Andersen $52,000 to assess the effectiveness of NHTSA's new software information management system for identifying auto and tire defect trends.
Andersen-which also operates Arthur Andersen L.L.P., Enron Corp.'s former accounting firm-won the contract after competitive bidding and interviews with agency officials, a spokesman said. Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead recommended that a third-party auditor be called in because of concerns over the planning and management of the new system.