Economist predicts economy will grow
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.-The U.S. economy should grow 3.5 to 4 percent in the second half of the year, according to the chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, speaking at the Rubber Manufacturers Association's annual general meetings in Rancho Mirage.
Martin A. Regalia, vice president of economic and tax policy, said a recovery sparked by President Bush's tax cut proposal will occur, but only if the stimulus package essentially is passed, and only if a war in Iraq goes well and quickly.
If the war drags on and if oil production is disrupted elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, things would be different, Mr. Regalia said.
If that's the case, ``we're going to get oil prices as high as around $80 a barrel, and we're going back into recession,'' he said.
Toyota Sienna gets run-flats
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Toyota Motor Corp. has selected Bridgestone-brand run-flat tires as an original-equipment option on the all-wheel-drive version of the redesigned 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan.
Bridgestone Corp., parent of Bridgestone/Firestone, will provide its B380RFT run-flat tire in size P225/60R17.
BFS claims its run-flats-based on the company's Self-Supporting Run-flat Tire system (SSR)-function with near-normal handling even when fully deflated, allowing the driver to control the vehicle. The Sienna is equipped with a pressure-monitoring device to let motorists know when the tire is losing air.
TIA taps industry award winners
RESTON, Va.-The Tire Industry Association has announced the winners of the 2003 Industry Leadership, Pioneer and Friend of the Industry awards, which will be presented at the World Tire Expo in Louisville, Ky., this month.
The leadership award is given for overall leadership and innovation for products and services to foster and promote the international transportation industry. The 2003 recipients are Steve Disney of Disney Tire Co. in Louisville and TIA immediate past president; Paul Routhier of J.P. Routhier & Sons in Littleton, Mass.; and TIA President Tom Raben of Raben Tire Co. in Evansville, Ind.
The winners of the Pioneer Award-given to individuals who or companies that have developed or implemented products and services for the transportation industry-are Frank Hall of Frank Hall Tire Service Inc. in Spartanburg, S.C., and Anne Evans of Tyres 2000 Ltd. in Hebron, Conn.
TIA's Friend of the Industry award fetes proven supporters of the international transportation industry. The 2003 winners are: Allan Lassiter of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality and a member of TIA's Tire and Rubber Recycling Council; and Ross Kogel of Tire Wholesalers Inc. in Troy, Mich., who stepped down last month as TIA's executive vice president.
Goodyear refutes `bankruptcy' remark
AKRON-Goodyear disputes assertions made by a University of Akron emeritus professor that the tire maker inevitably will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Dennis Byrne, a UA professor emeritus of economics, said at the Clemson University Tire Industry Conference in Hilton Head, S.C., that he doesn't believe the Akron tire maker will be able to escape its current financial problems without filing for bankruptcy. ``I see very little reason for optimism,'' he said. ``I think they will go belly-up.''
But in a statement, Goodyear said Mr. Byrne's statements are off the mark. ``While he may be located in Akron, he has no particular insight based on access to the company and all of its current and planned actions,'' Goodyear said. ``And he clearly seems to have no awareness of, or has chosen to ignore, the many actions the company has taken and is taking to deal with its challenges.''
The company's statement also recalled the plan discussed at the firm's February dealer meeting.
``We are implementing a plan to turn the business around and are feeling confident that we'll emerge as a stronger competitor and as a better supplier to our customers,'' the statement said.
Conti to market safety system
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.-Automotive supplier Continental Teves, a unit of Germany's Continental A.G., has joined Robert Bosch Corp. to form the Electronic Stability Control Coalition.
The coalition selected a third company, RFBinder Partners Inc., to develop a public relations and marketing campaign aimed at educating consumers about the importance of electronic stability control safety systems in passenger cars and light trucks.
The systems are designed to increase vehicle safety in critical situations by analyzing the driver's intention and comparing it with what the car is actually doing.