NHTSA to delay warning data
WASHINGTON-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will delay by three months the required submission of ``early warning'' data from vehicle, tire and auto parts manufacturers, to Dec. 1 from Aug. 31.
The early warning rule-part of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act-is aimed at identifying product de-fects before they endanger the public. Myriad questions about the massive amounts of information manufacturers must turn over, however, motivated the delay. The postponement also means that manufacturers' first data submissions will be from the third quarter of 2003, rather than the second.
About 90 larger auto, tire and parts companies and some 23,000 smaller companies are affected by the early warning rule, according to Automotive News. The Rubber Manufacturers Association petitioned NHTSA for a one-quarter postponement, ``and we're obviously pleased they accepted our petition,'' said Ann Wilson, RMA senior vice president-government affairs.
Yokohama debuts online marketing
FULLERTON, Calif.-Yokohama Tire Corp. has launched an online ad planner designed to give dealers access to marketing tools.
The Fullerton-based tire maker said the program features logos, clip art and other tools. They are designed to help with logo usage, print, radio and television advertising, direct mail and dealer signage.
Each dealer will receive a unique password for the program. Images can be downloaded into local retail ads, and dealers also can request point-of-sale materials or TV-spot dubs through e-mail, Yokohama said.
For information, call (800) 423-4544, ext. 3901.
Bill gives tax break on SUVs
WASHINGTON-Small businesses can now expense sport-utility vehicles costing up to $100,000 on their taxes, thanks to the $350 million tax reduction package signed into law by President Bush.
SUVs are among the equipment small businesses can expense in their first year, and the tax bill quadrupled the amount of equipment small businesses can expense the first year, from the previous $25,000 amount.
The SUV tax exemption was discussed widely at small business seminars over the past couple of years, according to Roy E. Littlefield III, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association. ``It's a good thing for small business, but not specifically a TIA issue,'' he said.
Goodyear taps new PR chief
AKRON-Charles (Chuck) Sinclair, a long-time Goodyear public relations executive, has been named senior vice president of global communications for the company.
He replaces Robert O'Leary, who joined Sears, Roebuck and Co. as senior vice president, public relations, community and government affairs after 14 months with the tire maker.
Mr. Sinclair, 51, who will report to Goodyear CEO and President Robert Keegan, will be responsible for leading the tire maker's communications strategy and providing counsel to senior leadership on issues impacting the company. He previously was vice president, communications and public relations for Goodyear's North American Tire unit.
He joined Goodyear in 1984 as a plant public relations manager in Lincoln, Neb., and moved to Akron in 1987. Mr. O'Leary joined Goodyear in April 2002, replacing John Perduyn, who retired in November 2001.
Falken takes DOT registration online
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.- Falken Tire Corp. has begun taking DOT tire registrations on its Web site at www.falkentire.com.
The tire registration site is accessible through the ``Tech & Warranties'' section.
Other tire makers, including Pirelli Tire North America Inc. and Yokohama Tire Corp., also have added online registration in addition to paper forms. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires tire makers to provide their customers with registration cards.
The Tire Industry Association and the Rubber Manufacturers Association support the use of Web-based registration and are urging NHTSA to change the rules that now mandate paper forms. But CIMS Inc., an Akron-based company that offers tire registration forms, has denounced the practice.
CIMS estimates that 28.6 percent of all forms are returned, above the 10-percent estimate of the RMA.