BFS, Goodyear raising prices
AKRON-Bridgestone/Firestone and Goodyear are the latest tire makers to announce price increases.
BFS is hiking prices by up to 4 percent on Bridgestone and Firestone brand replacement passenger and light truck tires, effective Oct. 1. The price adjustment varies by product line and will be effective for all orders placed on or after Oct. 1.
Goodyear will raise prices on its consumer tires up to 4 percent, effective Sept. 1. The increases apply to the Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly brands, the Akron-based tire maker said.
Both manufacturers said the price hikes are due to higher raw material costs. BFS also attributed its increase to the escalating cost of utilities.
Goodyear taps Winterton as a VP
AKRON-Goodyear has named Jack Winterton vice president of replacement sales for its North American Tire unit.
Previously director of field sales for consumer tires, Mr. Winterton will assume overall responsibility for consumer replacement tire sales through all channels of distribution, according to North American Tire President Jon Rich.
Mr. Winterton, 50, also will oversee corporate accounts as well as the wholesale tire centers, Mr. Rich said.
BFS settles Texas tire cases
BAY CITY, Texas-Bridgestone/Firestone has settled a group of pending lawsuits in which the company's tires allegedly failed.
A company spokesman declined to say how many lawsuits were in the group or how much money was involved. Among the settled cases was one involving three college students who were seriously injured in Texas in June 1999 when their Ford Explorer and U-Haul trailer overturned. Their lawsuit claimed a Firestone tire on the Explorer failed, but BFS insisted the tire damage occurred only as a result of the accident.
Japanese retailer comes to Calif.
STANTON, Calif.-Autobacs Seven Co. Ltd., Japan's largest automotive aftermarket parts and accessories retailer, is opening its first U.S Super Autobacs ``Car-Life'' mega store in Orange County, Calif.
The new Super Autobacs store in Stanton features 35,000 square feet and two floors of specialty automotive goods including tires, wheels, sport-utility vehicle goods, car care products, car audio and DVD, GPS and security systems, books, collectibles, apparel and thousands of car accessories.
Senate to vote on class action reform
WASHINGTON-The Senate has tentatively set the week of Sept. 8 to vote on a bill that would make sweeping changes to the nation's class-action lawsuit system.
In the version of the legislation the House passed in June, any class action involving more than $5 million worth of claims would automatically be sent to a federal court, thus preventing ``shopping'' by plaintiffs' attorneys for a state or local venue sympathetic to class action plaintiffs.
Tire manufacturers and dealers, along with other businesses, strongly favor the bill, but consumer advocates claim it would unfairly limit the legal alternatives of consumers injured by defective products.
The challenge in the Senate will be to amass 60 votes in favor of the class action bill in order to prevent a filibuster, according to a Rubber Manufacturers Association press release issued Aug. 14.
Conti names VP sales, marketing
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Andreas Gerstenberger will replace Mike Barker as vice president of sales and marketing for Continental Tire North America Inc.'s passenger and light truck replacement tire business unit, effective Sept. 8.
Mr. Gerstenberger will be responsible for independent tire dealer, car dealer and mass retail sales as well as marketing and product development functions for the unit. He also will continue to be responsible for the North American (NAFTA) passenger, light truck original equipment key account management on an interim basis.
Mr. Barker, who has held the consumer tire vice presidency since June 2000, will assume the position of director, business development for the company's NAFTA truck tire business unit in the Global Commercial Tire Division, Conti said. In his new post, he will be responsible for the fleet and OE sales channels as well as developing the emerging strategic account segment of the commercial tire business.