Wheel certification deadline nears
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.-The deadline to register for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)'s new Custom Wheel & Tire Specialist Exam is March 22.
Dubbed ``Z5,'' the exam will be administered May 6 at nationwide test locations. SEMA said it will measure knowledge and skills for wheel and tire professionals who install custom applications on passenger cars and light trucks.
To earn the custom wheel and tire certificaiton, installers must have at least two years of hands-on experience in the specialty segment as well as pass the written exam.
Goodyear starts rebuilding blimp
AKRON-Work is under way to repair Goodyear's ``Spirit of America'' blimp after it crashed Dec. 3 in Carson, Calif.
The tire maker said the airship, one of the company's three in North America, will be repaired at its Wingfoot Lake airship hangar near Akron. The repairs are expected to last several months, with a possible return to service by late summer.
Judge dismisses Lisoni complaint
INDIO, Calif.-A California Superior Court judge has rejected a motion from plaintiff's attorneys seeking sanctions against Bridgestone/Firestone for allegedly destroying damaged Firestone Steeltex tires intended to be kept as evidence in a class-action lawsuit.
Judge Christopher Sheldon also asked BFS's lawyers to prepare a formal order that will include recommendations for sanctions against Joseph L. Lisoni, Gail Lisoni and Steven Weinberger.
A press release from the plaintiffs' attorneys expressed ``shock and dismay'' that Judge Sheldon ruled against them and accused him of ignoring key points of their motion.
``We have preserved all tires required to be preserved under the court's order,'' a BFS spokesman said after Judge Sheldon's ruling.
Hankook to fit Ford vans
SEOUL, South Korea-Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has secured a five-year contract to supply light truck tires to Ford Motor Co. for the car maker's full-size E-series 350 van, according to information posted on the firm's Web site.
The contract, valued at $90 million by Asian financial analysts, covers the delivery of 380,000 RH03 light truck tires annually, starting immediately.
Ford lists the following fitment sizes for the 350 van series: LT225/75R16 and LT245/75R16.
The deal represents Hankook's third significant OE supply contract with Ford in the past year. In June Ford awarded Hankook a five-year contract to supply up to 550,000 P-metric light truck tires annually for its new F-150 pickup truck.
In March Hankook took over a supply contract for temporary spare tires for Ford's Escape SUV.
Keegan rallies TBC dealers
DESERT PALMS, Calif.-Goodyear Chairman Robert Keegan offered about 300 TBC Corp. private brand dealers seven reasons to have confidence in the tire maker's turnaround plan.
Speaking at TBC's dealer meeting in Desert Palms Jan. 15, Mr. Keegan said the strategic drivers of the turnaround effort are: leadership; ``cash is king''; lower cost structure; leveraged distribution; building brand strength; product leadership; and advantaged supply chain.
He also expressed Goodyear's commitment to TBC and the private brand business.
Cooper names 2 to HP positions
FINDLAY, Ohio-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has named Douglas Andrus to performance tire analyst and Paula Luzader to performance tire applications specialist.
In his new post, Mr. Andrus will lead efforts in dealer and consumer education as part of a high-performance tire training program in the Great Lakes, southern and western regions. He had been southern region manager in the consumer relations department.
Ms. Luzader also will lead dealer and consumer education efforts in the training program in the eastern and central regions, in addition to Mastercraft dealers. In addition, she will help implement the new high-performance training program. Most recently, she served as a senior customer service representative for the eastern region.