Sears' net income up from NTB sale
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.-A pretax gain of $81 million from the sale of its National Tire & Battery chain to TBC Corp. helped push Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s fourth quarter net income up 218 percent to $2.7 billion, the retailer said.
The $260 million deal for 225 NTB stores put the operation under TBC's Tire Kingdom Inc. subsidiary, giving that chain some 592 total stores by the end of 2003. Memphis, Tenn.-based TBC released its fourth quarter and year-end results Feb. 11.
Sears' quarter net income also reflected a $4.1 billion pretax gain from the sale of its domestic credit and financial products business. Sales during the period rose 5.2 percent to $11.6 billion.
For all of 2003, Sears reported net income of $3.4 billion on sales of $36.4 billion.
Task force updates
repair info matrix
ARLINGTON, Va.-The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) has updated its original equipment service matrix.
The latest update went online Jan. 16, following the last quarterly update in October. The next will be in April.
The task force-created to ensure auto makers' compliance with an agreement to provide service information-established the matrix in 2001. NASTF said all vehicle makers have launched service information Web sites, and some continue to add content to them.
The matrix is available through NASTF's Web site, www.nastf.org.
Tires on agenda
at TMC meeting
ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The American Trucking Associations' Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) 2004 annual meeting, set for March 15-19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will feature a presentation on managing tires for fleet operators.
The Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition meeting, ``Successful Technology Pathways,'' will again feature complete programs for both maintenance and information technology/logistics professionals, including a session titled ``Tires 101-How to Leverage Industry Know-How to Strengthen Your Tire Program.''
The accompanying exhibition will feature more than 250 exhibitors, including Bandag Inc., Bridge-stone/Firestone, Goodyear, Michelin North America Inc., Myers Tire Supply and Solideal Tire.
For more information, contact TMC at (703) 838-1763 or by e-mail at [email protected] or on the Web at www.truckline.com/cc/councils/tmc.
unveils drag radial
FINDLAY, Ohio-Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels has introduced a street-legal drag radial tire, the ET Street Radial.
The company also signed on with the PRO Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals racing series to form a new class, the Mickey Thompson Mean Street, to help promote the ET Street Radial.
The new DOT-approved ET Street Radial is available in one size, P275/60R15, with others in development.
Mickey Thompson, a unit of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., said the new tire features a soft drag compound for traction on the drag strip, radial construction for reduced rolling resistance, a low-void, directional tread pattern for dry traction and a polyester ply and steel belts for strength.
Findlay-based Cooper acquired Max-Trac Tire Co. Inc. last year in a deal that included the Mickey Thompson and Dick Cepek brands.
Detroit Auto Show
DETROIT-The North American International Auto Show in Detroit reached its second-highest attendance level this year with 808,833 attendees.
The auto show, in its 16th year, also raised $7 million at the Charity Preview, organizers said. More than 700 vehicles-and a number of concept tires, as well-were on display.
``This year, the more than 79 vehicle introductions set the pace for the industry for the year and kicks off what we expect to be a banner sales year,'' said Chuck Fortinberry, NAIAS senior co-chairman.
Court to consider
TRENTON, N.J.-The New Jersey Supreme Court will consider whether the public has the right to access documents that Goodyear had sealed in a product liability case.
The state high court agreed to hear the appeal of two watchdog groups-Trial Lawyers for Public Justice and Consumers for Auto Reliability (CARS)-of an appellate court ruling that they lacked the standing to challenge a protective order sealing 31 documents relating to Goodyear Load Range E tires.
``We will keep fighting to get to the truth about the safety of these tires,'' said Rosemary Shahan, president of CARS, in a press release.
Goodyear, in a prepared statement, said the documents ``contain proprietary information related to our manufacturing processes and materials, and this information also can easily be misinterpreted and misused out of context.''
There was no word on when the high court would hear oral arguments on this case.
Goodyear to save
by outsourcing HR
AKRON-In a move aimed at saving $45 million over 10 years, Goodyear has outsourced its human resources functions to a Dallas-based company that has absorbed about 100 jobs from Goodyear's headquarters staff.
Affiliated Computer Services Inc. (ACS) will provide a wide range of HR business process services for Goodyear's North American operations, the tire maker said.
The company expects ACS to provide Goodyear and its 40,000 North American employees improved services and support as well as more efficient processes and cost savings. ACS also will institute a technology upgrade, the tire maker said.
Goodyear's affected HR staff in Akron have been transferred to ACS with the same pay, comparable benefits and vacation time, a spokesman said. The employees remain in Akron, though he said down the road some of the work may change or may be automated by the technology upgrades.
BFS sponsoring 4
truck beauty events
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone will sponsor Stars & Stripes Show Truck Events this year at four trucking shows across the nation.
Stars & Stripes is one of the most celebrated truck beauty competitions in the U.S., BFS said.
At each show, competitors vie for top honors and cash prizes in show categories that include Best of Show Bobtail, Combination Awards and the Competitor's Choice Award for working trucks.
The events also recognize professional show trucks.
In addition to the sponsorship by Nashville-based BFS's truck and bus group, the company said competitors and show attendees can win gifts and prizes from the tire maker.
The first Stars & Stripes event will be March 20-22 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. Other venues will include the North American Truck show, April 29-30 in Baltimore; the Truck Show, June 10-12 in Las Vegas; and Truckerfest, Aug. 5-7 in Reno, Nev.
2 Goodyear execs
honored by journal
AKRON-Profiles in Diversity Journal recently named two Goodyear executives, Kathleen T. Geier and Stephanie K. Wernet, as ``women of initiative.''
Ms. Geier, senior vice president of human resources, and Ms. Wernet, vice president of information technology, were featured in the magazine's second annual edition of ``Stories from the Highest-ranking Women in Corporations and Government Organizations in America Today.''
The publication cited Ms. Geier's educational and occupational background as the ``perfect backdrop'' for shaping her diversity beliefs.
Her degrees in biology and psychology have helped her to ``create an inclusive workplace that goes far beyond looking at race and gender issues,'' according to the magazine.
Ms. Wernet received high marks for her ability to keep the Akron tire maker on top of changing technology, the magazine said, noting ``her ability to see ability in others is her strength.''