Say what? The year's almost over? Time certainly flies when you're trying to make a buck selling tires and slogging oil.
Well...that means it must be time for the somewhat annual year-end Tire Business quiz about all kinds of important stuff that happened in the tire industry during 2004. You say you haven't been paying a lot of attention to the year's activities? The only excuse we'll accept is that you've been way too busy making moola to come up for air. Otherwise, shame shame. Remember, tires are your life.
By law, we are required to issue this warning: Not all of what may seem ``true'' in questions below is-as long as you keep in mind that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction-and there may be more than one correct answer in some cases.
The TB reader with the most correct answers will receive a bag of ``tire tread licorice''-losers will receive two bags. (Just kidding. Sorry...no prizes will be awarded.) Oh, and one other thing: This quiz may be illegal in some states. Better check with your state's attorney general or the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office just to be on the right side of the law.
1. A huge fire in April 2003 that wiped out Dobbs Tire & Auto Center's flagship store in High Ridge, Mo., provided:
a. Dealership principals with an opportunity to discover, first-hand, how lots of burning tires smell.
b. A chance to rebuild and expand with an 8,000-sq.-ft., 10-bay redesigned store.
c. Owner Don Dobbs with the chance to realize a life-long dream: To operate a bulldozer.
d. A & B (and maybe C).
2. Last January TBC Corp. predicted a 25-percent jump in earnings for 2004:
a. Before checking with the National Weather Service about potential hurricanes on the horizon.
b. Based on an expected improvement in earnings via its acquisition of 225 National Tire & Battery stores from Sears, Roebuck and Co.
c. Because staffers finally located the lost set of keys to its Tire Kingdom.
d. Because 25 percent is an odd number.
3. John Lampe, 56, Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc.'s chairman, president and CEO, decided to retire because:
a. He said he'd had a ``belly-full'' of the tire industry.
b. He said he wanted to try a new career as a professional bridge player.
c. He planned to ``go fishin''' and possibly become a professional ballroom dancer.
d. He wanted to spend more time with his family, saying, ``...it is time for a fresh set of eyes, a new perspective and increased energy levels.''
4. In taking over the reins at BFS for Mr. Lampe, Mark Emkes, 50, said his top priority for 2004 was to:
a. Get the closest parking spot to the door of Bridgestone/Firestone's headquarters.
b. Make BFS's North American Tire unit profitable.
c. Buy a new wardrobe of glow-in-the-dark suits for John Gamauf, president of consumer replacement tires.
d. Launch a new dealer marketing campaign-dubbed ``Cash Is King''-based on the success of BFS's Jerry Cash, national director of business development and consumer tire sales.
5. The Tire Industry Association (TIA) decided to close and sell its Louisville, Ky., training center because:
a. It was haunted.
b. Tire Retread Information Bureau Managing Director Harvey Brodsky decided he no longer wanted it as his winter home.
c. It was a ``tremendous expense'' for TIA and was underutilized due to declining enrollment in training courses.
d. Kevin Rohlwing, TIA's senior vice president of education and technical services, saw his plans fall through to turn it into a retread-themed nightclub.
6. Mike DeWine, a U.S. Senator (R-Ohio), sounded like a connoisseur of the grape when he said, ``Tires are not like wine-they don't get better with age'':
a. While sipping a glass of merlot.
b. After tasting a new California vintage aged in old truck tire carcasses.
c. Because he prefers a nice stein of lager.
d. During a news conference announcing he planned to sponsor a bill requiring retailers to tell customers when their tires were made. (He later changed his mind and pulled the bill.)
7. Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corp. decided to merge:
a. So Martha Stewart would have a job as a Sears clerk to fall back on when she gets out of the slammer.
b. Because Kmart's blue light burned out and Sears found a box of them in a warehouse.
c. To harness the power of the two big-box retailers by creating a combined firm with about $55 billion in annual revenues and 3,500 stores and become the nation's No. 3 retailer.
d. Since Kmart closed its auto centers, the company's majority shareholder and chairman, Edward Lampert, needed someplace to take his cars to get fixed and figured, ``Why not just buy the place?''
8. Tire Business did not publish a special bonus issue, ``Tires: Truth vs. Perception,'' this year because:
a. Tires are still round and black.
b. To tell you the truth, we did that last year.
c. What more can you say about them?
d. Been there, done that...all of the above.
9. Kumho Tire U.S.A. said it was determined to get a hipper, racier image in 2004:
a. So it decided to sponsor the X Games and expand its presence in motorsports.
b. After exercise guru Richard Simmons commented that the tire company needed to ``work on its hips.''
c. So Kumho public relations manager Dan Davis bought a Mini Cooper.
d. When a bass fisherman in a Kumho-sponsored competition lost his bait and yelled, ``Way to go, Kumho!''
10. At its annual dealer conference, Goodyear unveiled its new Assurance tire line:
a. To keep dealers from nodding off after lunch.
b. To help pump some life into the firm's at-the-time-listing financial ship.
c. So the company could be assured of some new excitement in the marketplace.
d. After deciding it didn't want to branch out into marketing Gatorback fuzzy dice.
11. Continental Tire North America (CTNA) Inc. said it was halting tire production at its oldest and highest-cost U.S. plant in Mayfield, Ky.:
a. In a move to trim costs while ``continuously evaluating our position from a production standpoint.''
b. Though it will continue to use the facility for mixing and warehouse operations.
c. But will use existing tire molds to make huge chocolate chip cookies destined for the Chinese market.
d. Will use the plant as a cookie dough-mixing facility.
12. The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) did battle with the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB):
a. Over a dispute involving a tire manifest rule for retreaders.
b. After the CIWMB halted an effort by TRIB to market candy ``road gators.''
c. Because retreaders were up in arms about having to document the transport of waste or used tires on multiple forms.
d. After CIWMB members ``dissed'' retreads.
13. Sears Canada Inc. decided to exit the automotive aftermarket business in Canada and close or sell its 49 auto repair centers to independent tire dealers:
a. Because it's just too cold up there to change tires.
b. Which benefited the Kal Tire, President Tire Canada and Active Green+Ross dealerships.
c. After Sears execs said Customs officials wouldn't let them cross the U.S./Canadian border.
d. Because Taco Bell turned down an offer to team up with them for a new ``North of the Border'' promotion.
14. After Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. said it planned to build a tire plant in Bartow County, Ga., a citizens group vowed to fight the construction:
a. Claiming it would disturb the rural flavor of the area and bring down property values.
b. Unless they were guaranteed free tires for life.
c. Because they wanted to build a roller disco on the site.
d. And filed a lawsuit to halt it, later withdrawing opposition after realizing the costs of defending the suits ``would be prohibitive to this neighborhood of mostly retired citizens.''
15. Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack told Ford Motor Co. it couldn't use the name ``Futura'' for a mid-sized sedan:
a. Because the retail chain of tire and auto parts stores owns the name and uses it on a private brand tire line.
b. But suggested the auto maker instead call the car a ``Manny.''
c. Because it ``didn't know Jack.''
d. ...Hey, Moe...whadya, a wise guy? Doink.
16. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said it would sell its Cooper-Standard Automotive subsidiary because:
a. The business unit was showing sub-standard financial results.
b. The business unit was showing above-standard financial results.
c. Cooper Chairman Tom Dattilo said the company wants to concentrate on its tire business.
d.The company received an acquisition offer it just couldn't refuse.
17. The Oliver Rubber Co. subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. snagged:
a. A 10-year contract to supply retreaded tires for the U.S. Olympic recycling team.
b. A 10-year contract to retread all the U.S. Postal Service's tires nationwide.
c. A carp while fishing in the Ohio River.
d. A 10-year pact to supply retreads to every member of Congress whose first name begins with the letter Z (Hello, Zell Miller?).
18. Bandag Inc. acquired Speedco Inc., an on-highway quick service truck lube operation:
a. Because Tire Business commercial tire service columnist Peggy Fisher suggested it.
b. To get free lubes for its fleet of trucks.
c. As part of a plan to expand beyond tire products.
d. After considering adding an ``e'' to its name and marketing itself as a bandage for retreadable tires.
19. Chinese tire importer China Manufacturers Alliance (CMA) developed a case of split personality:
a. After being told it could not post ads on the Great Wall of China.
b. To further confuse the tire marketplace.
c. And became two separate companies-China Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C. and China Manufacturers Alliance Inc. (which recently renamed itself American Pacific Industries Inc.)
d. Deciding, unlike the old Doublemint gum commercial, it wasn't two...two...two tire companies in one.
20. Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd. made a decision:
a. To supply tires for a new line of high-performance wheelbarrows.
b. To slowly but steadily move into making passenger and light truck tires after principally being a supplier of industrial and specialty tires.
c. To push the company toward $500 million in annual sales globally over the next five years.
d. To conduct a worldwide contest to find a customer with the name ``Ken Da.''
21. Goodyear embarked on a campaign to revitalize its Dunlop brand:
a. By unveiling several new Dunlop tires at the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas.
b. By providing free haircuts, modeled after Dunlop tread patterns, to ``Treadheads''-with mothers' permission, of course.
c. With a publicity stunt that involved dropping Dunlop-brand tennis balls from the Goodyear blimp into the Akron Rubber Bowl.
d. With a shot of Levitra.
22. American Tire Distributors Inc. acquired Target Tire Co. of Jacksonville, N.C.:
a. Because TBC Corp. didn't.
b. Because Target owners Leonard ``Bucky'' Stein and his son Howard were tired of the day-to-day grind.
c. Because it's big and would like to get bigger, if opportunity arises.
d. Because it wanted to expand its warehouse network by 11 to 80.
23. The 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show was:
a. Awash in scantily clad models-and we don't mean cars.
b. A good excuse to get away from the ol' tire dealership and gamble for a few days.
c. A great opportunity to see some hot...uh...wheels, tires and vehicles.
d. All of the above.
24. A 2003 Maine tire law could have national repercussions because:
a. It mandates every tire dealer be clean-shaven and free of tattoos and body piercings.
b. It states: ``A vehicle may be equipped only with tires that meet or exceed the load and speed rating of the original equipment tires''-and industry observers fear other states may follow suit.
c. It gives the state the right to close tire dealerships with dirty washrooms.
d. It calls for dealers to offer tires in colors other than black.
25. Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) Inc. has gotten into hip-hop in a big way:
a. Because PTNA President and CEO Guy Mannino-who uses the moniker ``TireGuy''-has a fledgling career as a rapper.
b. Because some rappers like Dr. Dre and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal have referred to Pirelli tires in their rap songs.
c. By launching an urban marketing campaign tied in with hip-hop music.
d. After sales of the famous Pirelli calendar dipped when the company unveiled its latest edition: ``The PR Guys of Pirelli.''