BFS trust fund donates to Akron
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. donated $230,000 through its Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund to help several Akron and surrounding area non-profit organizations and charities.
The Nashville-based tire maker said it had donated more than $4.2 million in 2004 to charities across the country that address children's issues, education initiatives and environmental programs.
Akron organizations that received contributions in 2004 include Junior Achievement; Akron Community Service Center & Urban League; Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Inc.; Project GRAD Akron; Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank; Boy Scouts of America; Akron Marathon Corp.; Community Hall Foundation Inc.; YMCA; YWCA; and Ohio Ballet.
ASA buys QDS' TireMaster software
MUSCATINE, Iowa-ASA Tire Systems Inc. has bought the western operations of Bandag subsidiary Quality Design Systems Inc. (QDS) in a deal that primarily involves the TireMaster software.
Since early last year, ASA had been the exclusive licensee of QDS to sell the TireMaster software, which is used by tire and auto service dealerships.
With the deal, Bandag will retain QDS's eastern operations as a wholly owned subsidiary under the name Open Road Technologies Inc.
Terms were not disclosed.
In a statement, the companies said the sale allows them to focus on their key strengths. The TireMaster software fills a need for an entry-level product for ASA, and Bandag will achieve independence from accounting and point-of-sale vendors.
``The divestiture of the TireMaster product line to ASA ensures a focus on quality and development in the accounting/POS area,'' said Mark Davison, chief information officer for Bandag. ``This is an area in which ASA and other vendors have expertise.''
Conti drops bowl game sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Meineke Car Care Centers Inc. has taken over as title sponsor for a college football bowl game in Charlotte, N.C., that previously was sponsored by Continental Tire North America Inc., according to Raycom Sports.
The game will be renamed the Meineke Car Care Bowl and still will be played in December. It previously had been the Continental Tire Bowl. The game is operated by Raycom Sports, a sports marketing, event management and production firm. The game has averaged 65,000 fans in attendance its first three years.
Financial terms were not disclosed for the three-year contract with Meineke.
``The bowl will serve as a major step in broadening consumer awareness of our brand and extended product offering,'' Ken Walker, Meineke president and CEO, said in a Raycom statement.
Continental's sponsorship of the bowl game expired Dec. 30.
``This has been a wonderful experience for us, and we enjoyed a great partnership with Raycom Sports,'' said Martien de Louw, president and CEO of Continental. ``However, we are at the point in our North American restructuring plan where we believe it is the right time to focus our marketing activities on our dealers and brands on an on-going, year-round effort.''
Goodyear may delay amended '03 report
AKRON-Goodyear has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission it continues to work on its amended 2003 annual report. Its 2004 annual report potentially could be delayed as a result.
The latest adjustment to the 2003 report involves reaching agreement with South Pacific Tyres (SPT)-a joint venture in Australia-covering the proper treatment of a transaction. Goodyear said Dec. 30 the amount in question is about $8 million relating to a 10-year supply agreement between Goodyear and SPT.
The financial statements for SPT are prepared according to Australian accounting principles and then adjusted to U.S. guidelines, Goodyear said. Goodyear's partner in SPT is Ansell Ltd. (formerly Pacific Dunlop Ltd.)
The tire maker in November said it was amending the 2003 report to include additional financial disclosures related to certain affiliates.
The report also would include a restatement of the company's prior-period financial statements, including its first and second quarter 2004 reports, to reflect after-tax expense adjustments of about $4.6 million.
Goodyear said the resolution of the problem could either have no impact on previous financial results or it could all count as a pre-tax expense in 2000 instead of being amortized over 10 years.
Goodyear, insurers settle for $159 mil.
AKRON-Goodyear will receive about $159 million from insurance companies as settlement for a lawsuit filed by the Akron-based tire maker.
The funds will be paid to Goodyear in installments over the next 15 months, the company said.
Specific terms of the Dec. 28 settlement are confidential, but Goodyear said the payments are in exchange for the tire maker's releasing the insurers from certain past, present and future environmental claims.
Goodyear had filed the lawsuit in 1993 seeking to have the insurers pay Goodyear's liability and defense costs in regard to certain unnamed environmental claims.
Calif. raises tire fee by 75 cents
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-Californians are paying more for tires as a law raising the new-tire fee to $1.75 from $1 per tire went into effect Jan. 1.
The 75-cent hike is funding the California Air Resources Board's air pollution reduction programs while $1 continues to go to the state's tire fund.
The fee will be lowered to $1.50 in 2007, reducing the share given to air pollution prevention programs to 50 cents. On Jan. 1, 2015, the fee will be reduced again to 75 cents per tire.
State officials justified the need for the fee increase to air pollution caused by airborne tire rubber, according to Terry Leveille, lobbyist for California's two state tire dealer associations.
In addition, the passage of bill AB923 also reduces the amount tire dealers retain for tire collection costs to 1.5 percent from 3 percent.
Bush condemns `junk lawsuits'
COLLINSVILLE, Ill.-President George W. Bush traveled to Madison County, Ill.-the nation's worst ``judicial hellhole'' for product liability lawsuits-to condemn ``junk lawsuits'' and push for tort reform.
The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) defines ``judicial hellholes'' as districts that heavily favor plaintiffs in product liability judgments.
While the president spoke specifically about medical liability reform, he is known to favor across-the-board tort reform, a fact that encourages the ATRA and its supporters such as the Rubber Manufacturers Association to hope for passage of a tort reform bill in the 109th Congress.
Among other things, Mr. Bush said he advocates a $250,000 cap on punitive and other non-economic damages.
Tort reform continues to face staunch opposition from trial lawyers and consumer advocates, who argue that the current liability system is necessary to protect the rights of consumers victimized by defective goods and services.