TBC extends Wolford's contract
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.-TBC Corp. has extended its employment contract with Orland Wolford, head of the company's Tire Kingdom Inc. subsidiary, through the end of this year.
TBC said in its 8-K report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the contract with Mr. Wolford, president and CEO of Tire Kingdom, would have expired May 8. The extension will expire Dec. 31 unless the parties agree to a new contract. Mr. Wolford and TBC reached the extension agreement April 29.
Mr. Wolford heads up the Tire Kingdom, Merchant's Inc. and NTW Inc. segments, representing TBC's company-owned retail arm. TBC's other retail subsidiary is the franchised Big O Tires Inc. subsidiary.
Mr. Wolford was named president of Tire Kingdom in 2000, shortly after TBC bought the unit. He had previously been a vice president with Florida-based Olson Tire Total Car Care.
Kumho moving North American HQ
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.-Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. has leased an 830,300-sq.-ft. distribution center in Rancho Cucamonga that will become the tire maker's North American headquarters.
A spokesman said Kumho will move from its current headquarters in Fontana, Calif., this summer. The tire company will use the entire space for warehousing and offices. The center also will serve as Kumho's West Coast distribution point. The facility has 136 truck docks and 144 trailer stalls, according to a statement from the city government.
Kumho's facility in Fontana is about 250,000 square feet, and the tire maker has outgrown the space.
Polymer Enterprises redeems shares
GREENSBURG, Pa.-Polymer Enterprises Inc., parent of Specialty Tires of America Inc., has bought about 17 percent of the company's outstanding shares from the family of its founder.
The transaction includes 100 percent of grandson Harry C. McCreary's holdings. Mr. McCreary's participation in the management of Polymer ceased in 1990, the company said.
In 2003 Polymer Enterprises bought about 15 percent of its outstanding shares back from Titan International Inc., which had bought the shares five years earlier in a bid to gain control of the Greensburg-based tire and rubber product maker.
Polymer Enterprises said both moves are aimed at allowing it to remain a private, independent company.
NHTSA refuses RMA request
WASHINGTON-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) won't share information about Phase 2 of its truck tire testing program with the Rubber Manufacturers Association, as the RMA requested, according to an association spokesman.
The RMA said it believes NHTSA has completed Phase 2 of testing, data from which would help the RMA form the proposed revision of truck tire safety standards due out later this year.
``We requested their test matrix and what kinds of tires they tested, so that our members could replicate their testing and have a handle on what they are looking for,'' the spokesman said. ``We just wanted to be prepared for when the proposed rule came out, so that our members wouldn't have to start rapidly testing tires during the 60-day comment period.
NHTSA and RMA officials are scheduled to meet May 25 to discuss truck tire safety issues.
TIA accepting Hall of Fame nominations
BOWIE, Md.-The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is accepting nominations for induction into the 2005 Tire Industry Hall of Fame.
Open to individuals in the tire industry, the Hall of Fame includes manufacturers, inventors, publishers, equipment suppliers, tire dealers, tire and rubber recyclers and retreaders.
TIA also has added a new category for ``historical contributors.'' This category recognizes people who have been out of the industry for at least 20 years and are now retired, deceased or involved in another industry.
Inductees are chosen based on the following criteria:
* Contributions of new ideas, practices or innovations that promoted the health and well-being of the industry;
* Exemplary and distinguished service in the industry; and
* Respect for his or her peers.
Two tire makers, Bandag hike prices
AKRON-Nexen Tire America Inc., a subsidary of South Korea's Nexen Tire Corp., Taiwan's Federal Corp. and Bandag Inc. are raising prices in North America.
Nexen will hike tire prices up to 7 percent, effective July 1, and said the increases apply to all of its product categories in its house, associate and private brands. The specific price increase will vary by product line and size.
Federal is raising tire prices up to 5 percent, some of which already took effect April 1. The company did not indicate when any remaining increases will take effect.
Both companies said the increases are in response to escalating raw material, energy and transportation costs. Federal added that the current price increase does not fully absorb the company's increased costs, and it will look again at further increases during the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Bandag on May 1 raised prices on most of its retread materials by a per-pound weighted average of 12 cents in the U.S. and 17 cents in Canada.
TRIB elects new board members
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.-The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) elected 11 new members to its board of directors as well as three new officers at its annual meeting last month.
Directors named to the board are: Mike Berra Jr., Community Tire Co.; Armond Boyes, Goodyear; Phil Boarts, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Bob Majewski, Sumerel Tire Service; Doug Conley, Shamrock Marketing Inc.; Garry Heintschel, Heintschel Tire & Service; Roy Littlefield, Tire Industry Association; Jack Woodland, Marangoni Tread North America Inc.; Eddy Burleson, Central Marketing Inc.; Don Schauer, Bandag Inc.; and Leigh Marino, Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Additionally, Mr. Berra was named president, Mr. Heintschel was named vice president and Mr. Schauer was named secretary/treasurer. All of the terms were effective May 1.
Separately, ArvinMeritor has joined the association as a member.