U.S. tread rubber shipments to rise
WASHINGTON-U.S. tread rubber shipments should rise 1.7 percent through the rest of 2006, just shy of 2005's growth of 1.9 percent, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
The RMA said growth this year is being fueled by ``continued economic growth.'' The forecast also marks the fourth consecutive year that tread rubber shipments will increase.
The expected shipments represent about 16.4 million retreaded tires in the U.S.
TBC Mexico has growth plans
SAN LUIS POTOSO, Mexico-TBC Mexico, the 50-percent-owned Mexican subsidiary of Memphis, Tenn.-based tire distributor TBC Corp., is planning an expansion into Latin America.
However, David Dauajare, president of TBC Mexico, said the company isn't yet ready to release the details.
TBC Mexico has a distribution center in San Luis Potoso and 25 wholesale operations throughout Mexico, Mr. Dauajare said.
SEMA to launch retail resources
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.-The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) will add a retail store showcase at this fall's SEMA Show in Las Vegas as well as a new column in its SEMA News magazine aimed at jobbers and retailers.
SEMA said the retail showcase, dubbed ``The Store of the Future,'' will feature a retail resource center, product displays, technology demonstrations and one-on-one evaluations for SEMA-member companies.
The monthly magazine column, called ``Retail Store Review,'' will be a critique of various retail stores from across the country.
Treadways lays off 14 employees
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Treadways Corp. recently laid off 14 employees in management and sales in order to ``bring expenses in line'' with the company's business volume, according to Ken Dick, president and CEO of TBC Wholesale.
Mr. Dick called the layoffs a ``minor adjustment'' the company made during the week of Aug. 21. Treadways now is under the direction of TBC Wholesale and Mr. Dick's authority, although he said the two still are running as separate business units with separate programs and products.
Prior to the August layoffs, Jim Hannon, who had been Treadways' vice president of business development, left the company after Sumitomo Corp. of America (SCOA) purchased TBC Corp. last year in a $1.1 billion deal.
GM suit moved to federal court
DETROIT-General Motors Corp.'s lawsuit against Goodyear alleging unauthorized original equipment tire shipment interruptions has moved to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan from the Macomb County (Mich.) Circuit Court.
GM claims Goodyear violated its contract with the auto maker in July when it demanded price increases as a prerequisite for continuing to ship tires to the GM plant in Delta Township, Mich.
This stoppage would have crippled a large portion of GM's SUV and commercial truck production at Delta Township and elsewhere, the lawsuit claims.
Goodyear and GM struck a deal Aug. 4 for the tire maker to resume shipments to GM, but this did not stop the lawsuit. In a statement, Goodyear said it was disappointed that GM chose to sue and said its complaint was unfounded. GM seeks unspecified damages, legal fees and other costs against Goodyear.
There are no court dates set as yet for the federal suit, a Goodyear spokesman said.
Pension reform becomes law
WASHINGTON-President Bush has signed the Pension Protection Act of 2006, a law designed to force employers with underfunded pension funds to achieve full funding.
The new law allows corporations to deduct the cost of additional pension contributions, but it also imposes strict funding guidelines and assesses a 10-percent excise tax on companies that don't meet them.
Among other things, the law also allows employers to enroll their employees automatically in a 401(k) retirement plan and gives employees the right to opt out.
The legislation also makes permanent various pension fund contribution increases and retirement fund tax credits that were passed earlier on a temporary basis.
While the pension funding provisions are mostly for large manufacturers, including aftermarket parts makers, the 401(k) provisions are a boon to tire dealers and other small businesses, noted Paul Fiore, director of government and business affairs at the Tire Industry Association.