New TRIB name includes tire repair
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.-The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) plans to change its name to the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau to reflect the importance of tire repair in the industry, though the association's acronym will not change.
``We are now in the process of phasing in the new name, which will take some time as we have large quantities of materials on hand with the old name and we will use them up,'' the organization said in a newsletter to members.
New materials will bear the new name as well as an updated logo.
NCTDRA thwarts inspection bill
RALEIGH, N.C.-The General Assembly of North Carolina has tabled a bill to weaken state vehicle safety and emissions inspection laws after its supporters met with officials of the North Carolina Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, according to NCTDRA Executive Director Reese Hester.
A group of nine assembly members sponsored a bill to change the frequency of safety and emissions inspections from annually to biennially. The impetus of the bill had come from a friend of one assembly member who objected to paying the state-mandated $250 fine for not getting his car inspected on time, Mr. Hester said.
Supporters of the bill backed down after NCTDRA officials described the economic hardship the legislation would create, including lost jobs, lost federal emissions control funds and garage owners in hock for analyzer equipment, Mr. Hester added.
TIA announces fall training times
BOWIE, Md.-The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has announced dates and locations for its fall Certified Instructor programs for Automotive Tire Service (ATS) and Commercial Tire Service (CTS).
These programs train individuals as TIA Certified Instructors and qualify them to teach TIA Certified Technician courses in their workplaces.
The fall ATS Certified Instructor programs are scheduled Nov. 6-9 in Baltimore and Dec. 11-14 in Denver. The CTS Certified Instructor Programs will be offered Oct. 9-12 in Denver and Nov. 27-30 in Baltimore.
For more information, call (800) 876-7372, ext. 107 or send an e-mail to [email protected]
Tenn. considers scrap tire fee hike
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-A bill before the Tennessee State Senate and House of Representatives would raise Tennessee's pre-disposal fee on new passenger and light truck tires to $1.25 from the current $1, according to the Tennessee Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
The bill also would institute, for the first time, a $3 pre-disposal fee on large tractor and truck tires.
Forty-eight of Tennessee's 95 counties have supplemental tire fees on top of the state fee because current revenues from the state fee aren't enough to cover scrap tire disposal expenses, a DEQ spokeswoman said. The new bill is designed to raise adequate funds for scrap tire abatement in all Tennessee counties, but it also would abolish county and local fees.
Bandag sale gets OK in Europe
BRUSSELS, Belgium-The European Commission (EC) has cleared Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc.'s (BAH) $1.05 billion purchase of Bandag Inc., and Standard & Poor's said it will drop Bandag from its S&P MidCap 400 index.
The EC said the acquisition of the retreading materials and franchise business by Bridgestone won't impede competition in Europe.
The commission said Goodyear, Group Michelin and Kraiburg will provide effective competition in the region.
Standard & Poor's, noting the Bandag ownership change, said S&P REIT Composite constituent Equity One Inc. will replace Bandag on the index.
Michelin to name lab after late CEO
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Michelin North America Inc. will name a laboratory being built to support its endowed chair at Clemson University after Edouard Michelin, who died a year ago in a boating accident. He was CEO of Group Michelin at the time.
The lab, set to be completed this fall, will be named the Edouard Michelin Research Laboratory. It will be tied to the Michelin Endowed Chair in Vehicular Electronic Systems Integration at Clemson. The chair was endowed in 2005 and is held by Dr. Todd Hubing, who will direct work at the lab.
``Mr. Michelin strongly believed that education and technology could make the world a better place,'' said Jim Micali, chairman and president of MNA.
``His vision remains a guiding force at Michelin today and is evident in the innovations and advancements that Michelin products deliver to the driving public every day. It is only natural that we establish this research laboratory in memory of Mr. Michelin to honor his passion for innovation and his commitment to excellence.''
Mr. Michelin was succeeded by Michel Rollier.
Goodyear mulls Ala. plant upgrade
GADSDEN, Ala.-Goodyear is considering a $125 million capital investment at its 78-year-old Gadsden car and light truck tire plant following approval recently by Gadsden local authorities of tax abatements to support the tire maker's plan.
Goodyear officials emphasized, though, they have not yet formally decided to go ahead with the investment.
A Goodyear spokeswoman said the funds would be used for new equipment and other items to modernize the facility. She added that the firm has not yet announced any specific investments that are part of the contract with the United Steelworkers (USW), which calls for investments of $550 million in union-represented plants through the life of the three-year contract.
The Akron-based tire maker proposed $125 million in an application for the tax abatements.
``The potential tax abatement was approved in April, and discussions are progressing,'' the spokeswoman said.
RMA issues used tires bulletin
WASHINGTON-The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has issued a tire information service bulletin to alert motorists and tire retailers to the possible dangers of used tires that have an unknown or uncertain history of use.
``Used tires may have been exposed to improper service, maintenance or storage conditions and may have damage that could eventually lead to tire failure,'' the bulletin states.
The bulletin lists 17 different types of damage buyers should look for, including punctures, inner liner or bead damage, evidence of internal separation, such as sidewall bulges, and visible cracks or cuts.
It also urges consumers to have tires inspected before buying a used vehicle.
Toyo to expand Ga. plant capacity
OSAKA, Japan-Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. will go ahead with a planned expansion of capacity at its 3-year-old passenger and light truck tire plant in Bartow, Ga., investing $50 million to boost annual output there by 65 percent by 2009.
The 600,000-sq.-ft. plant was established in June 2004 with a nameplate capacity of 2 million units a year of 16- to 24-inch high-performance tires. Commercial production began in March 2006.
The expansion will boost capacity to 3.3 million units annually.
Toyo said it decided to proceed with the expansion at this time to meet anticipated future demand from North American-based auto makers for original equipment tires.
Toyo will expand by upgrading the plant's automated Advance Tire Operation Module (ATOM) system. The proprietary ATOM system is designed to allow production of multiple sizes and types in small lots within a smaller space than that needed for conventional manufacturing.
The Bartow plant is operated by Toyo Tire North America Inc. Toyo did not comment on the expansion's impact on employment, which now stands at 350.