Corghi S.p.A. opens U.S. headquarters in Ohio
HAMILTON, Ohio—Italian tire service equipment maker Corghi S.p.A. has opened a U.S. headquarters in Hamilton to supervise sales and service activities for North America.
The Corghi USA headquarters has 12,000 square feet of space and includes offices, a warehouse, showroom and seminar facility.
Corghi, a manufacturer of tire changers, wheel balancers and other products having to do with wheel service, said it opened this office “to guarantee the highest level of quality for all aspects of sales, after-sales assistance and spare parts supply in one of the most prominent markets of the world.” The company added that its new branch will be able to help it “better understand the market needs and to develop products and services increasingly focused on achieving maximum customer satisfaction.”
The company has put up a U.S. Web site, corghiusa.us.com, and offers a toll-free number, (800) 260-0968, for queries.
The company said North America has been historically one of its most important business areas, and it has had products in the market for more than 20 years. About 10,000 of its Artiglio Master tire changers are in operation in the U.S.
Michelin, Goodyear top J.D. Power OE study
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.—The Michelin and Goodyear brands ranked tops in J.D. Power and Associates' 2009 Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction study.
Michelin ranked highest in the luxury vehicle, passenger car and truck/utility vehicle segments. Goodyear ranked top in the performance sport segment. Rankings are based on owners' experiences with their tires after two years of ownership.
J.D. Power examined four factors to measure satisfaction: wearability, appearance, traction/handling and ride. The firm said that in the passenger car and luxury segments, Michelin performed well in wearability and appearance factors, and in the truck/utility segment, Michelin did particularly well in tire wearability.
Goodyear performed well in traction/handling, appearance and ride and the brand differentiated itself in tire wearability, according to the study.
The Pirelli brand ranked a close second behind Michelin in all three segments.
Michelin ranked second behind Goodyear in the performance sport segment, followed by Continental.
The 2009 study is based on responses from nearly 30,000 new vehicle owners who purchased a 2007 or 2008 model year vehicle and was conducted last October through December.
SEMA adds powersport vehicle section to show
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.—The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is adding a new section dedicated to powersports and utility vehicles at its annual trade show in Las Vegas.
The section, located in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, will feature manufacturers of power-driven equipment such as personal transporters; motorcycles; motor scooters; two-, three- and four-wheel ATVs; pocket bikes; specialty golf carts; mini-bikes; dirt bikes; and accessories and services that support these vehicles.
In addition to this dedicated area on the show floor, attendees will have an opportunity to participate in educational seminars and interactive workshops focused on the Powersports and Utility Vehicle market during the week.
“We are constantly seeking new growth opportunities for our members and attendees of the SEMA Show,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “The Powersports and Utility Vehicle marketplace is of growing importance to our core buyers. Manufacturers in this area will discover a slew of potential buyers. Meanwhile, the SEMA Show will serve as a convenient location for veteran attendees to discover all there is to know about this booming market.”
Yellowstone names Michelin offical tire
GREENVILLE, S.C.—The Yellowstone Park Foundation has named Michelin its official tire as part of an environmental stewardship initiative to provide environmentally friendly tires to the Yellowstone National Park vehicle fleet.
Michelin North America Inc. will provide the park fleet of about 1,500 wheeled vehicles with energy-saving tires in order to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by 8 to 10 percent. The company also will offer programs for Yellowstone employees to “demonstrate how to improve fuel efficiency and maximize tire life through proper tire inflation,” the Greenville-based tire maker said.
In addition, Michael Fanning, vice president of corporate affairs for Michelin, has joined the foundation's board of directors, and Dan Baldwin, product marketing manager, has joined the foundation's advisory council.
Bridgestone retail unit building LEED store
SMYRNA, Tenn.—Bridgestone Retail Operations L.L.C. is building a Firestone Complete Auto Care retail store in Smyrna that's designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program targets.
The new store, a 10-bay, 8,200-sq.-ft. layout scheduled to open in mid-2009, will use more environmentally friendly construction methods and materials and is designed to use less electricity and water to reduce the environmental impact when compared with more conventional buildings.
Among the “green” features designed into the store are: solar panels for generating electricity; systems to reduce water consumption; enlarged window space to take advantage of sunlight; high-efficiency lighting; motion sensors and timers to control lighting; a bike rack and showers for employees; rubber mulch landscaping; and use of porous surfacing materials on portions of the sidewalk and driveway to reduce storm water runoff.
Missouri passes scrap tire fee extension bill
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—By a 149-5 vote, the Missouri House of Representatives has passed a bill to extend the 50-cent fee on new tires in the state until Jan. 1, 2015.
The Missouri Senate passed the bill by a 30-2 vote in April, so it goes now to Gov. Jay Nixon for signing.
Besides renewing the fee, the new bill increases the percentage of the fee that must be used for scrap tire removal from illegal dumps—to 50 percent from 25. It also sets aside 45 percent of the funds to provide grants to people or groups that will use products made from scrap tires, up from the current 5 percent.
The 50-cent tire fee has existed in Missouri since 1990, except for the period between Jan. 1, 2004, and Oct. 1, 2005.
At the end of 2008, more than 15 million scrap tires had been cleaned up in Missouri using the funds from the tire fee, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
BFGoodrich cuts back Outstanding Trails event
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc.'s BFGoodrich Tire brand is reducing its 2009 Outstanding Trails program to two trails as a result of current economic conditions, the company said.
This year the company, along with partners Tread Lightly! and United Four Wheel Drive Associations, will recognize the Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area located five miles north of Gilmer, Texas, and the Fordyce Creek Trail, which is part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Last year the program included six trails.
SEMA revamps Web site for networking
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.—The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has overhauled its Web site, adding enhanced networking and more concise delivery of information, based on user preferences.
The overhaul of www.sema.org is part of its continuing investment in better networking and communications for members, SEMA said.
The upgraded site has added social networking features, company listings and news feeds.
SEMA said it also began offering an improved interface that was introduced via a member-only portal called MySEMA.
The interface allows members to choose and amplify the types of information most applicable to their business, based on their location, market focus and job type.
Future Web site iterations will include collaboration platforms and features that allow buyers and sellers to connect.
Goodyear headquarters project gets funding
AKRON—After funding issues delayed Goodyear's plans to build a new Akron headquarters, the project is finally back on track.
Akron City Council and Summit County Council have approved PNC Bank's National City Bank agreement with the Summit County Port Authority to purchase $17.2 million in taxable development revenue bonds to finance the first phase of the Goodyear Akron Riverwalk project.
The project will include the renovation and reuse of Goodyear's Akron facilities to create a retail town center, offices, an industrial park and residential components.
Under the agreement, the Port Authority will loan the money generated from the sale of bonds to Industrial Realty Group L.L.C., which will then purchase Goodyear's headquarters, Goodyear Hall, the Goodyear Tech Center and other company properties.
The tire maker will continue to lease the facilities for five to 10 years.
Goodyear's $900 million headquarters project was initially scheduled to begin last fall, but the economic crisis and credit freeze left the developer unable to find a private lender to help finance it.
TCS extends software giveaway program
COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—Tire Company Solutions (TCS) will extend its Software Giveaway Program deadline to July 15 from May 15.
Due to a massive response from the industry, Cookeville-based TCS said it also has decided to abandon its previous limit of 25 free Tire Power software packages, said Shawn Puckett, director of business development for the company.
“The need and desire for financial and technical assistance from dealers has been much larger than we anticipated, and we are committed to doing what it takes to partner with dealers who are determined to flourish through these economic challenges,” he said.
The company is considering more than 100 applications for the program and has already given away half of the previously allotted 25 free packages.
Michelin, Corvette driving school partner
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. and Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch are offering consumers an ultra-high performance driving experience on Corvettes fitted with Michelin tires.
Pahrump, Nev.-based Spring Mountain is a driving school that includes Corvette instruction led by Ron Fellows, a veteran in Corvette racing. As part of the Ron Fellows Driving Experience, consumers will drive on Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP tires, which are the OE fitments for the 2009 Corvette ZR1.
All vehicles at the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School will ride on either Pilot Sport PS2 ZP tires or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.
“Our partnership with Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch and Ron Fellows is a natural extension of the relationship we have built with Corvette and Corvette Racing over the years,” said Nicolas Goubert, brand category manager, Michelin North America.