Due to lack of support, the organizers of the North American Tire & Retread Expo (NATRE) are rethinking the exposition format of the show. As a result, plans to hold the expo in Nashville, as previously announced, have been put on hold.
More than 2,000 people witnessed the christening of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s newest blimp, Wingfoot One, on Aug. 23, 2014. Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman and chief executive officer, said the brand equity built by the airship helps to sell tires around the globe. “It is invaluable, irreplaceable and one of a kind.”
The blimp was christened by Robin Roberts, the award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
Roberts, also a long-time ESPN sportscaster and author, christened the new airship with the traditional breaking of a bottle against the ship’s gondola at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar in Suffield, Ohio.
“This is incredibly meaningful to my family,” said Roberts. “My great grandfather moved his family from down south to Akron in 1918 to work for Goodyear. Never could he have imagined that one day one of his descendants would be asked to christen the blimp. I'm very honored.”
In addition to her great grandfather, Roberts’ grandfather, William Tolliver, also worked at Goodyear. Her late mother, Lucimarian Roberts, was born in Akron and graduated from East High School – a few blocks from Goodyear’s headquarters. Roberts also has a family connection to aviation through her late father, Lawrence E. Roberts, who served in the United States military for more than 30 years. Col. Roberts was a pilot with the U.S. Army Air Corps’ prestigious Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and later became a flight instructor at the Tuskegee Institute.
“The christening of Wingfoot One begins a new chapter for the Goodyear blimp, one of the world’s most recognizable and enduring brand icons,” said Kramer. “The new blimp renews our commitment to our airship program, builds on our legacy as the leading operator of airships and continues our leadership in providing superior aerial coverage of the most watched news, sports and entertainment events.”
Following the ceremony, Roberts boarded Wingfoot One for its ceremonial first flight. She joins a list of accomplished women who have christened Goodyear blimps, including astronaut Sally Ride (2000) and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart (1929).
Wingfoot One is the first of a new generation of airships manufactured by Germany’s ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik and assembled by a team of Zeppelin and Goodyear engineers over the past 12 months. It represents the first major structural design change of a Goodyear airship in nearly 70 years. The new blimp features advanced on-board avionics and flight control systems with the capability to travel at faster speeds and hover in place. The spacious passenger gondola will provide an enhanced in-flight experience with sweeping, panoramic windows.
Goodyear will introduce two additional blimps over the next four years as it phases out its two remaining GZ-20 models based in Pompano Beach, Fla., and Carson, Calif. Goodyear’s aerial coverage of marquee events in 2014 includes the NBA Finals, college football’s BCS Championship, the Kentucky Derby, 2014 FIFA World Cup and Daytona 500.
Since 1917, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles for public relations and defense applications, many built at the Wingfoot Lake facility.
For more information about Goodyear, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.
Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. has hired Jeff Bootz as vice president of sales. Bootz comes to Nitto Tire from its sister company, Toyo Tire U.S.A., and he begins his new role with Nitto on May 1, 2017.
Rising raw material costs significantly affected Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s financial results for the worse in the first quarter of 2017.
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is adding F-load range tires to the brand’s Open Country line of light truck products to meet the needs of late model truck owners and dealers.
What does it take to be Modern Tire Dealer's Tire Dealer of the Year? Business success, marketing know-how and industry expertise are the foundation. Community involvement and management skills are important, too. And our 2017 award brings something special to the recognition.
Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked, "Do you sell tires to consumers online via your website?"
Meineke Car Care Centers LLC honored its top owners and operators during its annual convention, including the group's first three-time winner of the Franchisee of the Year award.
TBC Brands LLC has introduced the first studdable winter tire for the Sumitomo brand. The Sumitomo Ice Edge is certified for severe snow performance and will be available in 57 passenger, CUV and SUV sizes for the 2017 season.
Net sales for Michelin Groupe were up 9.9% in the first quarter of 2017, led by early buying of tires ahead of the company’s price increase which went into effect April 1.
Big O Tires LLC franchisees celebrated growth in all business metrics at their annual convention April 4-5, 2017, in San Diego, Calif.
The nation’s largest network of independent tire dealers increased overall passenger and light truck tire unit sales in 2016 by 7.8% and same-store sales by 5.5%. With a net gain of 44 new Tire Pros stores last year, Ron Sinclair reminded dealers, “We have power!”
The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on 2007 to 2016 GM/Cadillac Escalade Series system uses the remote control door lock receiver (RCDLR), body control module (BCM), four radio frequency (RF) transmitting pressure sensors, and the serial data circuit to perform the sensor learn mode functions.
The new BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI from Michelin North America Inc. is designed for passenger and crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) in the Canadian market.
Registration is open for ASA Automotive Systems Inc.’s 2017 Software User Conference and Info Expo in St. Louis, Mo., scheduled for April 30 to May 2.
Bosch Automotive Service Solutions has released Bravo 2.9, the latest update to its diagnostics software for the OTC Encore professional scan tool.