(Akron/Tire Review) After more than a decade of study, US federal safety regulators have outlined minimum requirements for “black boxes” in vehicles, but stopped short of mandating them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a new rule that says the devices, officially known as “event data recorders,” must be made more durable and that all automakers must collect the same type of data from them.
A series of exclusive sofas and armchairs customised from Goodyear tyres by Italian designer Zak and fashion label Cavalli were unveiled at the 2006 Milan Fashion Week.
Zak was originally commissioned by Goodyear to design some pieces in June 2005. The company’s brief was to “recreate in the home the relaxed and comfortable state that drivers have on the road thanks to Goodyear RunOnFlat tyres.” Andrea Zaccone, Zak’s hugely talented designer based in Milan and Barcelona created an innovative sofa, chair, chaise-longue and kissing seat out of the RunOnFlat tyres which were customised with animal print and bright colours.
Mazda UK achieved record sales in March of 10,100 vehicles. The sales success comes on the back of the new Mazda MX-5, the new Mazda5, Mazda6 and continued enthusiasm for the Mazda RX-8. The March sales figures also give Mazda a new record for the first quarter of 2006 with total sales of 15,994 vehicles for the period. This contrasts with Mazda sales in 2001 when the Japanese marque sold just 15,800 for the full year.
(Akron/Tire Review) Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) launched a new consumer tyre sales effort that gives buyers 30 days to decide if they want to keep their recently purchased Bridgestone, Firestone or Dayton brand tyres. “Buy & Try 30-Day Guarantee” starts 1 February, and “puts consumers in the driver’s seat,” said Phil Pacsi, BFNAT’s executive director of consumer tyre brand marketing. “If after 30 days or less the consumer is not satisfied with the performance of our tyres we will refund their money.”
Observers are hailing the inaugural race of the new A1 Grand Prix motorsport series as a success after it attracted 72,000 visitors over its first weekend. The fact that the series was able to sell out every seat at Brands Hatch when spectators couldn’t have known exactly what to expect must have been music to the ears of organisers and control tyre supplier Cooper.
The British leg and opening race of the series was won by Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jnr, a driver who has already made a name for himself in the GP2 series.
Beissbarth’s wheel aligner technology has been chosen by SEAT to see it through a busy international race season. The SEAT Sport UK team has selected the ML8R Microline Easy Wheel Aligner to ensure the chassis set-up is optimised for each race.
Speaking for the SEAT team, Grant Clearwater said: “It’s important for SEAT Sport UK to be able to rely on the equipment that we use to deliver accurate information every time, this is one of the many reasons why we haven chosen Beissbarth.”
(Akron/Tire Review) Goodyear tyres will be fitted on the popular Toyota Prius hybrid and have also earned fitment on the new Pontiac Solstice. Goodyear Integrity radials (size P185/65R15) are OE on the 2004 Prius, the fast-selling hybrid vehicle in America. The petrol/electric hybrid delivers 55 mpg on average, according to Toyota. The 2006 Solstice, a two-seat roadster that is expected to reach Pontiac dealers later this year, will feature P245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle RS-As, the tyre manufacturer said.
JE Design has added a 16 spoke “Multispoke” light alloy wheel to its product range. The wheel rim is available in 7×17”, 7.5×18” and 8×19” for the shadow silver version (CSS) as well as 7.5 x 18” and 8×19” for the ‘Chrome-Look’ version (SLC). The latter puts special emphasis on ensuring a highly durable finish. JE Design also provides a 3-year warranty on the chrome finish.
In the US, the RMA is preparing for its fifth annual consumer education programme promoting tyre care. The National Tire Safety Week runs from 24 to 30 April and will respond to research which found that 85 per cent of motorists fail to check tyre pressures properly.
Back in 1982, Avon Tyres Racing signed a three-year contract to supply control tyres to the Formula 3 championship. 22 years later, the company supplied tyres for its 400th F3 race, at Donington Park in early April. The single seat racers are capable of speeds up to 165 mph and F3 is widely regarded as a stepping stone to Formula 1 driving. Among those who have made the transition are Jenson Button, Mauricio Gugelmin, Mika Hakkinen, Johnny Herbert, Rubens Barrichello and the late Ayrton Senna.
In the UK Scott Harvey (14) is suing Dunlop Tyres and a family member who was driving a car when a tyre burst at 60 mph. Harvey was not wearing a seat belt in the back of the car and was thrown clear, suffering head injuries and fractures and had to have two fingers removed from his right hand. Dunlop made no comment, saying that the case was in the hands of the company’s legal team.
The automotive parts division of TRW is to be sold to investment firm Blackstone Group for $4.7 billion, once TRW’s merger with Northrop Grumman is finalised. TRW recently sold its aeronautical systems business to Goodrich for $1.5 billion. TRW makes seat belt systems, air bag systems and other components, with annual sales over $10 billion. Blackstone has raised a private equity fund worth $6.45 billion and the TRW purchase will be the first through the fund.