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INDUSTRY NEWS


Spring car care
Modern Tire Dealer
The economic climate is conducive to selling preventive maintenance as a way to save your customers money, says Rich White, executive director of the nonprofit Car Care Council. The change of the season is an ideal time to remind customers that routine maintenance of components, from brake parts and shocks to wipers and lights, extends the life of a vehicle and makes it safer to drive. But that may not be enough to get vehicle owners to part with their money, as high fuel prices continue to eat into household budgets.
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4 keys to customer loyalty
Inc.
There are few things more valuable (or more rare) than customer loyalty. Customer loyalty cannot be bought. It must be earned ... not just once, but every day of the customer relationship.
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Trending: Mobile shoppers prefer websites to apps
Tire Review
Despite retailers' desire to move people to their native apps, most mobile shoppers prefer going to their mobile websites. A new study from Siteworx shows that 65.7 percent of people surveyed prefer using the website to downloading an app specifically for the retailer. The survey also found that product reviews were the key driver behind people making purchases after using their mobile device for shopping. Price comparisons were the next most popular driver of purchase activity.
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Small business lending up for 1st time in 10 quarters
Small Business Trends
Small business owners received some good news this week as it was reported that lending to them has increased for the first time in 10 quarters. According to a report at Inc.com, the U.S. Small Business Administration released its quarterly report this week showing the loans to small businesses have increased for the first time in more than two years, a potential sign that some companies are coming out of the economic recession.
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Maryland tire bills set aside for 'summer study'
Rubber News
Two tire-related bills before the Maryland House Committee on Economic Matters will not be reported out of committee before the April 8 adjournment of the Maryland General Assembly. House Bills 122 and 1110 were sent to "summer study," meaning that committee members wanted to study them further before acting on them. Both bills may be reintroduced after the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2014.
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Gas prices dip again in latest Lundberg Survey
CNN
U.S. gasoline prices have declined for four weeks straight and now average more than 20 cents a gallon cheaper than a year ago, according to a new nationwide survey. The average cost of a gallon across the continental United States of regular stands at $3.71, down 3 cents from two weeks earlier, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey. Prices have fallen nearly 9 cents a gallon in the past four weeks and are 22 cents cheaper than at this point in 2012, said Lundberg.
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NHTSA app to ease consumer access to safety info
Tire Business
Federal regulators are offering a free app for iPhones and iPods that provides the latest vehicle safety information to consumers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's SaferCar.org website. The SaferCar app lets users file vehicle safety complaints, subscribe to automatic notices for vehicle recalls and search for vehicles by make and model using information from SaferCar.gov. The app also provides consumers with directions to the nearest car seat installation site, the agency said in a statement March 21.
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5 tax tips for small businesses
USA Today via Sacramento Business Journal
Tax time for many small businesses can be frustrating and difficult. Small business owners are often on their own when it comes to getting annual IRS paperwork organized and filed. Even worse, new business owners often aren't sure about which deductions they qualify for. So to help small businesses get a leg up, USA Today offers tax break tips for the little guy.
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Non-pneumatic tire makes it to market
Tire Review
Powersports equipment-maker Polaris has unveiled a production airless tire to be sold commercially in North America. The company plans to begin selling its Non-Pneumatic Tire, reminiscent of Michelin's Tweel concept, starting next year. The tire was developed by Resilient Technologies, a Wisconsin company Polaris acquired in 2012. Similar to the Tweel, Polaris' airless tire uses a durable, flexible mesh structure to carry the load of the vehicle and driver. It is considered ideal for military applications because the tires cannot suffer a puncture, and because the ride and responsiveness is said to be the same as a regular pneumatic tire, recreational users will appreciate the added convenience.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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