TTDA Today
Nov. 6, 2013

TIA signs letter supporting legislation to strengthen trade laws
Rubber News
The Tire Industry Association has joined a business coalition supporting a bill designed to strengthen U.S. trade laws. Among other things, S 662, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2013, would remove U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from the Department of Homeland Security and make them separate, autonomous agencies. More

Support grows for 'Manufacturing Jobs for America' legislation
Tire Business
A wide coalition of business and labor interests have expressed support for the "Manufacturing Jobs for America" initiative, a package of tax-related legislation designed to boost jobs in the manufacturing sector. Twenty-two Democratic senators announced the campaign Oct. 29. The bills included in "Manufacturing Jobs for America," the senators said, would strengthen America's workforce, open markets abroad, create conditions necessary for growth and expand access to capital.More

The secret to using video for customer service
Small Business Trends
In this 24/7 instant gratification world of the Internet, customers with questions are too impatient to wait on the phone or for a reply through email for their answer. It is also expensive for small businesses to staff this function so customers can receive a reply quickly. Instead, customers would much rather use Web self-service and watch a short one minute video for customer service purposes to get their answer.More

Extending customer 'life cycles'
Modern Tire Dealer
Retaining existing customers adds greater long-term profitability, but many tire and auto service firms pay too little attention to extending customer life cycles. Firms invest plenty of marketing dollars to gain new customers, yet ignore many of the little things that turn customers off once they come through the door.More

6 signs you're using social media wrong
Like anything in business, social media (done right) requires extensive experience and understanding of people, some technology and — most importantly — marketing.More

Measure techs' performance — don't guess
Tire Business
Measuring technician efficiency consistently is essential to maximizing the output of an automotive service department. More

Continental's 'Hurricane Machine' increases production sustainability
Tire Review
Tiremaker Continental says a machine it has co-developed offers a new approach to recycling the rubberized steel cord scrap that arises during the manufacturing process.More

America's 'other' healthcare revolution
The Christian Science Monitor
While everyone focuses on "Obamacare's" controversial public exchanges, big changes are coming to the place where most people get their coverage — at work. The following discusses how they might affect you. More

Safety issues continue to dog auto makers — 2001 tire recall a harbinger
Tire Business
The tire crisis of May 2001 was a turning point for Ford. The recall of 13 million additional Firestone tires that month cost the car company an estimated $2.1 billion and fractured its decades-old relationship with Firestone. Ford's brand image took a beating. And less than six months later, Jacques Nasser was ousted as CEO, replaced by a Ford heir whose family legacy was suddenly at stake. It was also a defining episode in the history of auto recalls, spotlighting the huge costs — financial and otherwise — of letting a safety problem spiral out of control.More

Rocky roads are no match for the shape-shifting Roadless Wheel
The shape-shifting Roadless Wheel is a one-size-fits-all solution for different vehicle types and road conditions in rural Africa. Student of Innovation Design Engineering at London's RCA, Ackeem Ngwenya used the principle of a scissor jack to make the wheel grow shorter and wider, or taller and narrow, to adjust to rough roads in areas with no infrastructure. More

Small business owners should 'think at the margin'
Small Business Trends
If you ask an economist for advice on how to make a good business decision, he or she is likely to tell you to think at the margin. This means comparing the cost and benefit of an additional action. "My conversations with small business owners suggest that many of them do not follow this advice, which surprises me," writes Scott Shane.More

Be prepared: Winterizing vehicles
Modern Tire Dealer
Preparing your customers' cars for winter is not the routine service it used to be. Not that long ago it was necessary to drain and fill a car's cooling system with antifreeze every year or two, and sometimes the thermostat was replaced. Summer tires went into hibernation, and the winter tires came out to play. Now, it seems that nearly everything is "all-season." There is all-season coolant, all-season oil, all-season tires and all-season windshield solvent. But that does not mean your customers can just forget winter car care.More