Twenty-Five States Declare Support for National Tire Safety Week

Effort Promotes Tire Care to Save Lives and Save Fuel

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 24, 2008 - Twenty-five states issued proclamations or statements supporting the tire industry’s motorist education efforts for National Tire Safety Week, April 20-26.

Across the nation, more than 19,000 tire retail, auto dealer and automotive repair facilities distributed tire care brochures produced by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). A number of participating retailers also promoted free tire care service to motorists to raise awareness of proper tire maintenance.

RMA expressed appreciation to states for the support and assistance in advocating important tire care messages that can help motorists optimize safety, save fuel and help prevent premature tire wear.

“Proper tire care is essential to vehicle safety and optimum fuel economy,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “We are grateful to states that are helping to educate motorists to take just five minutes every month to check their tires.”

States issuing a proclamation or statement supporting National Tire Safety Week include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The federal government estimates that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries annually are attributed to under inflated tires. According to an RMA survey, 61 percent of motorists cite checking tire pressure as an important fuel saving tip yet 85 percent of motorists do not properly check tire pressure.

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative RMA’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” tire care education program. RMA is the national trade association for tire manufacturers.

RMA recommends that motorists should check tire inflation pressure (including the spare) once a month and before long trips, periodically check wheel alignment and rotate tires every 5,000-8,000 miles to ensure even tire wear, and check tire tread for cuts, bulges, punctures or other damage. Tire tread depth also should be checked using the “penny test.” Insert a penny head first into your tire tread groove. If you can see all of President Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new tire.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Survey Shows Few Motorists Are “Tire Smart”

National Tire Safety Week Educates U.S. Drivers on Safety and Cost Benefits of Proper Tire Care

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

Washington, D.C. April 21, 2008 - Under inflated tires increase driving risks, waste fuel and cause tires to wear out faster but few U.S. motorists pay adequate attention to their tires. A national survey by the tire industry showed 85 percent of American drivers do not properly check tire inflation pressure.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which commissioned the survey, is sponsoring the seventh annual National Tire Safety Week April 20-26 to help raise awareness about the importance of tire care. With gas prices at record levels again this year, motorists can save time and money by taking five minutes every month to check tires.

“Record high gas prices should be an incentive for motorists to take every step possible to help make their cars and their money go further,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “While our survey found that 61 percent of motorists agreed that checking tire pressure is very important to maximizing fuel economy, only one in seven drivers properly perform this easy task.”

Checking tires is not only a fuel saving tip, it can also be life saving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), under inflated tires contribute to 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year. NHTSA estimates that about one in four cars, and one in three light trucks, have at least one significantly under inflated tire.

Under inflated tires also cause premature tire wear that can force consumers to replace tires sooner. “Consumers can help their wallets and the environment by paying attention to their tires so they last as long as possible, reducing disposal needs,” Zielinski added.

Additional statistics RMA’s survey show:
• Forty-six percent of drivers wrongly believe the correct inflation pressure is printed on the tire sidewall
• Twenty-six percent of drivers wrongly believe the best time to check tires is when they are warm
• Only one out of every three drivers knows how to tell if tires are bald

RMA recommends that tire pressure be checked at least once every month with a tire gauge. The recommended tire pressure for every vehicle is set by vehicle manufacturers and can be found on a label usually placed on the driver’s door or check the owner’s manual. Also, tires should be checked when cold, or haven’t been driven for at least three hours.

During National Tire Safety Week, RMA and its partners will promote tire care education to motorists throughout the country. More than 18,000 tire dealers, auto dealers, AAA clubs and others throughout the country will provide RMA tire care information brochures to consumers. Additionally, most tire retail locations provide free tire pressure services to motorists throughout the year.

“Our goal during National Tire Safety Week is to encourage all motorists to take five minutes to be tire smart and help save lives, save fuel and save the environment,” Zielinski said.

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative of RMA’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program to educate motorists about the importance of proper tire care and promote a safer driving experience. Drivers are encouraged to play their PART in National Tire Safety Week by addressing the four key elements of tire care: Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread.

The Be Tire Smart program is funded by RMA’s tire manufacturer members: Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin North America, Inc., Pirelli North America, Inc., Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. and Yokohama Tire Corporation.

For more information about National Tire Safety Week, please visit www.betiresmart.org.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

RMA Announces Safety Awards for Member Facilities

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 13, 2008 - Fifty-three tire and rubber manufacturing facilities were recognized for improvements in worker health and safety at the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s annual meeting.

RMA’s Safety and Health Improvement Program (SHIP), created in 1981 recognizes member companies that achieve significant enhancements in worker health and safety with awards. The SHIP awards encourage and reward a company’s demonstrated commitment to worker health and safety.

“This industry takes pride in its efforts to promote worker safety,” said Charlie Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “The SHIP award program recognizes RMA member companies’ superior achievement to protect workers.”

Two categories of awards are presented to companies that demonstrate workplace safety improvements, which are measured by the incidence rate for lost workday cases. The “Excellence” category is for facilities that achieve an incidence rate that is 75 percent better than the average achieve by plants that provide data to RMA.

The “Improvement” award is for plants that achieve an incidence rate that is both 10 percent better than its rate in the previous year and the same or better than the RMA average incidence rate.

One hundred and thirty-six plants from 36 RMA member companies supplied data for the annual survey to determine the extent of workplace safety improvements. The data supplied to RMA is identical to information provided to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes injury and illness information on all industries.

In addition to the SHIP awards, RMA instituted a new program to recognize member companies with facilities that reported at least one million man hours worked with no lost time. The definition for lost time is a work-related injury which results in lost time from work beginning the day after the accident. Ten RMA member company plants were recognized for this achievement.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

No Growth Predicted for 2008 Tire Shipments

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 7, 2008 - Tire shipments in 2008 are projected to remain at or near levels reached in 2007 as growth in the replacement markets will again be offset by declines in the original equipment (OE) tire markets, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Tire shipments for 2008 will reflect the moderate domestic economic pressures predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors. Overall, the combined OE and replacement tire shipments for 2008 light vehicle and truck categories are anticipated to increase by fewer than one million units (less than one percent) to approximately 311 million total shipments compared to 2007’s 310.1 million units.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2008 include:

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: For 2008, this market is projected to decrease by approximately 4 percent, or 2.2 million units to nearly 44 million units. This is a result of expected decreases in domestic vehicle production due to sales trends and a soft economic climate. This will mark the sixth consecutive year that domestic light vehicle production has decreased and the third consecutive year of decreased vehicle sales. However a nearly 4 percent increase in shipments is anticipated in 2009 as the economy stabilizes and consumers return to a more usual purchasing mode. Nonetheless, a recovery of shipments to historical levels will not be realized as light vehicle imports continue to gain market share.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: Nearly 4.2 million OE units are projected to be shipped in 2008, representing a decrease of approximately 6 percent, or 300,000 units versus 2007. The decrease is attributed to reductions in domestic vehicle production that have occurred in the current economic slowdown. Historical levels of light truck OE shipments will not be obtained due to a shift in vehicle fitments with P-metric passenger tires and market share increases by import vehicle manufacturers.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This category is forecast to rebound slightly in 2008 by just over 1 percent to approximately 4.7 million units. This slight increase is attributed to a soft economic climate in the commercial sector, which is not expected to improve until the fourth quarter of 2008. However a significant rebound of over 20 percent is forecasted for 2009 as truck sales resume normal levels and economic activity improves. In 2007, this sector experienced a nearly 32 percent decrease in tire shipments as changes in EPA regulations inspired a pull-forward effect of truck sales in 2006.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: The passenger replacement market was up 4 percent to 204 million units in 2007 as a result of stronger than expected fourth quarter imports. A moderate increase of 1.5 percent, or approximately 3 million additional units, is forecasted for 2008 as the current economic environment will dampen growth for this large segment of the tire industry. A further increase of over 2 percent is anticipated in 2009 as favorable economic conditions return.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is forecasted to increase by approximately 500,000 units, or nearly 1.5 percent, to nearly 35 million units in 2008. Growth is attributed primarily to an expected increase in the number of vehicles in this market. However, the growth is tempered as a result of the downturn in economic conditions in the commercial light truck segment.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market is forecast to reach 16.3 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 300,000 units or 1.6 percent over 2007’s shipments. Again, the decrease reflects a weaker and more uncertain economy and less movement of goods.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Improper Tire Repair Poses Safety Concern

Know What to Ask When A Flat Needs Fixed

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 28, 2008 - Knowing the difference between a proper tire repair and an improper repair could be critical to vehicle safety. A tire industry study showed that nearly 88 percent of tire repairs are performed improperly. An improper tire repair could pose a safety hazard to you and your family and could also affect a tire manufacturer’s warranty.

“Consumers need to know some essential information about tire industry recommended puncture repair procedures,” said Daniel Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “An improperly repaired tire is a safety risk you shouldn’t take.”

One key process in a proper repair is removing a tire from the wheel to inspect any damage that may occur to the inner liner of the tire.

Zielinski said, “Don’t let anyone tell you that a repair can be completed without removing the tire from the wheel. If you’re told by an automotive repair shop that a flat repair will take only five or ten minutes, you should walk out.”

RMA offers tire dealers and automotive repair outlets a detailed wall-chart for proper tire repairs. Among the criteria to perform a proper repair are:

• Repairs are limited to the tread area only;
• Puncture injury cannot be greater than ¼-inch (6mm) in diameter;
• Repairs must be performed by removing the tire from the rim/wheelassembly to perform a complete inspection to assess all damage that may be present ;
• Repairs cannot overlap;
• A rubber stem, or plug, must be applied to fill the puncture injury and a patch must be applied to seal the inner liner. A common repair unit is a one-piece unit with a stem and patch portion. A plug by itself or a patch by itself is an unacceptable repair.

“Ask your tire service technician if he uses tire industry-approved repair procedures,” Zielinski said. “Also, some tire manufacturers may have repair limits or restrictions for some tires, such as run flats and others.”

A 2006 tire industry review of more than 14,000 scrap tires showed 17 percent had been repaired and of that number, 88 percent of repairs were done incorrectly.

Improperly repaired tires can fail while in service, such as by tread-belt separation, which may result in an accident causing serious personal injury or death.

Click here to order RMA’s Proper Repair Procedure Wall Chart.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Be Tire Smart Resource Kit Now Available Online

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 25, 2008 - Tire dealers and automotive service professionals who want to help educate motorists about proper tire care can download a free Be Tire Smart Resource Kit.

The information can be particularly useful during National Tire Safety Week, April 20-26 this year. National Tire Safety Week is an initiative of the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART tire care education program.

The kit includes National Tire Safety Week and Be Tire Smart artwork, guides for planning events, and much more. Additionally, tire dealers and automotive service outlets can order free consumer brochures and posters from RMA.

“The Be Tire Smart Resource Kit can be an effective tool to promote tire care, which can lead to a safer driving experience,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “While it can be useful for National Tire Safety Week, the material is applicable for use throughout the year.”

During National Tire Safety Week, RMA will provide more than 18,000 tire retail, auto dealer, automotive repair shops and others with consumer information for this event. Participants are encouraged to promote the event to encourage motorists to begin practicing basic tire maintenance on a monthly basis. Proper tire care promotes safety, better fuel economy and tire longevity.

To download the free kit visit www.betiresmart.org

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Shea Resigns as RMA President & CEO

Charles A. Cannon Appointed Interim CEO

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 19, 2008 - Donald B. Shea has resigned as president and CEO of the Rubber Manufacturers Association to pursue other opportunities. His resignation was accepted by the RMA Executive Committee and is effective immediately.

Shea joined RMA in 1997 and his service to the industry and RMA membership has been greatly appreciated. The membership and staff of RMA wish him well in his future pursuits.

RMA’s Executive Committee, led by RMA Chairman James MacMaster (Yokohama Tire Corporation), has appointed Charles A. Cannon, PhD, as RMA interim CEO while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement. The search is expected to last approximately three to six months. Cannon begins his service at RMA today.

Cannon is president, Cannon Consultants, a firm dedicated to management, funding and consulting services for trade associations, environmental and defense institutions as well as private industry and new technology ventures.

Cannon has nearly four decades of executive management experience. He also has served as CEO for Land Mine Detection Systems, Inc., was co-founder and Vice President for New Product Development Consortium, a venture capital consortium, and he was Executive Vice-President for the Composting Council and the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation.

Cannon earned his PhD from Stanford University, an MA from Rice University, and a BA from Columbia University.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Date Change! RMA Sponsored Conference on Ground Rubber Recycling to be Held May 6-7

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 13, 2008 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), Asphalt Rubber Technology Service at Clemson University and the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) will sponsor the “2nd Annual Scrap to Profit — Using Ground Rubber in Rubber and Plastic Products,” May 6 – 7 at the Solamar Hotel in San Diego, California.

The Scrap to Profit program dates have changed slightly to include an additional workshop for the program and to better accommodate International Tire Conference attendees from Mexico who are interested in attending a forum on Sustainable Scrap Tire Market Management Plans. The Scrap to Profit program is a key component of International Tire Conference, which begins a day earlier.

“This year’s conference will continue the effort we started last year by presenting information on the various manners the industry can use ground rubber in molded and extruded rubber and plastic products,” said RMA Vice President Michael Blumenthal. “More information is available today than last year and new issues are facing the industry. We are pleased to be able to provide a venue for the dissemination of this information.” Blumenthal added.

The added half-day workshop will provide training regarding key selling points and best approaches for the green building market and selling to government sectors – federal, state and local. Due to the interactive nature of the workshop, seating is limited. Registration for this half-day workshop is $50.

Other programs occurring at the International Tire Conference (May 5-9) in addition to the Scrap to Profit program include: review of the Tire Initiative and effective strategies for managing scrap tires and encouraging markets along the United States – Mexico border region, scrap tire processing and financing, civil engineering uses of scrap tires, continuous improvement for processors and manufacturers, quality assurance, quality control for playgrounds and much more.

Registration for the Scrap-to-Profit conference is available atwww.scraptoprofit.com. Registration for all other segments of the International Tire Conference is available at www.cce.csus.edu/conferences/current.htmbeginning February 19, 2008.

For room reservations, individuals must contact the Hotel Solamar directly at (877) 230-0300 by April 3, 2008. To secure the conference discount rate of $150 per night, individuals must mention that they will attend the International Tire Conference.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

2008 Annual Meeting Registration is Now Open

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.January 28, 2008 - Registration is now open for the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s 2008 Annual Meeting at www.rma.org. The conference is scheduled for April 12-14, at the Renaissance World Golf Resort in St. Augustine, FL.

The annual three-day business conference is a forum for executives from RMA’s Tire Sector Group and Elastomer Products Group. During the conference, members discuss key industry concerns on legislative and regulatory issues and hear from a number of expert speakers on such topics as the economy, the 2008 political races and technical innovation.

Featured speakers include: Martin Regalia, Chief Economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Amy Walter, Editor in Chief of The Hotline; and Gene Stanaland, President, GSE, Inc. and noted economist.

Complete information is now available by visiting www.rma.org.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.