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Mark your calendars now for the
FIRST TIRE & AUTOMOTIVE Convention & EXPO in Texas!

Join the Texas Tire Dealers at the Marriott Town Square in Sugar Land, Texas,
from April 23-25 for the 2014 Tire & Automotive Expo.

You don't want to miss the Golf Classic at Greatwood Golf Course; the informative General Sessions on topics such as marketing, new auto technology and labor issues; and you definitely don't want to miss out on the Happy Hour and Casino Night and the end of the busy day of networking at the EXPO!

Click here to find out what else is in store for you at this year's event.
Or, if you're already convinced you should attend, click here to register!

The 2014 Tire & Automotive EXPO offers opportunities for increased exposure and participation for your company. In addition to exhibit tables, there are several Sponsorship Levels that permit companies of all sizes to take part in the convention without the added expense of setting up large exhibit booths. For more info, and to register, click here.


Retreaded tires and wholesaling: Is it a dying business?
Modern Tire Dealer
Retreaders in the United States stayed busy and were able to make more money in 2013. According to the 2014 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue, the average price of a retreaded truck tire was $250.04 in 2013, a pricing increase of 9.6 percent over 2012. In addition, 14.9 million truck tire retreads were produced, 100,000 units more than the previous year. That was enough work to keep the 680 retread shops busy every week. But not every retreader can keep a shop busy for 40 hours by replacing their customers’ truck tires. Some of them also rely on wholesaling.
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Competition lowers interest rates for small business loans
Fox Small Business
The laws of supply and demand are working in favor of small business owners looking for capital in 2014. Increasingly, banks — both large and small — and non-bank lenders are looking to fund deals. Banks sat on their assets (so to speak) during the credit crunch and over the past few years gradually returned to small business lending. Dodd Frank provisions and the slow rebound of mortgages caused them to rethink why they would not lend to entrepreneurs. Fortunately, the purse strings are opening up.
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Back to the future with Ford bioplastics
By Don Rosato
Sustainability is a megatrend driving innovations in automotive plastics with bio-based plastics gaining increased acceptance in the automotive industry. The Ford Motor Company is at the forefront of this trend, touting numerous renewable products in its vehicles. In fact, Ford's interest in bioplastics goes all the way back to the company's early days. In the 1930s, Henry Ford used approximately 60 pounds of soybeans in his Model T. Ford had a considerable interest in soybeans, and he even established a soy lab in Dearborn, Mich., in 1929.
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Preventive maintenance then & now: What's different?
Automotive Fleet
Led by new technology, both vehicles and the means by which they're managed today would not be recognizable 30 years ago. One of the biggest changes: How preventive maintenance is handled today over yesterday.

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What small business owners should know about the new Obamacare report
The Washington Post
Congressional budget analysts released revised estimates concerning the economic footprint of the health care law, spawning more headlines declaring that Obamacare will take a massive bite out of workers' hours and eliminate millions of jobs.

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Release of toxic chemicals declined in 2011-2012
Rubber News
Total releases of toxic chemicals declined 12 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the most recent Toxics Release Inventory released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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US tire output fell in 2013
Tire Business
The U.S. tire manufacturing industry lost ground to imports last year for the second straight year as shipments of both OE and replacement market consumer tires increased. Production of passenger and light truck tires in the U.S. fell 3.4 and 7.6 percent, respectively, last year to 119 million and 23.5 million units, while imports into the U.S. of those same tires jumped 12.8 and 18.8 percent to 141.9 million and 24.9 million units, according to the RMA.
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Toyota recalls 1.9 million Prius cars worldwide
Chico Enterprise Record
Toyota recently announced a global recall of 1.9 million of its signature Prius hybrid cars, dealing a blow to a brand favored by the eco-conscious including Hollywood celebrities. The company said it decided on the call-back — its biggest-ever for the vehicle — after the discovery of problems with software used to control a power converter that posed a risk to drivers. No accidents have been reported as a result of the defect, the world's biggest automaker said.
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Go go gadget tire studs: Nokian demos winter tire with retractable studs
Motor Trend
Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian Tyres has just released a new winter tire prototype that allows the driver to switch from a stud-less winter tire to a studded winter tire at the push of a button, giving winter drivers extra grip when the situation calls for it. The new winter tire, which Nokian says is still just a concept, is based on the manufacturer's Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded winter tire. The studs on the tire have been modified so that the metal pin at the center of the stud can either retract or extend at the push of a button, while still not compromising the tire's air-holding ability.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Future technology possibilities.

Social media and customer service
Business 2 Community
It's 2014. No matter what size your business or what product you are selling, there's no doubt that social and digital media is playing some kind of role in your marketing efforts. However, if there are a handful of you not yet on the social media wagon, there are three simple strategies any business or organization can use to let social media improve your customer service.
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Burgeoning auto inventories don't bode well for industry
Rubber News
Supplies of unsold vehicles have ballooned to the highest level since the recession, and U.S. sales growth has slowed significantly in the past five months. It is an ominous combination that could mean a return of bigger discounts and lower profit margins throughout 2014. Across the industry, auto makers had 88 days' worth of vehicles as of Feb. 1, the most for that date since 2009, when the industry's downturn was at its worst.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study: Car-sharing a growing threat to auto sales (CNBC)
Brake pad replacement No. 1 auto repair job in 2013 ( via The Wall Street Journal)
TIA seeks comments on OSHA proposal to make injury, illness data available (Tire Review)
How electronic stability control can improve ride control sales (Modern Tire Dealer)
Picture brightening for scrap tire/ recycling market (Tire Business)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


TTDA Today
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lisa Smith, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2644 
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