News Briefs 1/8/19

• The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) projects 2018 total U.S. tire shipments to have increased 2.7 percent to 325.20 million units. Replacement passenger tire shipments are expected to have grown 2.5 percent to 209.70 million units, while replacement light-truck tire shipments are projected to have increased 0.2 percent to 31.30 million units.

• Outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed legislation into law that prohibits the installation of unsafe used tires. The new law, which takes effect July 1, imposes a fine on any business that installs tires that exhibit any one of several unsafe conditions, including worn-out tread, visible damage or improper repairs.

• Continental has reached a deal to acquire Reifen John, a tire and auto service chain with 32 locations in Austria and Germany. The move is seen as complementary to Continental’s existing operations in the region. The transaction is subject to antitrust approval.

• For 2019, Carstar forecasts adding 120 locations to its network, with a majority of this growth occurring in key U.S. markets.

• Mitchell 1 has introduced text-messaging features in its Manager SE Truck Edition shop management system for Class 4 to Class 8 trucks. The latest release of Manager SE Truck Edition includes a Message Center option with integrated two-way texting. Shops have the choice of building their own text templates for orders, appointments and revisions, or writing “on-the-fly” text messages to customers when needed.

• According to MAM Software, the company has deployed its VAST point-of-sale product at 156 new dealer locations over the last 18 months.

Road Warrior Tires, a division of TRU Development Inc., has begun shipping from a new warehouse in Los Angeles.

Hunter Engineering has launched a new merchandise site at

Line-X is celebrating its 25th anniversary.