People Places & Racing News


Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. announced that Kenji Nakakura was appointed the company’s new president and chief executive officer.  Mr. Nakakura will also serve as the representative director for the company and will continue to serve as a member of the board.  He will assume all responsibilities effective January 1, 2008. Mr. Nakakura replaces Yoshio Kataoka, who will become advisor to the president and will continue serving as a member of the board.

Terry Edwards was named the vice president of the Kumho America Technical Center, located in Fairlawn, Ohio. Edwards, former Continental Tire North America executive, will oversee day-to-day operations of Kumho Tire (USA) Corp.’s U.S. R&D facility.

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC announced that Masao Wada, a 37-year veteran of the Bridgestone group of companies and president of Bridgestone Firestone Manufacturing Operations, will retire effective March 1, 2008.  Wada, who will be succeeded by Steven Brooks, vice president of Bridgestone Firestone Manufacturing Operations, will also retire from his positions as executive vice president and member of the board of directors of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. Brooks’ appointment is effective January 1, 2008, to provide a smooth management transition. 

Lund International Inc. entered into an agreement to be purchased by Linsalata Capital Partners and Resilience Capital Partners.  The terms of the agreement were not provided. Linsalata Capital and Resilience Capital Partners bring additional management resources to the company and industry veterans to the board of directors.  “We are pleased with the transition.  Both firms bring a strong history of supporting growth of quality companies,” said George Scherff, CEO of Lund. 

Digital Performance Inc. announced that since the debut of its Digital Performance Shopping Guide in April, it has more than doubled its reach and tripled its utilization in the past three months. Launched on the company’s own directory sites, the guide has since been incorporated into more automotive enthusiast sites, and is available to 1.3 million enthusiasts every month.

3M Corp. acquired Venture Tape Corp., a worldwide manufacturer of specialty tapes based in Rockland, Massachusetts. The sale was finalized on October 1, and neither company has disclosed the terms of the buyout.