Business briefs, July 25

Business briefs, July 25
Published: July 25, 2012

Business briefs


Goodyear tries soybeans

Goodyear is testing tires made with soybean oil as it tries to cut its use of petroleum and extend tread life. The Akron, Ohio, company said Tuesday that its researchers have found that the tread on tires made partially with soybean oil can last 10 percent longer than current tires. The soybean oil, which comes from a renewable resource, could cut Goodyear's use of petroleum by up to 7 million gallons per year, the company said in a statement. Goodyear said prototype tires built at the company's Lawton plant will be tested at proving grounds in Texas in the coming month. If tests are positive, the soy oil could be used to make tires by 2015.

Ford targets Lexus

Ford is taking aim at Lexus with a new Lincoln luxury sedan that goes on sale this fall. Ford said Tuesday that the Lincoln MKZ will start at $35,925. That's $175 less than the Lexus ES 350. The MKZ is a critical product for Ford, which is trying to revamp the Lincoln brand. It's the first in a string of new Lincolns that Ford plans to roll out over the next three years. Among the MKZ's features is an all-glass roof that opens automatically and slides over the back window, giving both front and rear passengers a convertible-like ride.

Apple updates software

Apple Inc. will release its new operating system for Mac computers on Wednesday, with features borrowed from mobile devices and a tighter integration with online file storage. Dubbed Mountain Lion, the new software narrows the gap between the PC and phone software packages, making Mac personal computers work more like iPhones and iPads. Mountain Lion will cost $20 and will be sold only as a download.

Airline regulations kept

The government can require airlines to show consumers a total ticket price that includes taxes and fees in print and online ads, the U.S. Court of Appeals said Tuesday. The Transportation Department, which issued the regulations last year, has the authority to regulate “unfair and deceptive” airline industry practices, the three-member panel said. The ruling also covers two other regulations: Consumers who purchase tickets more than a week in advance may cancel their reservations without penalty within 24 hours after purchase, and airlines cannot increase the price of tickets or baggage fees after tickets have been bought.

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