LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The American Retreaders' Association has turned down an offer by promoter John Wagner to merge his Commercial Tire & Service Expo with the ARA's annual World Tire Conference & Exhibition. Mr. Wagner has offered to sell the Commercial Tire Expo, which he launched in 1993, to both the ARA and the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association as a step toward consolidating the industry's national dealer gatherings-a move desired by at least some trade show exhibitors.
The NTDRA has yet to respond to the offer, said Mr. Wagner, a former managing director of the ARA.
In a letter to Mr. Wagner outlining the ARA's reasons for its decision, Executive Director Marvin Bozarth said the Louisville-based association is involved in a number of on-going projects and ``is not in a position to take on any additional ventures at this time.''
Mr. Bozarth pointed specifically to the ARA's efforts to develop two training videos as part of a larger program for certifying retread and repair technicians and to publish a Spanish language edition of its retread processing manual.
Though disappointed at being turned down by the ARA, Mr. Wagner said he's still convinced of the need to consolidate the ARA's spring conference and the NTDRA's annual fall convention.
Mr. Wagner said he has worked for the past four months at trying to bring the ARA and NTDRA together to discuss the possibility of consolidating their respective shows. But ``politics and egos are standing in the way'' of any such consolidation-which he's convinced will eventually take place nonetheless.
``They (officials of the two associations) are kidding themselves if they think things can go on this way,'' he said.
Mr. Wagner said he won't attempt to hold a second Commerical Tire Expo on a national basis, even though he still thinks there is a need for such a show.
The Expo, which debuted in Nashville, Tenn., last June, attracted a sizeable number of trade show exhibitors but attendance on the part of dealers, fleet owners and government tire purchasers proved a disappointment.
Mr. Wagner said he currently is talking with prospective sponsors about scheduling similar shows on a more regional basis.
Asked why the NTDRA had not responded to Mr. Wagner's letter, a spokesman replied that the association is in the early stages of developing a long-range strategic plan, during the process of which planners will examine the role of NTDRA's convention and trade show. He added that the process could take as long as two years.