OREGON, Ohio-In its continuing effort to increase exhibitor attendance at its annual trade shows, the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association has initiated talks with the Rubber Manufacturers Association to discuss areas of potential cooperation. The meetings-and their goals-were similar to those held previously with the American Retreaders Association.
After their third and latest meeting June 14, the RMA indicated it has no desire for a merger with the NTDRA but is interested in continuing to explore areas of common interest and to continue researching the development of a single trade show for the entire tire industry, according to NTDRA President James Faught.
RMA President Thomas Cole was unavailable for comment.
Mr. Faught revealed the discussions during his address to the Ohio Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association convention, June 17 in Oregon, Ohio.
Late last year, the NTDRA held talks for the first time with the ARA, its trade group rival, to discuss areas of mutual interest, including the possibility of a joint trade show, but those discussions are now ``somewhat in limbo,'' Mr. Faught said.
So the NTDRA turned to the RMA earlier this year. The discussions were spurred by the NTDRA's strategic planning committee, charged with plotting the future direction of the association.
Members have told the NTDRA that they want to see more tire manufacturers exhibit at the annual trade show, Mr. Faught said. ``What better way to do it than tomeet with the RMA,'' he said.
While the RMA doesn't conduct its own trade show, Mr. Faught surmised the RMA's participation in a joint show could influence its tire maker members to exhibit.
Mr. Faught foresees other advantages to combining the forces of the two groups: the RMA and NTDRA would have more clout on federal legislative matters; and they would have increased buying power for workers compensation and other insurance programs for their members.
Mr. Faught explained that the NTDRA is working toward a universal trade show for the tire industry.
During the last few years, the NTDRA has experienced competition from the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week, held each fall in Las Vegas, which combines the shows of several automotive aftermarket associations and has been drawing increasing numbers of attendees and exhibitors, including tire manufacturers.
Last fall, six tire makers chose to exhibit at the Automotive Industry Week shows instead of at the NTDRA show.
Mr. Faught contended that Automotive Industry Week is geared more for auto repairers and body shops than for tire dealers. He believes the tire industry could have an equally large, industrywide trade show for dealers.