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Published on April 7, 2000

Tire expos help dealers compete

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Opinion

AKRON (April 7, 2000)—Tire dealers and retreaders have only two chances annually to attend national trade shows geared toward their businesses.


The first is the World ITRA Expo, sponsored by the International Tire and Rubber Association, which is happening the first week of May in Nashville, Tenn. The other is the International Tire Expo, put on by the Tire Association of North America, which is held each November in conjunction with the huge Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week shows in Las Vegas.


The question is this: Will you choose to attend one or both events, taking advantage of the many educational seminars, trade show exhibits and networking opportunities with fellow dealers?


Or will you stay home and continue to battle the same way you always have with competitors that are growing larger and more aggressive?


There´s no question that attending these conventions is expensive, both in time away from the business and monetarily.


But where else can dealers, particularly those operating one and two locations, get educational programs and product and equipment information dedicated to their businesses? The an- swer is nowhere other than at the national tire conferences.


Every day, tire dealers and retreaders face more challenges, from new and bigger competitors to advances in technology.


It´s a lot to grasp, comprehend and respond to.


The two national conventions and trade shows can help you make sense of what´s going on and even provide some ideas to help you succeed.


But that will happen only if you attend and participate. ©:



Tire price hikes needed


The latest round of tire price increases is needed by makers and dealers alike, particularly in light of the recent spike in oil costs.


It´s been a long time since the tire industry participated en masse in a round of price hikes.


The Federal Trade Commission´s recently concluded investigation of the industry´s pricing practices might have con- tributed to this.


As expected, the FTC found no evidence of price fixing. The truth is, tire prices have declined in recent years, the government´s Producer Price Index shows.


However, the more likely reason for not raising prices is that competition makes it difficult for any individual firm to do so without risking market share.


This latest round of hikes gives tire dealers an opportunity to boost profit margins by passing the increases along to customers.


But history has shown that´s not usually done. There´s always one company willing to trade market share for profits. If others follow, the price increases fail to stick.


Maybe this time will be different. ©

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