LAS VEGAS—The 2000 edition of the International Tire Expo, sponsored by the Tire Association of North America, ended Nov. 3 with the second-highest dealer attendance since the show merged with that of the Speciality Equipment Market Association in 1996.
The association also detailed its financial results for 1999, which showed that expenses increased slightly more than revenues, resulting in an operating loss of $5,137.
Based on preliminary tallies, this year's expo attracted an estimated 4,850 tire dealers, said Ross Kogel, executive vice president of TANA.
This compares with 5,099 dealers at last year's show, 4,677 in 1998 and 4,131 in 1997.
In 1996, the final trade show put on by the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, which changed its name to TANA the following year, drew only 1,140 dealers, he said.
Despite the dip in attendance, Mr. Kogel said he was "ecstatic" with this year's show. "I can't think of a single person who went away with anything but a positive experience," he said.
He cited three reasons for the positive report:
The seminars were well-attended, he said, and focused on the tire dealer.
The show's special events also drew well. The Goodyear-sponsored Hall of Fame Breakfast attracted 450 attendees, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Breakfast with the President drew 480, and 280 people took part in the Tire Dealer Appreciation Breakfast, sponsored by Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp.
"With Wayne Gretsky, Garrison Keillor and the Raspyni Brothers, we've never had a better lineup for entertainment," Mr. Kogel said of the special events.
Traffic on the trade show floor also was excellent, he said.
Overall, this year's show drew more than 10,000 total attendees, which includes exhibitor personnel, spouses and other non-buyers.
The tire portion of the giant trade show had 140 exhibitors, Mr. Kogel said, and covered 140,000 square feet of floor space, both equal to last year.
During the show, dealers also learned that, despite the association's efforts to control spending, TANA's net worth declined 9.7 percent to $684,119 in 1999.
Expenses during the year exceeded revenues by $5,137. This amount, combined with the decrease in the value of TANA's investments, reduced the association's net worth by $73,626, according to TANA Treasurer Bill Mayo's report. That compares with a net profit of $66,377 in 1998.
Mr. Kogel attributed the majority of this downturn to a decrease in the fair market value of the association's investments, which fell by $73,265 in the year-to-year comparison. Without the decline in its investment value, the association basically balanced its budget, Mr. Kogel said.
TANA's investment portfolio is worth about $1.2 million, Mr. Kogel said, adding the association changed its investment strategy at the end of 1999 to try and achieve better results.
Overall, TANA took in $2.23 million in revenues during the year, 1.6 percent more than in 1998, while expenses rose 5.9 percent to $2.24 million, according to the association's consolidated statement of activities.
The report showed a marked improvement in convention and trade show revenues, which grew 68.7 percent to $441,217 from the year before.
TANA also has curtailed the activities of its Tire Retread Institute, the reported showed. Revenue from the Institute declined to $11,905 in fiscal 1999 from $72,309 the year before, with a similar reduction in expenses.
"TANA has made a decision to reduce its activities in the area," Mr. Kogel said.
Also, for the first time in recent years, TANA's for-profit unit, Tire Dealer Services Inc., recorded an operating loss, slipping $68,346 into the red.
As for 2000, Mr. Kogel said he expects to see continued improvement in the association's finances, the audit of which is open to everyone under a new information-sharing policy, he added.