LAS VEGAS—Software developer ASA Tire Systems Group unveiled several new additions to its Web site—eTirePlace.com—Nov. 1, providing tire dealers with free access to industry news, an industry directory, industry e-mail groups and a question-and-answer area.
Launched a year ago, the site initially served primarily as a locator service to help consumers find tire dealers in their local area and which tire brands and services they offer.
Now eTirePlace.com is offering more services to tire industry participants, said Wayne Croswell, president of ASA Tire Systems, who demonstrated the site's new features during the International Tire Expo in Las Vegas.
"It was time to shift the focus on the site," he said, adding he wants eTirePlace.com to become a place that dealers access daily.
Under phase two of eTirePlace. com, the site provides tire dealers with weekly news updates, supplied by the Tire Association of North America, Mr. Croswell said.
Users also will have access to an industry directory that provides contact information, including e-mail and Web site addresses, for manufacturers, distributors, trade associations and trade publications. Categories covered include auto parts, private brand tires, retreading, and tire and wheel manufacturers.
The new industry e-mail feature allows users to become part of e-mail groups on topics of interest to them and to participate in online exchanges of information, Mr. Croswell said. Subscribers to this service can receive daily e-mail summaries on topics that interest them.
This segment also includes an Expert Q|&|A feature that was developed in response to several thousand consumer e-mail questions ASA received during the past year.
The Q & A option permits users to pose questions and view answers to previously asked questions pertaining to the tire industry.
"This is a large database of factual information and will have a consumer and industry bent," Mr. Croswell said.
A section titled "Ask the Experts" will feature well-known industry players answering dealers' and consumers' questions, he added.
ASA also is developing an online trading exchange for the procurement of tires sometime in 2001.
ASA is providing these features for free as a way of giving back to the industry, he said. Since it was launched in November 1999, eTirePlace.com has signed 6,000 dealers and 14,000 consumers as members. Dealers pay $240 a year per location to be listed in the locator service, while consumer membership is free.
"The more consumers signing up, the more dealers are signing up, because they're seeing more traffic on the site," David Duchesne, ASA national marketing manager, said.