The following, taken from the Tire Business Web site (www.tirebusiness.com), are excerpts of dealer responses to the question: ``Do you favor or oppose the planned merger of the Tire Association of North America (TANA) and the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA)?''
This is great news for the tire industry associations. There are many synergies and advantages for both organizations and their members to work co-operatively and share strengths-not to mention a more productive use of financial resources.
Congratulations to all the directors of both organizations. My hope is that the cooperative spirit will continue as the two groups merge.
Sharon Johnson OTDA Director Johnson Tire Center Inc. Windsor, Ontario
This merger is good for the tire and transportation industry.
Robert W. Sherwood Vice president Tristani Rubber Industries Inc. San Juan, Puerto Rico
I favor the merger. There is such a strong similarity between both associations' customers, markets, basic raw materials, membership etc. that the combination of these two groups will be very synergistic.... I salute the officers and directors of both organizations for their vision in bringing these two associations together.
Lewis P. Wexler Sr. President/CEO/Chairman Free Service Tire Co., Inc
Johnson City, Tenn
The merger of TANA and ITRA is the best news that the tire industry has had in years. Both organizations do some things very well. This merger will increase the ability of dealers to get standarized training for their employees and promote professionalism and safety in the workplace.
Many small dealerships like ours cannot afford to belong to both national organizations and still support our state associations.
Charles Bonecutter Owner Tri-State Tire Service South Point, Ohio
Yes. Years ago, as chairman of ITRMG and with other industry groups, we tried to bring the associations together. Egos got in the way.
The industry needs one voice, training and one world tire show-with or outside of SEMA. It would be great if everyone got behind the 2003 show in Louisville, Ky., and made it the No. 1 tire and retread event in the world. It all depends on the manufacturers, suppliers and the commitment of the joint association. ``Build it and they will come.''
Craig Anderson President Hercules Tire & Rubber Co
Congratulations on the merger. It will make it so much easier for the tire dealer to attend conventions and seminars only once a year rather than having to chose between one or the other, as in years past.
Bruce Johnston Sales manager Canadian Treads Mfg. Penticton, British Columbia
With the consolidation of both new-tire companies and retreading firms it makes sense to have just one association in the U.S. To provide the best services to their memberships, both ITRA and TANA need to be together.
When combined, the resulting group will offer the strongest leadership for training, government relations, policy statements, standards and quality. As a long-time member of both groups, I cast my vote for the merger.
Ray Hawkinson Jr.
President & CEO
Hawkinson Tyre Consulting