The following are partial quotations from a variety of the past year´s top news stories. How many do you remember?
“Our customers have bitched like hell at us for being in the retail business. Every time I go to a meeting…the single biggest complaint they have is doing business with someone who competes with them.”— Dick Johnson, Heafner Tire Group CEO, on why the distributor unloaded its retail business.
“We simply do not have enough confidence in the future safety of these tires.”— Jacques Nasser, former Ford CEO, explaining why the auto maker decided to recall an additional 13 million Firestone tires fitted on Ford trucks and SUVs.
“The basic foundation of our relationship has been seriously eroded.”— John Lampe, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. CEO, in a letter to Jacques Nasser, stating that BFS was severing its supply relationship with Ford Motor Co.
“When we need to approach the government on behalf of the welfare of the tire industry…the stronger our membership numbers are, the more credibility we have.”— Steve Disney, Tire Association of North America president, referring to TANA's need to increase its membership base.
“What was unfolding only a mile away was already incredible. I prayed that everyone on those top floors would be able to escape this horror…Everyone in the office was stunned. Speechless. Tears flowed because we all knew someone who worked in one of the buildings.”—Richard Clarke, president of Clarke Advertising in New York, in his eyewitness account of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“If there had been one chance to stop this chain of events, I would have gladly given my life to prevent it.”—Tony Sexton, president of the Georgia Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, in a letter to fellow tire dealers regarding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“It would take years and years to rebuild their image if they keep fighting.”—Masahiro Yamaki, an analyst with Quick Business Research Institute Corp., describing the consequences of a prolonged feud between Bridgestone Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
“Times change, issues change, business changes—and associations have to change in order to meet those needs.”—Marvin Bozarth, former International Tire & Rubber Association executive director, on the announced merger of ITRA with the Tire Association of North America.
“It was something that really should have happened long ago.”—George Edwards, co-founder and former managing director of the American Retreaders Association, on the TANA-ITRA merger.
“Bridgestone/Firestone needs to reduce its production capacity in North America to balance its supply-and-demand situation and assure the financial health of the company.”—John McQuade, division vice president, BFS manufacturing operations, on the closing of the tire maker's troubled factory in Decatur, Ill.
“…If this case goes to trial, a jury understanding what the law is and the competitive factors in the tire business would also conclude that MAST's pricing is fair and legal.”—Michelin North America Inc., saying its pricing is “fair and legally defensible” in light of a $10 million federal antitrust price discrimination lawsuit filed against the tire maker by Atlanta-based DeKalb Tire Co. Inc.
“We're as close as we have been since this thing started.”—John Peno, United Steelworkers of America Local 164 president, as the USWA and Titan International Inc. negotiated to end the tire industry's longest strike.