``Government relations are nothing but hard work. Nobody's going to tell your story as well as you do.'' - Donald B. Shea, president, Rubber Manufacturers Association, on how crucial going to bat for the industry is in Washington, D.C.
``The merged organization will provide a single voice for businesses in the industry. It will add value to membership, as the new organization will have more services, facilities and resources to serve members.'' - Tom Raben and Steve Disney, president and past-president, respectively, of the Tire Industry Association, in an open letter urging the proposed merger of the Tire Association of North America and International Tire & Rubber Association.
``We've gone through some tough years together. We really appreciate your business and your sticking with us.'' - Bernd Frangenberg, Continental Tire North America Inc.'s president/CEO, at the firm's dealer meeting as he announced his impending retirement.
``Every day we get people coming in with tires they bought from warehouse clubs because they didn't get the service they needed.'' - Don Ashman of Central Tire Ltd., London, Ontario, on fixing tire-related problems created by clubs and discount chains.
``Call me guilty-if things go wrong, I should be the guilty guy.'' - Mike Barker, Continental Tire North America Inc. vice president, to dealers at the tire maker's annual dealer meeting.
``(MVP) did what we wanted it to do, which was put the value of the product in line with the price of the product. That's happened, and now we can move on.'' - Michelin North America Inc. spokeswoman, on the firm discontinuing its Maximum Value Policy that established minimum pricing on BFGoodrich Radial All-Terrain T/AKO light truck tires.
``We are disappointed. Goodyear has plans in place to improve profitability and continue to reduce debt.'' - Robert W. Tieken, Goodyear executive vice president and CFO, on Standard & Poor's Corp. downgrading the tire maker's debt rating in February.
``You might say we tripped over dead bodies that kept popping up out of the closet left and right.'' - Ron Vines, president/COO, Winston Tire Co., on problems the chain faced-after its acquisition by Performance Management Inc.-which eventually led to Winston declaring bankruptcy last January.
``Obviously, moving into more performance lines will continue to increase the brand awareness and the brand equity of the Cooper brand.'' - D. Richard Stephens, president of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., on its push to promote high-performance products.
``It's like we've been on Noah's Ark. Wasn't a lot of food around so we ate some of the animals....'' - Maurice ``Morry'' Taylor Jr., president/CEO, Titan International Inc., on the company's economic and union-related struggles.
``Mufflers aren't what they used to be. They're made of materials that last longer. Midas needed to do something, and tires look like a good answer.'' - Darrell Hill, president, North Gateway Tire, Medina, Ohio, a distributor of brands from TBC Corp., which inked a supply agreement with Midas Muffler Inc.
``I'm still the same person that I was. I just don't have legs. That's the way I have to look at it.'' - Jackie McGuirt, former owner of McGuirt Tire & Service, Ridgeway, S.C., who was paralyzed by a robber's bullet at his dealership. (Mr. McGuirt died in October.)
``...My guess is that tire dealers will become a primary target-especially with the larger dealers now accumulating assets that become very attractive to these sharks.'' - Thomas Dattilo, chairman of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., telling dealers they could become a target of plaintiffs' attorneys.
``We need to elevate and enhance the standards and image of our industry.'' - Larry Morgan, of Morgan Tire & Auto Inc. and co-chairman of a Tire Industry Association planning committee, on TIA launching a strategic plan.
``We don't get the credit we deserve for the products and services that we have.'' - Tom Raben, president of the Tire Industry Association, in an interview with Tire Business as he spoke of his goals for the organization in 2003.
``...We're going to have to, we recognize, win our dealers back one at a time....'' - Robert J. Keegan, Goodyear president and COO, on the Akron-based tire maker's financial predicament and problems in its North American Tire unit.
``I went through that (surgery) with a breeze. We had lots of prayers.'' - Tom Christerson, former tire dealer/owner of Pace Tire Center Inc., Central City, Ky., who remains the lone survivor and longest living recipient of an AbioCor artificial heart.