Cooper's Pat Rooney
I was both shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely death of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s retired chairman, Pat Rooney.
I never bought a tire from Mr. Rooney. However, that never detracted from my profound respect for a man who was a consummate professional, gave this industry respect and, above all, was a TRUE FRIEND of the independent tire dealer. We have truly lost a ``gentile, gentle giant'' in this industry.
Vice president of business development
DeCarolis Truck Rental Inc.
An uphill battle
I especially enjoy reading articles that promote women in the tire and automotive industry and speak highly of them.
I have been in this industry for 16 years and it's always been an uphill battle for respect. Knowledge, whether it's from a man or a woman, is still knowledge.
Purcell Tire & Rubber Co.
Crystal City, Mo.
Kudos for Cooper HP
As a Cooper distributor, I enjoyed your story on Cooper's fun with performance push in the Nov. 25 issue.
Cooper's two V- and H-rated performance tires are excellent, and I would put them up against any other brand.
Al's Tire Center Inc.
Private brand group history
It was nice to read in your Nov. 11 issue that the Private Brand Tire Group (PBTG) was joining the Tire Industry Association (TIA).
Your readers should know the PBTG was formed in 1977 (not 1964, as the article erroneously stated) and was part of the former National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA). I was one of the founders and the group's first president from 1977-79. As president of the PBTG, I also was an NTDRA director.
The PBTG provided private brand marketers a united voice in dealing with the NTDRA. Many of the PBTG members were displaying their products at the annual NTDRA trade show and, prior to forming the group, had no say in the management of the convention.
By forming the group, we had a united voice, and with the help of the NTDRA, we were able to have input on federal legislation. In fact, I testified in 1978 at a Senate subcommittee hearing in Washington concerning federal excise taxes on passenger tires.
Along the way, in the 1990s the PBTG left the NTDRA. So it is nice to see the two groups join forces again to provide a united front in the tire industry.
Robert P. Horbatt
Editor's note: Mr. Horbatt, who was national sales manager for Jetzon Tire & Rubber Co. while president of the PBTG, now is in the real estate business.
Price club predicament
As independent tire dealers and repair garage operators, what can we do-along with our tire distributors and suppliers-to compete in the tire market against price clubs like Sam's, BJ's, Costco and so on?
We need some kind of edge. I know all about service, etc. But most people buy price first and think about quality, warranty and service later.
McRoberts Auto Center Inc.