Do without racy ads
The automotive industry and beer makers, especially Miller Lite's advertising exploiting women, are getting some unwanted reactions.
Most recently, tire and wheel companies feel they need racy and sex-related advertising to promote their products.
Pirelli Tire has its annual girlie calendar exploiting women, and there are others-including many companies that display at the Specialty Equipment Market Association/International Tire Expo during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas-that use this form of advertising.
Maybe if there are others in our industry who feel that we can do without this excessive promotion, our industry's marketers would make changes.
Advertising is the vehicle by which we send messages to our customers and our community promoting our companies, what we stand for and the products and services we offer. Professionally, can't we do better?
I'm proud of the products we sell and the suppliers we represent.
We all can take a stand for good, sound business ethics and promote respectful business representation.
We vote with our order pads and choose who are our business partners. We are put in the same category with those manufacturers we represent.
Let's encourage our manufacturers and suppliers using racy or sexist ads to find other methods to promote our fine products.
Hats off to Sears, Roebuck and Co., which chose to eliminate relations with Falken Tire Corp. due to its racy, sex-related advertising. Maybe this is what it takes to get the attention of Falken and others that have chosen to advertise this way.
President & CEO
Twin City Tire & Auto Service
Gen Y column right on
I would like to tell you that Mary Miles did an excellent job with her ``Generation Y'' article in the March 3 issue. I am 26 years old, and I will say that she has got our generation figured out.
From the different experiences I've had growing up, to the motivations and wants of today, she nailed it.
Tire Center Manager, Commercial Tire Centers L.L.C. South Windsor, Conn.
GM's position not new
I am writing concerning your front-page story on General Motor Corp.'s statement regarding custom wheels in the March 3 issue.
The position GM ``announced'' in your article is hardly news. General Motors has never shouldered warranty or liability support for non-branded products sold by car dealers, and no one expects GM to do that now.
The only news here is that GM is now employing tactics to scare its dealers into selling only GM-branded wheels and accessories.
Vehicle dealerships have long enjoyed serving their customers and earning profits by offering a wide array of independently manufactured wheels and other accessories made by SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) members. The independent manufacturers of these products are often OEM suppliers, as well.
The real story here is that, for more than half a century, dealers have sold their customers our members' products based upon often-superior materials, styling and availability.
Dealers are extremely discerning buyers. The independent manufacturers who supply them are proud of the product quality, durability and reliability that continually earn this business. SEMA's members will continue to stand behind their products and provide dealers with profitable opportunities for personalizing their customers' vehicles.
Christopher J. Kersting
President & CEO
Specialty Equipment Market Association
Diamond Bar, Calif.
Tire registration online is flawed
CIMS is seriously concerned about the misinformation concerning tire registration compliance contained in the News in Brief section of the March 3 issue of Tire Business. The report indicates that a large international tire manufacturer intends to have tire purchasers use the Internet to register their tires.
In our opinion registering tires on the manufacturer's Web site does not comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's tire registration regulation (49 CFR 574). Nowhere in the regulation is it contemplated that the tire purchaser will be required to enter their tire registration information for the tire manufacturer/brand owner.
In the early 1970's, each tire manufacturer/brand owner had their own idea about how to register tires. The result was more than 100 different tire registration forms, which led to mass confusion and nearly made tire registration unworkable.
This is when NHTSA stepped in and established very detailed specifications for the design of the tire registration form (see 49 CFR 574.7). Now, 30 years later, we have an example of a tire manufacturer designing a Web-based tire registration system that depends on the tire purchaser entering the tire registration information and once again confusion will reign.
The NHTSA regulation states that tire manufacturers/brand owners must maintain a tire registration system to capture and retain a record of each tire purchaser. The purpose of this regulation is to facilitate direct, timely notification to the tire purchaser of a safety-related recall so that they can have the tires replaced as quickly as possible.
The regulation also sets forth the method by which tire dealers shall record on the NHTSA prescribed tire registration form the tire identification number (TIN) and the brand of the tires sold to the tire purchaser along with the dealer's name and address. The form must be presented to the tire purchaser so that they may record their name and address and forward the form to the tire manufacturer's/brand owner's tire registration center.
In our opinion, a Web-based approach that relies on the tire purchaser entering the tire registration information does not comply with NHTSA's tire registration regulation. This means that both the tire manufacturer and the tire dealer will be in non-compliance.
Rather than increasing tire registration as the manufacturer hopes, the Web-based approach actually will decrease tire registration levels and further confuse tire dealers who are trying to comply with existing regulations. An Internet approach will result in a reduced number of tires being registered because:
* Many tire purchasers do not have access to the Internet and/or are reluctant to put their personal information on the Web because they feel it is an invasion of their privacy. People are becoming more and more concerned about how their personal information will be used or misused.
* Tire purchasers are unfamiliar with the information required to register their tires, so the data that they do enter is likely to contain many errors and the tires will not be registered correctly. One incorrect digit in recording the TIN will invalidate the entire record and the tire purchaser will not receive a direct, timely notification in the event of a safety-related tire recall.
* Dealers will be confused and believe that it is no longer a requirement that they provide the approved NHTSA tire-registration form containing the information necessary to register the tires. Without this information, the tires will not be properly registered and the tire purchaser will not receive a direct, timely notification in the event of a safety-related tire recall.
If this tire manufacturer is truly concerned about registering more tires, it should provide a system that fully complies with all existing NHTSA tire-registration regulations.
In addition, it should encourage its dealers to provide the NHTSA-approved tire-registration forms to the tire purchaser at the time of the sale so that the tires will be properly registered and the tire purchaser will receive a direct, timely notification in the event of a safety-related tire recall.
Paul J. Kruder
Editor's note: CIMS provides a number of products and services to the tire industry, including tire registration services for tire manufacturers, dealers and brand owners.