If you think about it, there's really no reason why consumers shouldn't feel good about purchasing tires. They are wonderfully engineered products that perform flawlessly year-in and year-out in all weather conditions. And, when you come right down to it, they cost pennies when looked at in terms of miles driven.
Yet tires, to borrow the phrase comedian Rodney Dangerfield made famous, ``get no respect.'' People don't take care of them, hate to buy them and view them as all alike. As a result, they often look to buy whatever's cheapest.
It's been that way for years. But it doesn't have to be.
Tires, in my opinion, are one of the most important products ever invented. Our modern way of life literally revolves on and around them. We depend on them. Without air-filled rubber tires, we couldn't travel by car or bus, ride bicycles, fly on airplanes or transport goods as easily or as safely. That's something to think about.
This special bonus issue of Tire Business aims to set the record straight about these remarkable products as well as help readers better understand some of the dynamics that have created the passiveness many people have for tires. And to show how important we really think this subject is, we're distributing copies to members of Congress.
Yes, tires have had problems over the years-sometimes because of manufacturing defects, but more often than not, because of the lack of attention paid to them by consumers. Even so, the 800 million tires on the road today continue to perform as intended, carrying passengers and cargo safely to their destinations.
Tire dealers are right to be proud of their role in selling and servicing these vital products. Their customers would do well to appreciate and value what their tires bring to them.
* This issue would not have been possible without the hard work of our editorial and production staffs, which attacked the project with determination and zeal, on top of their regular duties. And I'd be remiss in not mentioning Chuck Slaybaugh, former executive editor of Tire Business, who came out of retirement to lead the editorial effort. He worked tirelessly on the project, writing many of the stories and editing all the copy. We're pleased to have had him as part of our team again.
- Dave Zielasko, editor