About 80 tire dealers at the Specialty Equipment Market Association/International Tire Expo show in Las Vegas expressed interest in participating in next year's National Tire Safety Week, a Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) official said.
This year, about 4,000 tire outlets carried brochures for the consumer education campaign, which will be held next year from April 25 to May 1.
But the RMA hopes to sign on about 5,000 outlets for 2004, said Dan Zielinski, the RMA's vice president of communications. Among companies expressing interest was Costco Wholesale Corp., which operates more than 350 membership warehouse club stores, he said. Dealerships including Discount Tire Co., Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc. and Big O Tires Inc. also are major participants.
Mr. Zielinski said the association also is working with state agencies and local AAA clubs to strengthen the program. The RMA wants to enlist dealers to do more expansive programs, such as inspection lanes or other community events.
``If this is really going to take hold, the level of activity has to exceed what (RMA) can do,'' he told Tire Business.
The RMA will continue recruiting partners until about February, when the focus will shift to supplying the outlets with the proper materials. The RMA also may work with the Tire Industry Association around that time for a recruitment push, Mr. Zielinski said.