PANAMA City, Panama—The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is looking to take its tire service training programs to Latin America and to expand its training offerings in 2015.
“My vision and plan is to come down to Mexico, Central and South America to introduce TIA tire service training,” said Matt White, TIA's director of training, in an interview with Tire Business during the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo in Panama City, where he was the keynote speaker.
Ideally, he said he hopes the association one day will open a training center in Panama.
Already TIA offers two tire training programs in Spanish—for earthmover tires and commercial tires, the two biggest tire markets in these regions, he said.
The association also has plans to translate into Spanish its Automotive Training Service (ATS) for passenger and light truck tires.
Currently TIA provides training programs in servicing automotive, commercial, earthmover and farm tires. The commercial and earthmover training programs are available in both English and Spanish.
In addition, it plans to introduce a basic training program for industrial tires in the second quarter of 2015 and launch a certified earthmover program sometime in the coming year.
All of the training programs are updated and redone every five years, Mr. White said.
Offering training in Latin America won't be entirely new to Mr. White. He has trained tire service personnel in Colombia, Jamaica and Barbados. TIA training programs are also being used by other companies in the region, including Canada's Kal Tire, which has operations in Central and South America, he said.
Mr. White also has trained in Mongolia, using TIA's earthmover program.
Initially, Mr. White said he would conduct the training in Latin America himself.
In his speech at the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo, Mr. White explained the importance of tire technician training and explored the opportunities TIA's training presents for tire dealers, employees and manufacturers. This training, he noted, has been successful throughout the world.
He asked those in the audience for help in making this happen. “The goal is to bring the training here,” he said, explaining that “once you see how it's done you'll see the value.”
Hands on training is “the best” way, he added, teaching “how to use your equipment.”
Staying on top of TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) is another area of importance for Central and South America, Mr. White said. “As TPMS comes to Latin America we must make sure they know how it works.”