LAS VEGASThe Tire Industry Association (TIA) membership passed resolutions at TIA's annual meeting in Las Vegas supporting a long-term solution to funding the nation's highway infrastructure and supporting a movement to seek passage of periodic vehicle safety inspection programs in both individual states and on the national level.
Addressing the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which provided for the expansion of the highway system and authorized federal funding, TIA resolved to support a long-term highway bill and to lobby Congress to ensure that funding be fair and reasonable to the industry and small business relations.
Without Congressional action, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money in May 2015, TIA said in support of the resolution.
The association also resolved to support a movement with other associations representing the aftermarket to seek passage of periodic vehicle safety inspection programs.
Industry studies conclude that periodic motor vehicle inspection programs would reduce fatalities and accidents by an average of 16 percent, TIA said. Furthermore, safety studies indicate that more than 25 percent of cars operate in an unsafe manner.
With their passage, the resolutions will now dictate association policy, said Glen Nicholson, TIA vice president and senior director of retail training for TBC Corp. TIA will mail a copy of the resolutions to state and federal legislators and publish them in the association's Today's Tire Industry magazine, he added.
Tom Formanek, TIA treasurer, reported that the association ended the 2013 fiscal year in the black and that it is ahead of budget in 2014.
Asked for specifics about the association's finances, Roy Littlefield, TIA executive director, said it is on solid financial footing having dug itself out of a deficit of $1 million 10 years ago. TIA, he said, ended 2013 with a healthy surplus and no longer has to rely on reserves to fund operations.
You've got to have money for a rainy day, Mr Littlefield said about the importance of the surplus, adding that having a strong cash position also allows the association to continue to develop new training programs, which can cost upwards of $150,000 to $250,000 each.
Mr. Littlefield said TIA's membership continues to swell and is on track to add another 1,000 members in 2014, after welcoming a similar number a year ago. This has brought the Bowie, Md.-based association's membership roll to more than 7,000.
In addition, TIA now has 1,900 locations using its Online University, he said.
At the meeting Freda Pratt-Boyer, senior auditor for Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. in Potosi, Mo., assumed the association's presidency, succeeding Ken Brown, owner-president of Alan Brown Tire Center, in Newport, Ore., for the one-year term position as TIA's top elected official.