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ITE: TIA, ACCC form strategic partnership

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As of today, all 1,100 locations in the American Car Care Centers (ACCC) distribution network are members of the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

In announcing the partnership at the International Tire Expo (ITE), ACCC President and COO Len Lewin said ACCC was focused on the same thing as TIA -- independent tire dealers. In particular, TIA's Basic ATS (Automotive Tire Service) educational program will address the training needs of its members.

"We looked at numerous options and considered developing a training program of our own," said Lewin. "We came to the conclusion that TIA offered the best overall solution."

Lewin added that some 230 ACCC locations have committed to the ATS program.

As part of the deal, ACCC locations will automatically receive the complete TIA membership benefit package, which includes group discounts on training programs and reference materials.

Bob Malerba, chairman of TIA's training and education committee and president of Malerba's Tyre Man in Meridan, Conn., spearheaded the partnership.

"Bob has been tireless in his promotion of TIA and its new Basic Automotive Tire Service program," said TIA President Larry Morgan. "It doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that his investment in time and energy has paid off with the TIA/ACCC partnership.

"Their three-year commitment to collective TIA membership and active participation in our ATS program says a lot about their organization. It's definitely the start of a long-term relationship between two first-class groups of people."

The partnership increases TIA's membership by 25% to more than 4,700 members.

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