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Are Tire Associations Still Relevant?

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The struggle of the New Jersey State Tire Dealers Association to recruit members hit a nerve with readers, and it turns out the Garden State isn’t the only tire dealers group facing difficulties.

In September the New Jersey group’s president, Al Breese, mailed a notice to members announcing, “We are putting your association on hold!” Acquisitions and mergers of tire dealers in New Jersey have leveled a blow, but so has a new generation of tire dealers who so far have been reluctant to participate. As a result, leaders are opting to “put all of the organization’s future activity on hold for the time being, and regroup.”

Modern Tire Dealer readers had plenty to say about the issue.

“I’m 28 years old and I’m the second generation in my family to work in the tire industry. I think associations can be helpful, but they’ll need to actively look for young people to join their ranks,” one reader said, noting he had tried three times in the last year to join the Ohio Tire Dealers Association, but no one ever called or e-mailed him back. “There are young people looking to get more involved, but activating them in these associations is a two-way street.”

Current and past leaders of other state associations also weighed in.

A member of the Georgia Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association says the group has experienced the same recruiting problems, and relies on the steady support of its base. “The value that you get out of an association is exactly what you put into it. The relationships that you develop, the knowledge that you get from your peers, the people that help with legislation at the state level, these are things that you cannot put a price on.”

So, tell us, are you a member of your state or regional tire dealer association? Has it helped your business? Get involved in the conversation by posting a comment.

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