More on Canada's gray market tire problem

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Two weeks ago, reported that the strength of the Canadian dollar is adding up to a gray market tire problem in Canada. Eric Gilbert, president of the Tire Dealers Association of Canada, tells Canada is not only seeing an increase in gray market commercial tires -- there are more gray market consumer tires, too.

"I think there has always been a gray market for commercial tires because you're talking many hundreds of dollars for commercial products," says Gilbert, who operates his own dealership, Ericway Tire Inc., based in Beamsville, Ontario.

"But when the Canadian dollar got into the 90-cent range (earlier in 2007), it started to affect standard broad-line tires. Some of these (gray market) tires are falling into the hands of non-authorized dealers and non-trained people."

Gilbert also has told that Canadian vehicle owners have been crossing the border to buy tires and have auto repair work done, which has hurt Canadian dealers.

"I'm not just talking about dealers located 10 minutes from the border; I'm talking about dealers who are well away from the border."

The Canadian dollar reached $1.002 U.S. today.

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