SEMA Show, Aftermath: Now, for a commercial break

Nov. 7, 2007

The International Tire & Rubber Association is back! Well, not exactly. But Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week seemed a little less automotive and a little more commercial this year, with plenty of truck and OTR tires taking up valuable space on the Tire Industry Association's Performance Tires & Wheels trade show floor.

Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. had a huge truck in its booth showcasing its truck tires to visiting tire dealers. So did China Manufacturers Alliance LLC (CMA), which markets Double Coin truck tires. Double Coin is original equipment on International Truck and IC Corp.-built trucks and buses.

CMA also chose the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show to announce the availability of Double Coin OTR tires in the United States. Vice President Aaron Murphy says the goal is to produce up through 57-inch tires.

Large off-the-road tire brands were mainstays in the Titan Tire Corp. (Goodyear farm) and American Tire Corp. (Colorado, Torch) booths. Summer Wu, business representative for Techking Tires Ltd., was dwarfed by the large OTR tires in her booth.

Need more confirmation that the SEMA Show is also a budding commercial expo? The Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau, or TRIB, was on the floor following its board of directors meeting.

TRIB only attends commercial events. This year alone a TRIB booth graced the TIA Commercial Tire, Retread & Recycling Conference in Tampa, Fla.; the TIA OTR Conference in San Diego; the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. (the stomping grounds of the old American Retreaders Association); the Salon Camlogique Truck Show in Montreal; the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas; and Truck Show Latino in Pomona, Calif.

If it has commercial relevance, with emphasis on retreading, of course, TRIB is there.

In some booths, truck tires were not the primary focus but still had a presence. Tireco Inc. flashed plenty of custom wheel bling along with its high performance tires – and radial truck tires. Almost lost in Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s "Generation Y" booth was a Roadmaster truck tire. Still, it was there, showing the world that Cooper also sells truck tires.

And that's the point. The world is at the SEMA Show. So are all makes, shapes and sizes of tires. And if you are a commercial tire dealer, you should try to be there, too. In 2008, the show will be held in Las Vegas Nov. 4-7. -- Bob Ulrich, editor, Modern Tire Dealer