Great expectations

Dec. 17, 2010

Expectations were high going into last month’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.  Both SEMA and the Tire Industry Association (TIA), which hosted the first-ever Global Tire Expo — Powered by TIA as part of the 2010 SEMA Show, promised to deliver an event that more effectively met the needs of tire industry exhibitors and attendees.

It appears that the associations succeeded, certainly in terms of attendance.

According to preliminary statistics that were released near the end of the 2010 SEMA Show, the number of buyers at this year’s event increased 3% to 5% over previous-year figures. And the number of international buyers increased by 22%. (Final attendance numbers are scheduled to be released sometime this month.)

The 2010 SEMA Show appeared to retain the strong business-to-business flavor that characterized last year’s event. Numerous tire manufacturer executives and sales representatives told Modern Tire Dealer that they enjoyed high-quality, productive conversations with serious buyers.

A number of tire manufacturers and marketers — including Balkrishna Industries Ltd., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Falken Tire Corp., Greenball Corp., Hankook Tire America Corp., Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., Nexen Tire America Inc. and others — used the show as a vehicle to launch and/or display new products. Some companies even previewed yet-to-be-produced concept tires at their booths.

Meanwhile, tire and garage equipment manufacturers and marketers like Hennessy Industries, Myers Tire Supply, Hunter Engineering Inc., Corghi USA and others drew large numbers of people to their booths for live equipment demonstrations.

At the same time, off the show floor, TIA sponsored and staged several seminars that focused on real-world business subjects like boosting tire dealership profitability and employee management. And it inducted six honorees into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.

In addition, many tire company executives spoke freely about environmentally friendly tires and other emerging technologies, as well as distribution strategies and other hot topics.    ■