Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America Inc., sees room for improving the nation’s tire industry, in everything from tire registration to rolling resistance standards.
Selleck was the keynote speaker during the Tire Industry Association’s (TIA’s) annual awards night before the opening of the Global Tire Expo at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.
In his introduction of Selleck, TIA’s Roy Littlefield noted TIA and Michelin “agree on 99 out of 100 issues.”
Littlefield also described Selleck as “warm.” The tire executive joked he hadn’t been called that before, and he’d make sure to remember the compliment when his bosses signaled it was time for his annual performance review.
Selleck is nearing the end of a two-year term as chairman of the board of the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), and the RMA and TIA remain at odds over the tire registration issue in particular. The RMA has advocated for mandatory tire registration, while TIA favors a process that educates the consumer and keeps the mandate off the backs of independent tire dealers.
The top Michelin man’s only comment addressing the issue was this: “Today’s registration system is simply not good enough.”
Selleck did not avoid contentious topics, including politics. He said the nation’s debt is a critical problem that will plague the country’s economy for years to come. He said the debt is a solvable problem, as long as there’s a comprehensive answer. Those who want a solution but don’t want it to affect their own tax rates are bound to be disappointed. “If everyone’s hacked off we’ll get a good plan.”
Selleck also said the U.S. lags behind other countries, including China, in regulating or at least discussing the regulation of rolling resistance and wet traction.
Additionally, Selleck offered these three keys to success for the tire industry:
- Relentless focus on customers and their evolving needs;
- Keeping customers safe on the road with safe products and professional services; and
- Meeting our responsibilities to our communities and to society at large.