SEMA News—February 2012EVENTS
By Mike Imlay
Spotlighting the Tire Industry
The Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA Comes of Age
Designed as a free-standing tire industry event, the GTE is set apart from the rest of the SEMA Show with its own branding, entrance units and color scheme. It is open to all sectors of the tire industry—automotive to commercial, retreading to recycling. For 2011, there were more than 190 booths displaying the latest tire technology, giving tire-manufacturing exhibitors a high degree of prominence.
The GTE is also proving a growth incentive for the tire industry. At their annual general membership meeting held in conjunction with the event, TIA officials reported that association membership had climbed by 620 new members over the past year. They also noted the GTE’s increasing popularity among SEMA Showgoers: For 2011, more than 51,400 SEMA Show registrants had indicated interest in the tire segment and related products upon their sign-up, making tires one of the top three product draws for SEMA Show attendees.
Meanwhile, SEMA Show officials reported that new tires and related product entries also increased in the 2011 Show’s Ideas Alive: New Products Showcase, and overall attendance at both the SEMA Show and the GTE set record numbers this past November. GTE exhibitor numbers alone were up by nearly 20%.
Hailing the huge success of the co-located Shows and especially the GTE’s positive effects on his industry, TIA President Larry Brandt said: “The record attendance in Las Vegas demonstrates that the networking opportunities and educational seminars that TIA stages provide true value to independent tire dealers.”
Indeed, the GTE—Powered by TIA was more than an industry showcase. TIA membership also used the event to tackle some serious business, introducing new association officers and passing three important resolutions at the general meeting: one in support of the U.S. government maintaining the longstanding use of “last in, first out” as the accepted means for inventory accounting; a second calling on Congress to tackle lawsuit abuse; and a third supporting H.R. 2082, the Returning Heroes Tax Credit. There were also a number of TIA special events associated with the GTE, including an exclusive Tire Industry Honors reception along with TirePAC political action committee fundraising activities at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel on Monday, October 31.
As Brandt noted, TIA has also long dedicated itself to world-class member education, and the 2011 GTE underscored this commitment by adding more seminar content, including a new Green @ Noon track of environmental sessions. The conferences featured best practices for the proper handling and recycling of all types of materials as well as expert panel discussions on embracing the green movement within the tire industry.
“We’re pleased with the collaborative efforts that continue to make the Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA a boon to the tire industry as well as SEMA Show attendees,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “By introducing performance industry buyers to tire industry exhibitors, we’ve created a unique business synergy that is benefitting both industry sectors.”