The Tire Industry Association is the new name of the merged International Tire & Rubber Association and the Tire Association of North America.
The name was chosen by incoming TIA board members because of its inclusive nature and simplicity, according to former TANA President Steven Disney. It took effect with the merger July 1. The group represents the tire retailing business and retreaders.
``Tire Industry Association represents all geographies by specifying none,'' Disney said. ``Past names of our respective organizations have mentioned specific geographies and included the geographic terms `international,' `national' and `North America.' By not identifying any specific region, we are inclusive of all,'' he said.
Former ITRA President Tom Raben, who noted TANA and ITRA together changed their names five times in the past six or seven years, said the groups wanted to brand the TIA name in the hope of representing all segments of the tire industry.
The groups chose a name that is easy to remember, Disney said, because ``people need to know who we are and what we're all about.'' Ross Kogel, previously TANA executive vice president, said TIA will focus on reaching out to consumers.
Disney will serve as TIA president until the Specialty Equipment Market Association/International Tire Expo show in November in Las Vegas. At that time, Raben will take over.
The combined association-with a membership of approximately 4,800-will continue to have offices in Reston, Va., and Louisville, Ky. TIA has been incorporated in Louisville, where ITRA was based, because of Kentucky laws that require a merged organization to be incorporated in that state, Raben said.
Since the two groups announced their merger plans at the 2001 SEMA/ITE show, both have undergone major changes in finances and personnel. Twenty-four ITRA/TANA staff members and consultants entered the merger period, and that number now is 17, according to Kogel. The estimated legal and financial costs of the union are $70,000 in the period ending June 30 and $130,000 overall, he said.
Dues for TIA will range from $100 to $3,000 depending on the size of the member business, Kogel said. For members experiencing a dues increase, TIA will allow them during the first year to pay only half of the difference between the old dues rate and the new one.
As another cost of the merger, the new association will return more than $725,000 to the members in the first year to ensure they don't drop out, he said.
TIA is losing 300 dues-paying members-companies and individuals that won't renew one of the two memberships they held in both organizations. Based on an average annual dues cost of $333 per member, Kogel estimated the loss in revenue could hit nearly $100,000.
Kogel said TANA members voted 821-17 to approve the merger, and the numbers are identical to the dues renewal rate.
Raben said the retread portion of the industry will be well-represented by TIA, as shown by the recent formation of a retread council.
``We see (retreading) membership and the interests of that membership not being diminished in any way by this merger,'' he said.
TIA's board of directors met for the first time June 20 in Pinehurst, N.C.
David Zielasko of Crain News Service contributed to this report.