BOWIE, MD — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) will consolidate all of its offices in Bowie, Md., as of Feb. 1. TIA’s operations in Kentucky will be relocated and the building will be put up for sale. TIA said this decision comes after months of in-depth analysis into the cost-effectiveness of operating two offices in different states.
“Like any business, we are forced to take a serious look at our operating expenses, and the board felt that the economics of keeping the Louisville facility open didn’t add up,” said Larry Morgan, TIA president and chairman emeritus of Tires Plus in Clearwater, Fla. “This decision had nothing to do with the quality of work from the employees in that office. They’ve performed admirably throughout the merger and a change in the top staff position. But we had to look at things from a business perspective, and the costs of operating a facility that size could no longer be justified.”
Two members of the Louisville staff, Senior Vice President of Education and Technical Services Kevin Rohlwing and Director of Training Chris Marnett, will be moving to the Maryland office.
Instructor classes scheduled for the first half of 2004 will go on as scheduled in the Louisville training center. Fall classes for the Commercial Tire Service (CTS) Instructor Program will be rescheduled. As a result of the move, all future CTS and Automotive Tire Service (ATS) Instructor classes will be conducted regionally. A complete training schedule of dates and locations will be released this summer.
The soon-to-be-renamed World Tire Expo (WTE) will still be held in downtown Louisville in April of 2005. “We feel the Louisville retread and recycling convention is fulfilling a need for the tire industry,” said Dick Gust, TIA Vice President and Executive Vice President of Lakin General, in Chicago. “The decision to close the Louisville office will not have any impact on the 2005 show and we are proceeding with our plans to continue the tradition of a spring show for the commercial truck tire, retreading and recycling industries.”
With all of the operations consolidated in the Bowie, Md., office, TIA’s government relations staff will gain additional resources when working with agencies that can impact the tire industry. “Having immediate access to our top technical and training people can definitely help us on Capitol Hill,” said Dr. Roy Littlefield III, TIA executive vice president. “Our government relations philosophy has always been about plugging in the expertise of our staff and board of directors. By bringing our technical and training operations to Maryland, we’ll be in a much better position to represent the interests of our members.”
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