Why One Tire Dealers Group Put on the Brakes
The decision by the New Jersey State Tire Dealers Association to stop spinning its wheels came down to three simple things: revenue, membership, and a lack of either.
New Jersey’s leading tire dealers group won’t be burning rubber anytime soon.
Citing funding issues and a lack of paid members, the New Jersey State Tire Dealers Association (NJSTDA) has announced it will hold off on future work. The organization’s website has already shut down.
“Unfortunately, without the paid membership and support of our participants, the value of the organization comes into question,” NJSTDA President Al Breese said in a letter to members that was acquired by Tire Business.
Breese added that the decision to stop current activities is intended to give the organization “time to regroup.”
A Search for Meaning
NJSTDA has a 40-year-plus history behind it, but in recent years it has endured some ups and downs.
For example, a 2012 Tire Business interview with Breese pondered this question: “In Digital Age, Are State Associations Necessary?“
In the piece, in which Breese admits the number of NJSTDA members had dropped from around 90 three years earlier to its then 75, he pushed the value of joining state associations, emphasizing the events and business connections dealers benefit from.
“My advice, because of being in it for a long time, is simply … if you join an association, you’ll absolutely receive benefits from that association,” Breese said.
The organization has periodically put out a call for new members, but its failure to attract enough of them has led some industry watchers to wonder whether those in the tire industry have to be more proactive, rather than waiting for the association to speak up.
“Perhaps in the future the NJSTDA will restart, but that will be based on new members stepping up,” Tire Review editor Jim Smith wrote in a blog post. “And, perhaps, that will require the association reformulating itself, examine what it brings to the table and what that really means to prospective dealer members.”
Breese, in his letter announcing the association’s hiatus, agreed that the group needs young, new faces in leadership roles to push the organization to evolve.
Smith agreed that the engine needs a little tinkering: “… I still believe that with the right recipe, any association can become truly a ‘must-join, must-contribute’ venture.”