By Oliver Hall
The economic downturn has led to up to a dozen prominent tyres manufacturers have opted out of a key motor industry show scheduled for later this year.
Big name tyres makers from around the world who usually exhibited at the Speciality Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Shows are not turning up for the 2009 event.
Most cited the down economy as their reason.
Among those 2008 exhibitors not on the list for 2009 are: Continental Tyre North America, Goodyear/Dunlop, East Bay Tyre Co, Federal Corp, GITI Tyre USA, Tyre Kingdom International, Titan International Inc, Toyo Tyre USA and Yokohama Tyre Corp.
They join Kumho Tyre USA Inc. and Michelin North America Inc. — which opted out last year — and Bridgestone Americas which hasn’t exhibited in several years, as leading tyre maker/marketers not present at the show this year.
The exodus leaves Cooper, Falken, Hankook, American Maxxis International, Nexen and Pirelli North America as the largest tyre makers exhibiting this year, based on booth size.
Cooper has two booths covering 2,500 square feet each — one for Cooper-brand products and one for its Mickey Thompson business unit — while Hankook and Pirelli have 4,500-sq.-ft. booths, Falken has reserved 3,000 square feet and Maxxis and Nexen will occupy 2,500-sq.-ft. booths.
In all, SEMA lists 78 companies offering tyres and/or tubes, down from about 90 last year.