Ford, J.D. Power, NTSB, Bridgestone and more to present at Smithers Rapra’s Traction 2015

Traction 2015: Driving the Tire Industry Forward will take place this year in Nashville, TN May 19th - 21st. The event brings together tire industry leaders to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing future of the industry.

Nashville, TN host city for Traction 2015If you were at ITEC last year, you heard from Smithers CEO and President Michael Hochschwender on the value of collaboration and its’ role in innovation. “Innovation is not about the equipment that you have. It’s not about the facilities that you own. It’s about the spirit of the people and how they find a way to get it done and how they find a way to innovate regardless of the obstacles.”

Innovate regardless of the obstacles. That is the spirit that we will bring to Traction: Driving the Tire Industry Forward – May 19-21, 2015 in Nashville, TN. We have heard time and again from our clients and customers that what this industry needs is a forum to explore how to balance innovation, regulatory requirements and cost concerns with consumer perception and actions alongside others from across the supply chain.

Traction 2015 will bring together all of the major players in the industry -  tire leaders from the world’s most influential companies - to share both their decision making process and their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities they’re facing now and – most importantly – to break down the silos and build more collaborative relationships across the industry.  Experts already confirmed for Traction 2015 include Haig Stoddard, Penton | WardsAuto;  John Reese, Cabot Corporation; Rafael Marshall, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); Dr. John Baldwin, Discount Tire; Hans Dorfi, Bridgestone; George Gillespie, Gillespie Automotive Safety Services; Frank Rudolph, American Pacific Industries; Dr. Timothy B. Rhyne, Michelin Americas and more. 

"Each segment of the industry has different needs for tire performance, cost and how the formulas align to create a profitable business model.  Because of this, players in the tire industry are left with their heads spinning, trying to balance the pushes and pulls of often conflicting voices," said Conference Chair Jim Popio, Vice President and General Manager, Smithers Rapra. "Traction 2015 will provide a forum for the entire industry to come together in one room to hash out face-to-face some of our most pressing issues.  Business leaders will leave Nashville with the resources and relationships needed to shape a clear path forward."

Adds conference director Andrew T. Smaha, “The direct access to industry leadership, our invite-only speakers and the high caliber of your fellow attendees ensures that Traction 2015 will far exceed the typical tire trade show experience.  This event will bring the right people into the room for open and honest discussions with others looking to rise above the status quo.  You won’t want to miss it!

Visit for the complete listing of speakers and programming.  We hope that you’ll join the Smithers Rapra team May 19-21 in Nashville!