The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) says it is initiating a program designed to improve the working relationships between manufacturers and distributors in the commercial truck and transportation equipment industry. The program was developed to address the challenges posed by increasing competitive pressures, a sluggish economy, and ever-increasing customer demands. “If manufacturers and distributors are to succeed and realize the untapped opportunities in the long-term, their working relationships must evolve to the point where they allow both parties to better respond to the ever-changing needs of the marketplace in a profitable manner,” said NTEA President Vic Tedesco, president of Zoresco Truck Equipment — Pittsburgh (Turtle Creek, PA). “To address these issues, the NTEA has developed a process to yield solutions that lead to improved sales performance, increased profitability, and more satisfied customers.” The Association says the initiative will begin with a series of regional meetings focused on understanding common problems and developing solutions. Each meeting is designed to answer how the industry has changed and what forces drive the change; how the changes affect the needs of customers; and what opportunities exist to improve customer satisfaction, working relationships, and the profitability of manufacturers and distributors. To gather data and develop solutions, a series of four regional meetings is planned through the remainder of the year. The first regional Distributor–Manufacturer Relations Meeting will be held Friday, May 30, at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. The meeting, open to NTEA members, runs from 9:00am–3:30pm and is free of charge. For more information, call 1-800-441-NTEA (6832) or e-mail “This is a ground-breaking effort,” said Jim Carney, NTEA’s executive director. “A lot of associations are experiencing the same issues and concerns with their distributor and manufacturer members, but few are effectively addressing the problems with a concerted and organized effort.” It is the NTEA’s intention to identify and address issues, finding workable solutions when possible. “If nothing else,” said Tedesco, “the NTEA will have a much better understanding of the circumstances that are causing rifts between distributors and manufacturers. That information alone will be worth our efforts.” The NTEA was established in 1964 and currently represents nearly 1,600 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories. Buyers of work trucks and the major commercial truck chassis manufacturers also belong to the Association. The NTEA says it provides in-depth technical information, education and money-saving opportunities through its member programs, publications, services and sponsorship of The Work Truck Show® — the only event dedicated exclusively to the Class 1 through 8 commercial truck and transportation equipment market. The Association maintains its administrative headquarters in suburban Detroit and a government relations office in Washington, DC. Its Web site,, provides an interactive listing of members and their products/services as well as important industry news and resources. For more information about the NTEA, call 1-800-441-NTEA (6832) or (248) 489-7090.