Like the automotive aftermarket, ETI grew out of the American experiences in World War II which developed the need for the use of automotive equipment to rapidly and efficiently move supplies, troops, and weapons. During the second Year of the war, the War Production Board created an advisory council consisting of approximately 20 equipment and tool manufacturers to seek advice from. These 20 manufacturers became aware that a great deal could be gained by working cooperatively on industry problems. It soon became obvious that continuing cooperation between equiment and tool manufacturers and the manufacturers of vehicles was very beneficial.
After the war, 62 equipment manufacturers banned together and sent their catalogues to a central location. These catalogues were compiled into a publication known as the Automotive, Aviation, Agricultural and Marine Manual. The acceptance of this document was so gratifying that a second edition was prepared and distributed the next year.
In the spring of 1947, a meeting was called in Atlantic City by a group of about 50 equipment and tool manufacturers to discuss ways and means to form a group that would continually promote the interests of equipment and tool manufacturers. This meeting laid the groundwork for the organization which ultimately became the Equipment and Tool Institute.
When the Institute was formed there was a great need for equipment. There was also a need for training people entering the industry as well as new jobbers. Those needs were met by shows and the Equipment and Tool Institute became the industry's leading organization in the analysis of trade show problems. As a result of those efforts, the Institute adopted a policy that has guided the industry ever since. It is the position of the members of the Institute that onIy shows which serve a usefuI purpose for the entire industry and those properly promoted with the right persons in attendance are desirable.
ETI met its next major challenge in 1958. The equipment business was ebbing. The members of the Institute decided to call attention to the users of equipment, the imporvements in design and performance that had taken place. The Institute then launched its Re-equip, Equip And Profit program (REAP). It was admittedly the finest program ever launched by a trade association. An outside advertising agency was engaged to augment the program.
In 1961, the program was launched with complete support of all segments of the aftermarket. More than 100,000 promotional booklets were distributed to interested persons in the trade. At the height of the program, more than $100,000 worth of advertising was placed by members for the benefit of the entire equipment and tool industry. This program was also the motivator for the Shop Profit Planning Guide, originally published in 1973 with a second printing in 1975. This publication was phased out with the introduction of the new expanded Equipment Investment Planning Guide.
The Objectives of the Equipment and Tool Institute
In 1997, the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI) reached a goal few other trade associations achieve--50 years of industry service! As ETI celebrated this milestone, it prepared itself to meet the challenges of the next 50 years.
The Institute is an association of automotive tool and equipment manufacturers and technical information providers. Working together closely and sharing information, they are committed to five key goals:
Over the past half century, ETI has become the forum to resolve common problems concerning equipment and tools for the entire automotive industry. Through its programs and services, the institute has made possible the sharing of information, the planning of better sales meetings, the promulgation of better sales training, the organizing of better shows, and meeting the changing needs of the automotive service market.