Tire Industry Experts Discuss Alleged Breach of Exclusive Distribution Agreement


Commercial Expert WitnessThis case involve a dispute between a domestic tire distributor in Minnesota and its Canadian competitor. The two parties had an exclusive distributorship agreement whereby the domestic company distributed a particular brand of tire for the Canadian company. It was alleged that the Canadian company breached the exclusive distributorship. As a result, both companies have filed a lawsuit and countersuit against one another.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience in the tire distribution industry.
  • 2. How prevalent are exclusive distributorship agreements in this market?
  • 3. What restrictions do these agreements typically feature?

Expert Witness Response E-083053

I have over 40 years of experience in the automotive industry, including 11 years in senior executive roles with a major tire manufacturer. From 2003 until 2012, I was the SVP of Purchasing for that company. I am very familiar with exclusive distributorship agreements and the problems they cause when businesses don’t abide by them. I have dealt with these disputes in my prior roles – I can recall situations where we would enter an agreement with a distributor who then sold the rights to another distributor, for example. I am knowledgeable of the reasons why a firm would enter an exclusive agreement and the possible pitfalls that come from such relationships. I am also absolutely familiar with the economics, including payment terms, discounts, volume rebates, and signing bonuses. There are also accounting rules that have to be followed when tracking these deals.

Expert Witness Response E-083695

I am now consulting after a 30+ year career in the tire industry, which included several positions with a major american tire manufacturer. I have a strong background in both product development and account management. Since 2010, I have been focusing almost exclusively on supply chain areas including exclusive distributorship agreements. I have previously served as an expert witness; I was accepted as a subject matter expert in Federal District Court in Alexandria, VA. I’ve been deposed and have testified.

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