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NTEA History

The NTEA, founded in 1964, is proud to embark on 50-years of service to its membership and the work truck industry. The Association was formed  principally as a sales and marketing organization for a small group of truck equipment distributors. The Truck Equipment and Body Distributors Association (or D/A as the NTEA was first named) served its original members from Cincinnati, Ohio. A series of management seminars was the new Association's first scheduled activity. In 1967, a full-time executive was hired, and in 1971 a headquarters office was established.

With a steady growth in membership (up to 806 firms in 1976), the D/A began to look for a more effective site for its permanent headquarters. In 1978, the Association selected a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, the heart of the nation's automotive industry. An engineer was added to the staff, and plans were put in motion for a new name that would better reflect the organization's changing role within the industry. At its annual convention in Las Vegas in 1979, the Truck Equipment and Body Distributors Association officially became the National Truck Equipment Association. At the March 2014 annual meeting, the Association announced the opening of its first location in Canada - a Government Relations office in Ottawa - to serve an important role in addressing the increasing challenges presented by international marketplace dynamics.

From its humble beginnings where less than 50 distributors met for those first sales and marketing conferences, the NTEA has grown to become the exclusive representative of the commercial truck body and equipment industry. More than 1,600 distributorships, manufacturing firms, suppliers and various industry-associated companies are members of the NTEA.

The NTEA's suburban Detroit location allows management and staff engineers to work directly with the major truck chassis manufacturers on product and specification changes. This close relationship strengthens the NTEA's function as an information center and liaison between the chassis manufacturers, body and equipment manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, related industry firms, and end-users.

View a slideshow of photos graciously contributed by NTEA members. These historical images of their businesses through the years – showcasing the work truck industry’s evolution from the 1960s to modern times.