Adapt and Conquer: Obamacare, Tire Labeling and Tire Registration

Bob Ulrich
Posted on January 26, 2016

There are three major issues you will have to deal with as tire dealers in 2016 and beyond. The first is Obamacare. The second is tire labeling. And the third is tire registration.

The good news? There are still plenty of details to be worked out in all three, which means there is hope that any unreasonable or unmanageable aspects of the laws will be fixed or disregarded. The time lag also will give you plenty of time to adapt. The bad news? Politics can get in the way of logic. Each law has its merits, but when it comes to small business, the government doesn’t always believe in compromise.

Nick Mitchell, senior vice president of research for Northcoast Research Holdings LLC, echoed that thought when asked to describe what President Barack Obama’s legacy would be.

“President Obama protects tire manufacturers and unions with tariffs, (and) burdens consumers and small businesses (i.e., tire dealers) with the cost.”

Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, is already up and running. Once a law is entrenched in society, it is hard to repeal. So don’t count on it being overturned.

Over time, Congress hopefully will improve Obamacare and eliminate the loopholes unfairly detrimental to you.   According to one dealer, the coverage for underachieving employees is more expensive than it is for hard-working employees.

Before tire labeling can go into effect, a national tire fuel efficiency consumer information program for replacement tires has to be established. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a “final” rule in 2010 specifying the test procedures needed to rate tire performance, there have been delays in its implementation. The comment period on how this information will be made available to consumers ends on March 30th of this year.

Mandatory tire registration at the point-of-sale became law when the president signed a five-year highway bill in December. However, a study to examine the feasibility of requiring tire manufacturers to include electronic identification information on every tire, and ensuring all manufacturers use a streamlined format for that information, needs to be completed first. In other words, there is no timetable for enforcement of the law.

As with many regulations in transition, the wait for the ball to drop can be frustrating. Just remember, history emphatically tells us you can adapt to anything.   ■

If you have any question or comments, please email me at

Want to read more of Bob Ulrich's editorials? See:

Pricing on Chinese tires: Tariffs are not having the same effect this time around

Getting the words out: Coming to terms with possible tire industry lingo

Safeguarding customer data is the real issue when it comes to tire registration

Related Topics: Bob Ulrich, Bob Ulrich editorial, Editorial, Obamacare, Tire labeling, tire registration

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
In addition to warning its employees on the dangers of texting and driving, Ramona Tire promotes that message to the public with its “Please make it home safe today” digital billboard on I-215 west of Hemet, Calif. (see sidebar).

How Is the ‘Health’ of Your Business Insurance Coverage?

Many of us make it a point to see our doctor for regular checkups. Doing so gives the physician the opportunity to assess the current condition of our health, and gives us a chance to ask questions about medical issues or concerns. A thorough exam can help to diagnose early symptoms and gives the doctor an opportunity to offer recommendations and advice for a healthier lifestyle.

Lynda Kester of Big Red Tire Pros and Quick Chadwick, director of marketing for Tire Pros, have some fun with the audience.

Photos: Go With the Pros, as in Tire Pros

Attendance at the 2018 Tire Pros Dealer Business Conference was a record -- 965 people, including spouses. Here's what went on during the event in San Antonio Feb. 8-11.  

Department of Labor audit outcomes in the automotive service industry.

Wage and Hour Regulations: You Probably are Not in Compliance

Owners and operators of tire dealerships and automotive service shops, no matter how large or small, are being targeted by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. This is the federal agency that enforces minimum wage, record keeping and overtime rules.

Two-time NASCAR champion Greg Biffle has joined Continental as a social media correspondent. His first assignment was driving an off-road course on the General Grabber A/TX. He got stuck in a mud pit.

Photos: A Look at 2 New General Tires

Continental Tire the Americas LLC invited Modern Tire Dealer to a launch event of two tires on opposite ends of the spectrum — the G-Max RS is an ultra-high performance summer tire, and the Grabber A/TX, an all-terrain tire.

Louis Gomez of Prescott (Ariz.) Tire Pros & Automotive Service, and his wife, Angela, received the Tire Pros Excellence in Engagement Award from Bob Bittner, left, and Quick Chadwick, right.

Tire Pros Develops a Playbook to Guide its Franchisees

Tire Pros Francorp. is "dealer-driven." That differentiates the franchise program from similar programs, says Ron Sinclair, senior vice president of retail strategy and partnerships for its parent company, American Tire Distributors Inc.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!