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Tire technician Tyler Helmig balances a tire at Jost Tire Co. The small-town Missouri dealership
March 31, 2015

An economy for light truck tires  

The economy is giving the green light to light truck tire sales. Pickup trucks are the most popular new vehicles sold in the U.S., and a majority of the fastest-selling used vehicles are trucks and SUVs. Lower gas prices are helping Americans fall back in love with bigger, less fuel efficient rides.

Tags: Jost Tire Co., Light truck tires, LT tires, Montalbano Tire & Auto Service, Pilger's Tire & Auto Center

Already sold in Russia and Japan, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 winter tire is coming to SUVs, CUVs
March 31, 2015

50 sizes of Blizzak  

Bridgestone Americas Inc. is manufacturing a winter tire for your procrastinating customer. The customer who doesn’t think to replace worn windshield wipers until a monsoon hits likely waits to see snowflakes fly before purchasing winter tires. The new Blizzak DM-V2 tire is for them.

Tags: Bridgestone Americas Inc., Bridgestone Blizzak, Winter tires

A lack of trust can prevent customers from purchasing at your store. Asking questions will show
March 31, 2015

How to motivate your customers  

I have spoken with thousands of today’s consumers and mystery shopped hundreds of tire dealers, restaurants, hotels and other service businesses. I have come to realize there are many things that motivate why people buy and why they do not buy from retail tire businesses.

Tags: Customer relations, Customer satisfaction, Customer service, Mike Townsend, Retail sales, sales and marketing

Vredestein Arctrac (Value category)
March 23, 2015

Get ready for (next) winter!  Cover Story

If only Punxsutawney Phil could predict how many winter tires you need to order for the 2015-2016 winter season. The famous Pennsylvania groundhog saw his shadow on Feb. 2, foreshadowing six more weeks of winter, according to the legend. And, just like last year, he was spot on.

Tags: Apollo Vredestein, Bob Ulrich, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Continental Tire the Americas LLC, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Falken Tire Corp., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Hankook Tire America Corp., Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., Nokian Tyres plc, Pirelli Tire North America, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., Uniroyal, Winter tires, Yokohama Tire Corp.

A different perspective on the sales counter
February 13, 2015

A different perspective on the sales counter  

Last month we identified the sales counter as a very important piece of real estate in your store — important because so many critical activities happen at the sales counter, and every customer who visits a store visits the sales counter.

Tags: Counter intelligence, Sales counter, Sales training, Wayne Williams

Cecil and Sons Discount Tires considers its sponsorship of community events, including a car in the
February 13, 2015

Social media: Tire dealers doubt it’s a cure-all  

Social media is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and independent tire dealers admit they’re not expecting it to result in mega sales.

Tags: Cecil and Sons Discount Tires, Joy Kopcha, Rice Tire Co., Social media


Rushing while mounting and balancing ultra-high performance tires is asking for trouble, tire
February 12, 2015

Mounting and balancing UHP tires  

It’s quiet these days inside County Tire Center Inc. in Middlebury, Vt. The semiannual winter tire switch is over. But on those busy fall and spring days when this 10-bay shop is changing tires on 60 to 80 cars a day, owner Steve Dupoise and his nine full-time technicians are working to make every minute count. Technology advancements on both cars and tires don’t always make that easy.

Tags: County Tire Center, Joel's Tire, Ross Tire and Service, Tire balancing, Tire mounting, Tire mounting equipment

The Columbus Museum of Art’s “Think Outside the Brick” exhibit features the E.T.
February 5, 2015

E.T. Paul Co. closes after 119 years  

After 119 years in business, the second-oldest independent tire dealer in America closed its doors on the last day of 2014.

Tags: Dealership closings, E.T. Paul Co.

There were 580 new exhibitors at AAPEX 2014.
February 3, 2015

AAPEX 2014: The center of the automotive universe  

For three days last November, 2,364 exhibitors and 5,343 booths transformed Las Vegas’ Sands Expo Center into an international try-and-buy venue for automotive aftermarket products. But the 2014 AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo) did more than bring buyers and sellers together.

Tags: AAPEX 2014, Advance Auto Parts Inc., Autel Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd., Coast Products, ContiTech AG, DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc., Fram Group IP LLC, Gabriel (Ride Control LLC), Innovative Products of America, Launch Tech, Mahle Service Solutions, Mitchell 1, Pennzoil, Robert Bosch LLC, Schaeffler Group, Trade show

Bob Lane, vice president of operations and general manager at Direct Tire, films a customer video.
February 3, 2015

Direct Tire & Auto Service sees real results with video  

After 40 years in business, Barry Steinberg found a way to increase efficiency at his Direct Tire & Auto Service location in Watertown, Mass., by 15% to 20%. His secret: video.

Tags: Auto service video, Barry Steinberg, Direct Tire & Auto Service, Quik Video LLC

It all starts and ends at the sales counter
February 2, 2015

It all starts and ends at the sales counter  

The main premise of this column, Counter Intelligence, is that the sales counter is the most important place in a tire and service store.

Tags: Counter intelligence, Wayne Williams

Leading tire industry analyst Nick Mitchell, senior vice president and research analyst for
February 2, 2015

What you need to know for 2015  

Yes, the United States Department of Commerce’s preliminary decision on Chinese tire tariffs drove the market in 2014, and the forthcoming final decision will affect the market again in 2015. But there’s more to tires than tariffs, and Modern Tire Dealer turned to industry analyst Nick Mitchell to review the last 12 months, and to talk about what’s ahead.

Tags: MTD Facts Issue, Nick Mitchell, Northcoast Research

A hard look at procrastination
December 16, 2014

A hard look at procrastination  

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show is always the first week in November, and it’s a reminder to me that the end of the year is near.

Tags: Counter intelligence, Procrastination, Sales training, Wayne Williams

Dealers told MTD that the top issues for 2015 will be nothing new -- employee recruitment and
December 16, 2014

Dealers say recruitment and regulations are top challenges in 2015  

What issues will preoccupy tire dealers in the next 12 months? Employee recruitment, government regulation, margin pressures and casing supply, according to dealers we contacted. Although the year is new, the top issues affecting dealers’ operations are not. Many dealers cited these same challenges in 2014.

Tags: Ann Neal, Government regulations, recruitment

Nitto covered the SEMA Show in real time at its booth.
December 15, 2014

2014 SEMA Show coverage  

Cab drivers in Las Vegas were told to be ready for 140,000 visitors during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. That estimate proved to be too low.

Tags: 2014 SEMA Show

People and process: My father. Myself. My son
November 7, 2014

People and process: My father. Myself. My son  

I’ve written more than 50 articles for Modern Tire Dealer. What an experience it’s been working with the team at MTD and receiving many encouraging notes and emails from the industry.

Tags: Counter intelligence, sales and marketing, Wayne Williams

Employees are the face of your company. Keeping them happy will translate into happy customers. Set
November 7, 2014

Happy employees mean happy customers  

Because excellent sales experiences and high satisfaction levels are the basis for customer retention, it makes sense to hire, train and retain outstanding employees who deliver on your promises.

Tags: Business insight, Richard Morgan, Training

Financial checks and balances
November 7, 2014

Financial checks and balances  

So, you own your own business and things are going pretty well. The economy is trending upward and sales are starting to normalize, even gaining some momentum after a long and painful economic recovery. You are even considering expanding to a new location, increasing inventory or adding new bays. But what if you don’t have the cash to expand? Can you get a loan?

Tags: Balance sheet, Financial checks, Norm Gaither, Twenty Group

Freda Pratt-Boyer, the new president of the Tire Industry Association, has worked in all aspects of
November 7, 2014

Who speaks for dealers in Washington?  

Freda Pratt-Boyer was just out of high school in 1972 and working at a hospital when a friend suggested she apply at Potosi, Mo.-based Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. Her first job in the tire business was computer input clerk.

Tags: 2014 SEMA Show, Freda Pratt-Boyer, SEMA, SEMA Show, TIA, Tire Industry Association

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