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Cover Story - September 2016

One Man. One Superstore: Alpio Barbara’s Employees Call Him a Commanding, Charismatic Leader. We Call Him Our 2016 Tire Dealer of the Year

By: Joy Kopcha

In 1969 Alpio Barbara was a college student needing to work more hours while pursuing his dream of becoming a police officer. He had a job in a stationery store and mentioned his search for more work to one of the store’s customers. Al Howard hired him to work at Howard Tire in Belmont, Calif.

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Dealers Speculate Passenger Tire Volumes Will Increase Going Forward

According to the results of our survey, demand for replacement tires was slightly better than flat in July despite greater-than-normal volatility in the sample of responses. Indeed, from a volume standpoint the dealers reported they sold marginally more tires last month relative to the previous year, following a 1.1% increase in June and a 0.6% decrease in May.


Readers Respond to Michelin Selling BFG Tires Online

Prior to the public announcement it was going to sell BFGoodrich tires online, Michelin North America Inc. informed its dealers of the news. After Mary McLaughlin, owner of Independent Tire & Auto Inc. in North Andover, Mass., read the email, she had strong feelings about Michelin’s strategy. She shared both the email and her response to Michelin with us.

Figure 1: Locating the tire pressure monitor valve sub-assembly transmitter ID.

TPMS: Toyota 2006-2012 RAV4

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) of the 2006-2012 Toyota RAV4 is designed to provide warning when tire inflation pressure of one or more tires (including the spare tire) is low. A tire pressure monitor valve sub-assembly equipped with a tire pressure sensor/transmitter is installed in each tire and wheel assembly.

The Fairmont Banff Springs played host to some two dozen Falken dealers in August. The resort was built in 1888. A fire destroyed the original wood building in 1926. The current hotel has been standing since 1928.

Falken is Delivering on Promises Made Last October

At their annual dealer meeting slightly less than one year ago, Falken Tire Corp. executives told the dealers about their aggressive plans for the North American market. The motivation for the new strategy was the dissolution of a long-standing global alliance between Falken’s parent company and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

This tire dump in Kuwait may be the world’s largest.

Used Tire Problems Continue in Europe

It would be true to say that Europe has something of a tire crisis at the moment. No, it has nothing to do with inexpensive Chinese imports or, in fact, new tire prices. The main problem right now is trying to ensure the tires on drivers’ vehicles are actually fit for purpose.

Has anyone received a photo like this lately? It’s a shot of a tire sidewall from a friend. “I’m sure the answer is, ‘Yes, yes, a thousand times yes,” says Williams.

How Do You Sell Tires to Friends?

We all have customers who are friends, probably many; however, we can’t trade on relationships alone, we must be better than that. If the customer standing in your store is a friend, don’t be offended if he or she has used their smartphone to do a little pre-shopping before they stopped in.

Ken Sylvester, a founding member of United Tire and Service, is an installer for Goodyear’s tire shopping website and plans to participate in Michelin’s new e-commerce website for BFGoodrich brand tires.

Retail Reality: A Tire Dealer Adjusts to Online Tire Buyers and Sellers

Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Ken Sylvester of United Tire and Service LLC is participating in online sales. But instead of creating an e-commerce website for his Philadelphia-area tire stores, he is dipping into the pool of consumers browsing other companies’ tire shopping websites.

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