By: Bob Ulrich
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.
Commitment-free vehicle inspections give tire dealers a chance to market their services to prospects who come into their stores. Many consumers delay or avoid preventive maintenance. A free inspection can motivate a driver to take a vehicle to a shop to see what’s needed to prepare a vehicle for warm weather driving after a harsh winter.
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.
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.
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.
Bob Ulrich's Editorial
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. recently announced it was going to sell tires online from its website. There is no question in my mind other tire manufacturers will follow suit within the next 24 months.
Focus on the Industry
Twenty-five years ago American Omni Trading Co. got its footing selling truck tires made in India to customers in Latin America. Since then the Texas-based importer has sold and shipped tires to 62 countries, altered its customer base and developed its own private brands, all while supplying everything from wheelbarrow to off-the-road tires.