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December 12, 2013

How Ford is taking food off your table

Which competitor provides the biggest challenge to your profitability? Is it a tire company-owned store? Sears? Sam's Club?

Perhaps your local muffler shop takes business away from you. Or are independent dealers your strongest competition?

Auto dealerships have increased their share of the consumer tire market more than any other channel in the last eight years. And Ford Motor Co., which is the only vehicle manufacturer in the United States with its own retail tire stores, is leading the way.

Ford recently decided to up the ante in an attempt to increase its tire sales. Find out what the company did in the latest blog from Modern Tire Dealer Editor Bob Ulrich, "What Ford is doing to take tire sales away from you."

Are auto dealerships the bane of your existence? Does it matter if it is a domestic dealership or foreign transplant? Does it matter if they sell the same tire brands as you?

First read the blog. Then let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

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  1. Craig | December 12, 2013 at 10:13AM
    I can tell you this, some 20 years ago I was in the field trying to get dealerships including Ford to sell and stock tires.

    Now the funny thing we, until we moved our location, did a lot of tire work for two Ford dealerships #1 they did not have the proper equipment nor the experience to work on the tires of today. We even did most of their alignments. I laugh at the commercials I see on television how Ford knows the tire business.

    They have realized how much business they were losing to the professional tire people.Dealerships in the past have always hated tires. Now they are starting to try and get the tire business so they can be a one stop shop. I will tell you I know these things as fact. Been working with tires since 1968 with the number 1 tire co. in America, and Goodyear I believe is the last American owned tire manufacturer left. Why doesn't someone mention that. We will continue to try and keep our share of the tire customers because we are a one stop shop. The car manufacturer can keep their customers because of the warranties they provide, take that away and they have nothing on the private professional service departments.

  2. T | December 12, 2013 at 10:33AM
    Car dealers ARE tire dealers… why alienate them?

  3. Rick | December 12, 2013 at 01:00PM
    With Ford's push to sell tires, Wal-mart selling low pro tires they can't install and Tire Rack 20 miles from our location, our only hope of survival is by doing it better. How do other shops handling tire warranty replacements on tires sold by car dealerships, Wal-Mart & The Tire Rack ?

  4. Rebecca | December 13, 2013 at 07:06AM
    Hold onto your hats Boys, I am coming for your business, make no mistake. Ford showed incredible foresight with their Quick Lane concept. And although old school dealers had nothing to do with tires, when Ford introduced Quick Lane, we found tire distributors falling all over themselves to bring our tire training up to speed. We sell most brand-name tires and are backed up with Ford's price match guarantee. I usually don't have to try to beat prices, because we're already selling for less than other distributors. Plus, as a full service center, I can use tires as a loss leader. The comment about dealers being more expensive is a myth. $39.95 for a synthetic blend oil and filter change and tire rotation is much less than my aftermarket competitors in my market. I always price check my competition. Quick Lane isn't a new concept either, they started in the Chicago market twelve years ago. Customers already know who we are, factory trained staff and techs who are experts at what we do. We already are doing it better.

  5. Chris | December 14, 2013 at 06:12AM
    You are right Rebecca! As a second generation independent tire dealer for 40 years, I've seen this train coming for some time. The old dealer profit center formerly known as "warranty" has gone by the wayside. Quite the dilemma for todays vehicle manufacturer...produce a quality product or close the doors....oops...now the service dept has nothing to do! Ok, lets sell tires and pm! Gee Dick Tracy...where did you park your squad car?

    Through exclusive factory incentives, and tire distributors /mfgs desperate attempts at growth, the independent tire dealer has some interesting challenges ahead. But...instead of whining about it, we made the decision years ago to continue to train our people, keep our facility clean and up to date and most importantly...look after our customers best interest!

    Competition is the best thing for the consumer and for our industry! New car dealer, online retailer, regional and national chains, I have them all within a mile of my single outlet. In some way, each and every one of my competitors have improved our business and business model. As an independent tire dealer and auto repair facility, I personally look forward to the opportunities of 2014 and beyond!

  6. Firestone | December 15, 2013 at 04:41AM
    Ford is finally realizing what his buddy Harvey Firestone knew in 1926...the tire business is what propels loyality. Firestone is the industry leader and the dealerships dont scare us but we must respect them. We serviced 50000 cars a day in 2012 and this year the company saw an average of 2.2 more cars per day at each of the 2500+ locations (including Tires Plus,Expert Tire etc) Ford will not want to price match some of the tires we are selling at a 10% loss at the current selling price...

  7. Terry | December 19, 2013 at 12:13PM
    Thank you, Chris. Couldn't have said it better. Competition is good at weeding out the shop(s) not doing a good job for the consumer.

  8. Independent | December 27, 2013 at 11:31AM
    Response to "Firestone" and "Rebecca"; since when is selling at a loss a good thing? Consumers are getting more and more informed and the "lets get them in the door and then bang them over the head" mentality is not going to work forever. Maybe you should try honesty and good customer service to grow your business.

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