The 1,017 tire dealers who wave the American Car Care Centers banner at their shops were well represented at the 2009 ACCC Dealer Meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Here are some random thoughts on the event.

* American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) represents more ACCC dealers than any other tire distributor in the group -- 388 locations, or 38% of the total. How did ATD become such a force within ACCC? By buying out first Merchant's Inc.'s wholesale division, then Target Tire Inc., and finally, late last year, AM-PAC Tire Distributors Inc. At one time there was friction between AM-PAC and ATD, because the latter had out-bid the former for Target Tire.

ATD was one of a number of wholesale distributors that held cocktail receptions for their dealers -- or anyone else who stopped by. They included Associated Tire Stores, Dunn Tire LLC, Englewood Tire Wholesale, Jack Williams Tire Co., Lisac's Inc., Summit Tire of Mass., Terry's Tire Town, Tire Wholesalers Inc. and U.S. Autoforce, a division of U.S. Oil Co. Inc.

* Mark Eaton, at 7-4, is by far the tallest motivational speaker I've ever listened to. He retired in 1993 after an 11-season career with the Utah Jazz, and is one of only four players with more than 3,000 career blocked shots. As you might expect, his message had a sports theme. His "four commitments of a winning team" are:

1. Know your job. "Narrow your focus and intensify it," he said.

2. Do what you are asked to do. "Do we have the courage to ask and follow through?"

3. Make people look good.

4. Protect others. "Be the person people can count on," he said. "Create an environment of safety and freedom. It creates trust, and trust creates loyalty."

* ACCC is celebrating its 20th anniversary. ACCC CEO and President Len Lewin was with Michelin North America Inc. during ACCC's early years, and he says he had no interest in the group when first approached for help. He came around quickly, however, and ACCC and Michelin signed a strategic alliance in 1993. In November of 1994, he left Michelin and took over the reigns of ACCC.

* The three Uniroyal dealerships that created ACCC are no longer with the group. The Straus-Frank Co. doesn't sell tires anymore. Merchant's sold to ATD (and its retail stores to TBC Inc.). And Bauer Built Inc. decided to focus on the commercial end of the business.

* Finally, ACCC CEO and President Len Lewin said he thought he might raise $15,000 for the Children's Miracle Network at the farewell dinner. Scott Williams, president of Jack Williams Tire Co., started the charity ball rolling with a donation of $500. He also challenged other board members to match that donation.

When Jeremy Lewin, ACCC's director of marketing, pledged $500 on behalf of his five-year-old son, Jackson, the final total reached $50,500.

(For more information on the Children's Miracle Network, see "ACCC to raise money for Children's Miracle Network," Jan. 21, 2009.)

Author

Bob Ulrich
Bob Ulrich

Editor, Retired

Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

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Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

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