George Costanza had to fly into Akron, Ohio, to meet with Firestone executives. (Screen capture from TBS)

George Costanza had to fly into Akron, Ohio, to meet with Firestone executives. (Screen capture from TBS)

I look at tires all the time. If I'm in my car and pull up next to a cool-looking car, I check out the tires. Crazy? Well, yes. But tires are fascinating.

When I see Remington tires on a three-year-old light truck in a parking lot, I realize just how many brand options consumers have. When I see two or more brands on the same vehicle, I realize our industry has a long way to go to educate the consumer. I've never seen four different tire brands on the same vehicle, but I've seen three.

In "The Sixth Sense," Haley Joel Osment sees dead people everywhere. I see tires everywhere.

The other day I was watching "The Comeback" episode of Seinfeld. George Costanza, incredibly an executive with the New York Yankees, was talking about a possible snow tire promotion with executives from Firestone (Bridgestone Corp. owned the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. at that time, but Firestone was still better known in the U.S.).

The Firestone execs didn't see a good fit, but George thought it was doable "as long as they don't throw them on the field." I laughed.

At Comic Con in San Diego, Calif., recently, I noticed how ingrained tires can be in pop culture. The life-size Star Wars X-Wing Fighter Carship in the Hot Wheels booth was designed and built for circuit race performance.

It features Hankook racing slicks, size 240/570R13 on the front and 350/720R15 on the rear. Although the tires said Star Wars on them, the front could have been a Ventus F200 competition tire, which is available in that size.

Like Casa Della Tires, 60% of all independent tire dealers are one-store operations.

Like Casa Della Tires, 60% of all independent tire dealers are one-store operations.

The latest in the Disney Cars Precision Series was also previewed. It featured Luigi's Casa Della Tires Playset, which will be available this fall. As you may remember, Luigi was the tire dealer in the Pixar animated film Cars. The set is complete with a tire sale sign. Pricing was not listed, either for the set or the tires.

I can't be the only one who sees examples of tires, and our industry, almost everywhere. They are an important part of our culture and our society, as are you, the independent tire dealer.

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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