Charley Gowland is a longtime independent tire dealer. He has built a mini-empire in Louisiana with his 14-store Chabill's Tire Service LLC retail and commercial chain.

He knows how to run a profitable business. If tire manufacturers sell tires online, he thinks that will make his business less profitable.

At its recent dealer meeting, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced it was going to sell tires on its website later this year. The company asked its dealers to support the program and become preferred installers. Gowland declined.

He sent an open email telling Goodyear why he was not going to jump on the bandwagon. And he asked dealers to follow suit.

Modern Tire Dealer Editor Bob Ulrich talked with Gowland and Goodyear in order to put the email's message into the proper context. Gowland thinks Goodyear is setting a precedent that will harm tire dealers. Goodyear contends it is keeping up with consumer needs that very well may help tire dealers, either directly, indirectly, or both.

You can read about the battle of wills in Ulrich's latest blog, "Gowland vs. Goodyear: A dealer speaks out about suppliers selling online."

After you read the blog, let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

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