K&M Tire Inc. offered its dealers access to more rebates, both for tires and automotive parts, in 2015, and is promising even more services and benefits in 2016.
K&M covered the bases during its 2016 dealer conference, offering educational sessions and a trade show with tips to help dealers run their businesses more profitably.
The Delphos, Ohio-based tire wholesaler highlighted its focus to improve both community and partnership.
K&M created a five-person customer service team in 2015 to focus on delivery issues and other problems. The wholesaler has added services to its Mr. Tire and Big 3 Tire program groups, including the ability to create custom websites for members’ businesses.
Expanding and improving those services is essential, says Bonnie Marlow, the assistant managing programs director. She notes the phrase “continuous improvement” is so important to K&M that it’s in the program groups’ mission statement twice.
Members had access to 11 exclusive tire rebates in 2015 — more than twice the number available in 2014 — and rebates from automotive parts companies are expected to hit $400,000 when the 2015 figures are finalized. Kevin Knebel, national marketing manager, says the parts rebates are “one of the huge advantages that we offer.”
2015 was another year of growth for the tire wholesaler. The company acquired the wholesale tire business of Kelle Oil Co. in Oklahoma, as well as Midwest Tire & Muffler Inc. in North and South Dakota. K&M added 19 delivery routes and now has 190 routes operating out of 20 distribution centers to reach dealers across 22 states, from Montana to Texas to Ohio.
K&M took its 2016 dealer conference to the middle of its territory — the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan. Nearly 400 dealers attended the two-day event Jan. 14-15, which featured eight seminars, a trade show, and dozens of prizes, including two grand prize vehicle giveaways sponsored by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Hankook Tire America Corp.
In recent years K&M has invited a celebrity to speak to its dealers during the morning general session, but the 2016 meeting took a turn with K&M instead highlighting the work of its longtime charity partner, Food for the Poor Inc.. Angel Aloma, executive director of the international agency, talked about the Florida-based group’s work, and the more than $1 billion in aid sent to 17 countries in 2015.
Yokohama Tire Corp. donated $20,000 to K&M’s new philanthropic organization, K&M Cares. K&M then split that donation into two gifts: $10,000 was presented to Food for the Poor. Then a K&M and Yokohama Advantage dealer was chosen at random, and given the remaining $10,000 to donate to a charity of its choice. Dan and Tim Ronda from Ronda Auto Centers in Michigan split that gift between two charities, giving $5,000 each to Kids Food Basket and Volunteers in Service.