Alpio Barbara, owner and president of Redwood General Tire Service Co. in Redwood City, Calif., is Modern Tire Dealer’s 2016 Tire Dealer of the Year. Barbara operates one of the busiest single-store tire businesses in the country. It generates $12 million in sales each year, with the bulk of those sales — $10 million — attributed to the retail side of the business.
Redwood General Tire also does a little more than $1 million in commercial business and less than a million as a tire wholesaler to small, mom-and-pop auto repair shops and service stations.
All of those sales are generated from a 10,000 square-foot store that sits on one acre of land on the San Francisco Peninsula. Barbara is only the second tire dealer with a single-store business to be named MTD’s Tire Dealer of the Year. (The first was Barry Steinberg, who won the first Tire Dealer of the Year award in 1993.)
“Alpio is a hands-on leader who’s not frightened by all the changes disrupting our industry,” says Greg Smith, publisher of Modern Tire Dealer. “He embraces change and is unrelenting in his pursuit of providing superior customer service, and expects the same commitment from his employees.”
Barbara’s career in the tire industry began in 1969, and he joined Redwood General Tire on July 8, 1985, as a partner in the business with Dave Redfern. Redfern’s father Ernie founded the tire dealership in 1957.
A $9,500 donation from Modern Tire Dealer and Barbara’s suppliers will be made in Barbara’s name. The donation will be split between two charities: the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Association League and the Kainos Home and Training Center for the Developmentally Disabled. The participating suppliers are: ACDelco; American Tire Distributors Inc.; Automotive Parts Services Group; Bridgestone Affiliated Retailer Nationwide Network; CarQuest, a division of Advance Auto Parts Inc.; City Auto Supply; Continental Tire the Americas LLC; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Falken Tire Corp.; Hankook Tire America Corp.; Hunter Engineering Co.; Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC; Michelin North America Inc.; Pirelli Tire North America Inc.; Tire Industry Association; Tire’s Warehouse Inc.; Worldpac Inc.; and Yokohoma Tire Corp.
Barbara is the 24th independent tire dealer in the country to receive the award. He joins an impressive list of industry icons who have been named Tire Dealer of the Year, including Bruce Halle, chairman of Discount Tire and America’s Tire, and last year’s winner, Ricky Benton, owner and president of Black’s Tire Service Inc.