The president of Meineke Car Care Centers LLC says consumers want to do business with big brands, and he expects that overall shopping trend will affect the automotive aftermarket.

Danny Rivera says Meineke is launching an online tire sales platform, Tire Wire.

Danny Rivera says Meineke is launching an online tire sales platform, Tire Wire.

Danny Rivera admits the aftermarket "is still predominantly independents," but he thinks what consumers have come to expect in other retail spaces will change that. "I think over time folks like Meineke will win.

"What consumers are wanting out of a relationship with a brand is getting more and more complicated, which I think for Meineke is a great tailwind because we're very much poised to be what consumers want," Rivera says.

He cited the company's customer relationship management system, which allows Meineke to contact customers about upcoming auto services needed, as well as previous services the customer might have declined. Rivera also says the Meineke app and tablet-based vehicle inspections are tools that will push the brand ahead of independent stores.

Online tire sales

Just as consumers like to shop Apple and Amazon, Meineke's president says consumers will eventually prefer big-brand names in the automotive aftermarket.

Just as consumers like to shop Apple and Amazon, Meineke's president says consumers will eventually prefer big-brand names in the automotive aftermarket.

Meineke also is rolling out a system for its franchisees to offer online tire sales. The system is called Tire Wire, and it's currently available only at certain centers which are part of the pilot. With Tire Wire, consumers can shop for tires online from their select Meineke location. They can shop either by entering information about the make and model of their vehicle or entering their VIN, and then can shop by good, better, best options.

The consumer purchases the tires online and the tires are shipped to the nearest Meineke.

Rivera says even though the online sales option isn't available nationwide from the web, consumers can visit any Meineke store and test the Tire Wire system in store.

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