“Cautiously optimistic” describes how many independent tire dealers feel as they move through the second half of what has been an incredibly tumultuous year. This week, MTD is examining what executives from several independent tire dealerships that appear on the 2020 MTD 100 think the rest of 2020 will bring and how they are positioning their businesses for continued success.
John Ziegler, vice president of Massillon, Ohio-based Ziegler Tire & Supply Co., the 39th largest dealership on this year’s MTD 100, believes that “things are trending the right way.”
For the month of June, Ziegler Tire was projecting a 10% to 15% decline “from where we were at that time last year, which was better than we had planned for. People are starting to drive and trucks are moving.”
The dealership added three commercial tire locations last year. The stores, which are in Kentucky and Indiana, “were just opportunities that presented themselves and it made sense to move forward. But I think we have to protect what we have.”
This includes controlling inventory, he notes. “We have programs for our wholesale customers and we have programs with the major manufacturers for volume purchases. We’re going to buy what we need and not anymore than what we need.
“That’s not to say that manufacturers haven’t come back with some different offerings on different things,” he says. “We’re always chasing that carrot. But for the most part, it seems like it’s been more of a ‘Let’s take our lumps and see what the second half brings.’”
Ziegler Tire, which opened in 1919, has survived the Great Depression, the disruption caused by World War II and multiple recessions and pandemics. John’s advice for fellow tire dealers? “You just have to do what you have to do.”