Retail

Dealers Hope New President Will be Good for Business

Lori L. Mavrigian
Posted on March 23, 2017

Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked: “What effect do you believe Donald Trump will have on your business as president?”

Here are some of their responses.

1. HOPE! Finally a businessman who will be accountable. Hopefully he will lower corporate tax percentages, and cause insurance companies to be more competitive.

2. I believe he will have a huge effect on the commercial business. Already are seeing a big change in attitude from some of our customers as it relates to buying, etc.

3. As of this writing, President Donald Trump will likely expand public works investment. Perhaps if the Trump administration raises government spending on infrastructure and similar projects, demand for not just rubber but industrial materials as a whole will grow. The current pick-up in nonferrous metal prices is expected to encourage mining companies to expand operations, which will likely lead to greater demand for tires intended for mining vehicles, which are made using more natural rubber than synthetic rubber.

4. I believe there will be a much improved business climate, which should have a good effect on our business. I think this is especially true for the commercial side of the business.

5. Following the election, the general feedback from business owners has been very positive as the sense from most business owners is this administration will be more business friendly to small and large businesses. Consumer confidence was already on the increase; however, following the election results it’s ascended higher. Clearly the financial markets reacted favorably and to emphasize the consumer confidence — December 2016 was a stellar month for new car sales. In sum, this administration should be better for the overall business climate with considerably less taxation and legislation to impede development and growth.

6. I am unsure. However, I have hope of fewer regulations allowing more business activity.

We also asked, “Do you promote spring car care at your dealership? If so, how do you attract customers and what services do you target?

1. We do no heavy promotions in the spring.

2. We do promote spring car care. This year we will be hosting a classic car show in our parking lot on a Saturday with food, a free car care clinic and special sales pricing on tires and preventive services. We focus on preparing our customers’ vehicles for the summer driving season and vacation trips — making sure they are ready for the road!

What’s on your mind?

We also asked members of our NAC what was on their minds. They responded with:

There is a lot of optimism in the marketplace regarding the pro-business approach the Trump administration is taking.

I’m very optimistic about growth in the industry in 2017. Consumer confidence is strong and many business principals or owners are optimistic following the elections of last year.

I’m wondering, however, with the number of manufacturers beginning to produce units in the U.S., how will this impact margins if the demand does not keep pace with the production?

Jon Shields, Field Sales and Training

Carroll Tire Co.

Atlanta, Ga.

Goodyear led the way recently, announcing an 8% tire price increase. We expect the other manufacturers to follow suit in short order. On the heels of this increase, today we read of the volatility in the natural rubber market. Higher prices increase manufacturing costs for all types of rubber products, not only tires. Yet tire makers must also brace for the possibility of higher synthetic rubber prices and price hikes for carbon black, a material used as a reinforcing filler in rubber products. Thirdly, with the “tariff war” on imported medium commercial tires aside, 2017 has started off with a fair degree of uncertainty!

Tripp Lee, General Manager

Frasier Tire Service Inc.

Sumter, S.C.

We sell a lot of offshore tires. The political comments on imports have me concerned. It’s going to be an interesting year.

Dick Erickson, CEO and Owner

Sun Tire and Automotive Services

Jacksonville, Fla.

Tax would even the playing field

Concerning your February editorial: Mandatory sales tax collection (for online tire sales) would even the playing field. I have no idea why some Republicans see as that is a tax increase… it’s supposed to be collected. I just don’t understand how they think or in this case don’t think.

If the state associations make this a priority along with the Right to Repair Act, it would make our lives a little better.

Alpio A. Barbara, President

Redwood General Tire

Redwood City, Calif.

Join Modern Tire Dealer’s National Advisory Council

Each month, Modern Tire Dealer is guided and influenced by a select group of readers — members of our National Advisory Council. These members’ opinions are the heart of the monthly Your Marketplace column, compiled by industry analyst Nick Mitchell. If you’d like to join this prestigious group, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Contact Editor Bob Ulrich at Bob.Ulrich@bobit.com or call (330) 899-2200, ext. 11.

Related Topics: Alpio Barbara, President Donald Trump, Your Turn

Lori L. Mavrigian Managing Editor
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