This year’s Monterey Car Week in California brought vintage, new and concept cars together with, in many cases, Pirelli tires.
You are not in this alone. Tire manufacturers back your business in the form of associate dealer groups, which offer you payouts for purchases, discounts, training, opportunities to participate in annual trips and much more.
We asked manufacturers to update their program information and tell us what’s new for 2019.
See April’s article on independent tire dealer program groups and the tools and services they offer for more ways to increase profitability.
Program name: Growing Together Associate Dealer Program
Offered by: Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT)
Who’s eligible to participate? Agricultural tire dealers who purchase a minimum of 100 BKT units from their chosen distributor each year.
What are the top benefits for participants? Quarterly payouts, the direct relationships and support offered, and benefits such as promotional giveaways, truck wraps, Monster Jam events, etc.
Number of participants: Just over 400 and growing each month.
What’s new in the program for 2019? In July of 2018, BKT made a number of changes to the program by adding new products, creating tiered payouts, and changing the structure of the program to promote growth. In 2019, we will continue to listen to our dealers’ needs and make the necessary changes for the program to continue its success.
Program name: Bridgestone Affiliated Retailer Nationwide Network
Offered by: Bridgestone Americas Inc.
The details: There are more than 50 membership benefits including advertising and promotion support, volume discounts, preferred auto parts pricing from nationally recognized suppliers, a national lubricants program, training, online sales capabilities, social media, a credit card program and a nationwide tire protection plan.
Who’s eligible to participate? U.S.- and Canada-based dealers with a positive image who are able to carry a minimum amount of inventory based on a good, better, best merchandising plan.
What are the top benefits for participants? Access to world-class brands including Bridgestone and Firestone passenger and light truck tires. Financial support for purchase and sell-out of Bridgestone, Firestone and Fuzion brand tires. Deeply discounted pricing on related services and merchandise. Award-winning training and education programs that include online, experiential and in-person sessions on what dealers need to know to be successful.
Number of participants: More than 2,850.
What’s new in the program for 2019? We have added an additional aftermarket auto parts supplier to our list of vendor/partners available to our network members. Members will now receive competitive national account pricing and quarterly rebates on qualifying purchases from our new partners at Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.
Program name: Continental Gold Program
Offered by: Continental Tire the Americas LLC
The details: The goal of the Continental Gold program is to be the independent tire dealer’s number one partner and supplier. Being number one means gaining complete confidence in Continental’s product, people and program. It also means making Continental’s retail partners’ views and concerns a part of the process. The Gold Program offers dealers opportunities to grow their business with an easy-to-implement and dealer-friendly system that offers a spectrum of opportunities and a lucrative program that will maximize results.
Who’s eligible to participate? Independent retailers that are brick and mortar locations that sell to consumers and perform on-site mount and balance services.
What are the top benefits for participants? Industry-leading products that are easy to sell. A program that is easy to understand and earn rewards.
Number of participants: 2,500.
What’s new in the program for 2019? The Gold Program now features Dealer Business Suite, allowing dealers to connect and benefit from a network of preferred vendors for their business needs. Continental provides Gold dealers a way to gain access to our global network of suppliers and bring savings to their bottom line.
Program name: Cooper Medallion and Mastercraft Century
Offered by: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
The details: Cooper has two programs, Medallion (for Cooper-brand tires) and Century (for Mastercraft-brand tires.) Cooper provides marketing insights and assistance, product education, and other tools and techniques to help dealers build their business.
Who’s eligible to participate? These programs are for local, independent tire retailers. Entry into this program can begin with purchase quantities as low as 240 to 300 tires per year. Five levels of membership exist based on yearly purchase quantity. Cooper Medallion is available to dealers in the U.S. and Canada, and Mastercraft Century in the U.S. only.
What are the top benefits for participants? Members of Cooper’s Medallion program earn rewards for tire purchases and receive bonus payouts offered through strong additional promotions launched throughout the year. Cooper Medallion members may participate in annual consumer promotions. They receive members-only perks such as exclusive access to marketing insights and collateral, product education, and sales training through eCooper University. Members joining the Cooper Medallion and Mastercraft Century programs are eligible to receive a new member bonus enrollment award. The program’s highest performers have access to exclusive benefits, including an opportunity to participate in annual trips.
Program name: Fanatic
Offered by: Falken Tire Corp.
Who’s eligible to participate? Independent tire retailers with a physical storefront and the ability to service customers on site.
What are the top benefits for participants? Cash rewards including quarterly promotions, location awareness through our easy-to-use dealer locator on the falkentire.com website, and showroom/exterior enhancements including an extensive line of POS materials.
Program: Goodyear Tire & Service Network
Offered by: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
The details: The Goodyear Tire & Service Network was established in 2009 and offers tire retailers a total business solution for consumer tires and automotive service. There is also a similar program for Goodyear commercial dealers.
Who’s eligible to participate? Direct and G3X customers can work with their local Goodyear account manager to be nominated for the Tire & Service Network program. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What are the top benefits for participants? Nationwide warranties, national account support, training, and vendor parts and equipment purchase programs. The comprehensive marketing program includes point-of-sale materials, advertising support, the Goodyear credit card, national rebates, websites and other digital assets.
Number of participants: More than 2,500 members in North America.
Program: Hankook One
Offered by: Hankook Tire America Corp.
The details: Hankook One dealers are grouped into one of four volume categories and earn cash rewards in the top each of the four categories. A minimum of 320 annually is required to perform on the program with each per quarter dealer earns cash for every tire sold based on their annual tracking. At the highest level, Diamond, dealers who purchase at least 1,800 Hankook brand tires annually earn $8 per tire. In addition, dealers who sell one of the premium lines of passenger and light truck Hankook brand tires earn an additional $4 premium per tire.
Who is eligible to participate? Dealers not currently participating with one of the following can participate on the One Program: car dealers, direct Hankook customers (distributors, wholesalers or retailers), or government/fleet accounts.
What are the top benefits for participants?
1. Cash rewards based on volume and premium line tire sales.
2. Accrual of program points to purchase Hankook marketing materials, merchandise and travel for dealers who are tracking to Platinum (1,200 units) or Diamond (1,600 units or more) level annually (minimum of 300 units per quarter).
3. Participation in national consumer promotions/seasonal specials.
Number of participants: 4,100
What’s new in the program for 2019? Changes include no opening order required to apply to be a One dealer (in 2018, we required a 24 unit opening order), and changes in our minimum level requirements. Premium line changes – Hankook Optimo H727 has been removed, Hankook Dynapro AT2 (RF11) and Dynapro MT2 (RT05) were added to the premium lineup; Laufenn is now available on the One program as a volume enhancer and receives $1 per tire (volume bonus is only paid on Hankook-branded products).
Program name: Hercules Power Program
Offered by: Hercules Tire & Rubber Co./American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD)
Who’s eligible to participate? Only independent tire retailers.
What are the top benefits for participants? Each Hercules retailer is offered limited geographic “protection,” which enables the Hercules retailer a higher profit potential at the point of sale. Hercules branded passenger and light truck products come complete with an exclusive enhanced protection policy including mileage expectation, no-charge replacement on road-hazards and workmanship and materials, plus our 45-day “trust our ride” test drive. It’s a combination of dealer support peace of mind for the dealer and consumer alike. Hercules retailers are eligible to capitalize on quarterly volume bonuses, retail rewards and an annual incentive trip.
Program name: Kenda Traction
Offered by: Kenda USA
The details: It is offered in conjunction with authorized Kenda distributors, dealers earn up to $2 per tire between the Kenda Traction Black Card and co-op funds. Dealers earn rewards with purchases of at least 125 tires each quarter. The program is tiered, so more tire purchases qualify for higher payouts. Purchases of 125–249 tires each quarter qualify for tier 1, purchases of 250–399 tires qualify for tier 2, and 400 tires or more qualify for tier 3. Kenda works with its distributors to offer reasonable trade area management to enhance the retailer’s value with the Kenda brand.
Who’s eligible to participate? Independent dealers buying from authorized Kenda distributors. Email email@example.com to confirm qualification.
What are the top three benefits for participants? The ability to earn money back via the Kenda Traction Black Card. Co-op rewards to use on future purchases and Kenda Store Access for shopping online with dozens of products. Plus, full access to a marketing portal for branding tools — product images, logos, digital advertising and catalogs, and inclusion in the dealer locator on www.kendatire.com
Number of participants: About 1,000 dealers.
Program name: Kumho Tire Premium Fuel
Offered by: Kumho Tire USA Inc.
The details: The Kumho Tire Premium Fuel program offers multiple rewards for independent tire dealers with easy to achieve bonus levels and competitive payouts. At the highest reward levels, dealers can attain up to $15 per tire purchased every quarter. Kumho provides product training, marketing assets and other added tools to help each FUEL dealer to be successful.
Who’s eligible to participate? Independent tire retailers with a physical storefront and service capabilities.
What are the top benefits for participants? Easy to enroll at just 36 units purchased in a quarter (Does not need to be an opening order). Earn quarterly payouts starting at just 36 units purchased. Get rewarded for purchasing higher quantities with the Quarterly Volume Bonus starting at just 75 units per quarter and eligibility to earn an added $4 per tire. Earn an extra $5 for purchasing units that are 18-inch or higher fitments with the HI-Octane Bonus. Earn Kumho Store points to purchase POP/POS materials as well as premium items such as Apple TVs, GoPro’s, HD TVs, etc.
What’s new in the program for 2019? The added value to the Kumho Tire Fuel Program is the inclusion of a quarterly volume bonus that rewards each associate dealer for commitment to the brand. You can earn up to an extra $4 per unit purchased each quarter.
Program name: Alliance
Offered by: Michelin North America Inc.
The details: The Alliance program is intended to offer Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal shoppers an excellent retail experience at dealerships who demonstrate professionalism, product knowledge, convenience, integrity and excellent services. It addresses the needs of specific customer types, volume levels customized to meet dealers’ actual business requirements, providing each level of retailer a profit margin sufficient to succeed and grow in a competitive environment. To support its network that recommends the company’s tires, Michelin pursues quality service, analytic tools to meet varying market conditions, a variety of delivery options, and incentives and consumer promotions.
Who’s eligible to participate? For independent retailers, Michelin requires a minimum of 60% retail business, and, depending on the program type, a purchase minimum of 250 Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal tires combined (for indirect customers) or 5,000 Michelin Americas Small Tires (MAST) units for direct service. The dealer must also provide a welcoming environment for shoppers, competent salespeople who are willing to pursue various training courses and, the capability to provide expert tire and wheel service for today’s complex vehicles.
What are the top benefits for participants? MAST brands, Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal, are recognizable brands with reputations for performance and quality that command excellent or best-in-class brand equity for consumers. The loyalty of OE tire owners provides willing buyers for Michelin tires. A well-trained, energetic and technically adept sales force willing to share information, assist in market and business analysis with support for dealer merchandising efforts; lucrative incentive programs and funding for customer advertising and promotion efforts.
Number of participants: Approximately 7,000 independent dealer outlets. The company has 300 Alliance distributor warehouses throughout the U.S.
What’s new in the program for 2019? Michelin has expanded the indirect program to 14 different levels that make the program more aligned with dealer goals.
Program name: Mickey Thompson Marketing Alliance (MTMA)
Offered by: Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels
Who is eligible to participate? Any brick and mortar retailer.
What are the top benefits for participants? Direct access to the manufacturer exclusive Power promotions for higher earnings and preferred status on our website to drive more business.
Number of participants: 350 unique members with 447 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Program name: Next Level
Offered by: Nexen Tire America Inc.
The details: The program rewards our valued dealers for their loyalty to our brand and to provide them opportunities for future growth and profitability. Next Level offers generous cash back rewards paid out quarterly on most Nexen patterns, as well as a lucrative volume bonus structure.
Who’s eligible to participate? Approved tire retailers who purchase Nexen tires through an authorized Next Level distributor.
What are the top benefits for participants? Fast payouts, straightforward bonuses, and top-tier support.
Number of participants: 4,000 enrolled dealers.
What’s new in the program for 2019? A new website — www.nexentirenextlevel.com. We have updated the site to be more user-friendly for both our Next Level dealers and our authorized Next Level distributors (with more to come). The new site will make our Next Level dealers more profitable by understanding their Nexen product mix and how to maximize their sell-out based on our data.
Program name: Nokian Tyres Authorized Dealer Program
Offered by: Nokian Tyres Inc.
Program name: Pirelli FasTrack Authorized Associate Retail Dealer Program
Offered by: Pirelli Tire LLC
The details: The Pirelli FasTrack program is designed to bring the most value per tire on all eligible independent tire retailer purchases. From quarterly and annual rewards, to growth incentive bonuses, trip rewards and sales spiffs, Pirelli has the tools to help associate dealers grow their businesses and be more successful than ever.
Who is eligible to participate? Brick and mortar independent tire retailers who don’t sell online. Opening order of 48 tires within a 90-day probationary period to become a participating dealer.
What are the top benefits for participants? Lucrative rewards on Pirelli tires which offer state-of-the-art technology, leadership in green materials, and a strong partnership with car manufacturers creating a range of product offerings for almost all car/SUV applications. Support from a well-trained, passionate salesforce partnering to help independent tire retailers sustainably grow their business for years to come.
Number of participants: 1,000+ independent tire retailers, along with over 20 regional and national participating distributors
What’s new for 2019? The launch of the new dynamic web-based dealer portal for participants of the FasTrack program. This portal enables dealers to better track and analyze their sales in an ever-moving market as well as download key Pirelli brand assets and new platform to allocate spiffs. This new website cements Pirelli’s investment in the independent tire dealer network. The previous 2 trip reward effort now consolidates into 1, paving the way for a more luxurious and unique experience with the top performing dealers with additional travel benefits. New in-store display materials and a variety of exterior sign options are available to the dealer as unit purchase objectives are met.
Program name: Delinte Care and Landsail Care
Offered by: Sentury Tire Americas
Who’s eligible to participate? Retailers of our authorized partners.
What are the top benefits for participants? Mileage warranty plan, road hazard plan, and record holder for registered participants.
What’s new in the program for 2019? Our program continues to be the same as last year. It continues to grow and all retailers purchasing from our distribution network are part of this program.
Program name: Titan Strong Seller Program
Offered by: Titan International Inc.
Who’s eligible to participate? We are continually evaluating potential dealers for enrollment in the program. We evaluate dealers based on a number of factors, key among them are location and size. We want to make sure we’re setting our associate dealers up for success based on market opportunity and competition in the area.
What are the top benefits for participants? The Titan Strong Seller Associate Dealer Program is an uncapped program. We’re continuing to invest in our program by adding exclusive training opportunities for enrolled dealers. This includes in-person training at the dealer’s facility with Titan’s sales team, field technicians, and our product managers, as well as eligibility to participate in our hosted training programs such as Titan University and Tire Industry Association service trainings. Dealers in the program also have access to exclusive sales offers and marketing support from Titan, which consist of product literature and free marketing materials.
What’s new for the program in 2019? Our industry-exclusive Low Sidewall Technology (LSW) products are now eligible for the program. Titan added an incentive trip for top Titan Strong Seller associate dealers; special terms and conditions apply.
Offered by: Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.
The details: The Driven program rewards associate dealers with cash back, Toyo-branded merchandise and more. Dealers must purchase 50 units to enroll, then 100 units per quarter to qualify for payouts. Cash rewards are earned based on three levels and received via a reloadable debit card. Dealers receive a POP kit after the first order of 100 tires and each quarter Toyo rewards top performers with “Driven Dough” to purchase branded merchandise on the POP site. Dealers who achieve the highest level within four consecutive quarters in a calendar year are eligible for a signage program. Driven dealers also have access to online training and marketing assets, plus they are listed on ToyoTires.com.
Who’s eligible to participate? The Driven program is open to dealers not currently buying direct from Toyo. Dealers interested in joining should contact their local Toyo wholesaler or Toyo regional sales manager. The enrollment process includes filling out an application, which is available online, and making a minimum purchase of 50 units. Once enrolled, the Driven dealer can track purchases and payouts through the Driven website. Then each quarter the associate dealer must purchase 100 passenger car/light truck units or 50 commercial tire units to qualify for payouts. Cash rewards are earned based on three levels and received via a reloadable debit card or direct deposit. All Toyo product purchases count toward the three tiers, with select patterns eligible for cash payouts.
What’s new for the program in 2019? In 2019 we introduced “Driven Dough,” which allows dealers to choose merchandise and POP that is most useful for their dealership. This replaced quarterly rewards of branded merchandise determined by Toyo. We also added direct deposit as an option in addition to the reloadable debit cards.
Program name: Vogue Elite
Offered by: Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co.
Program name: Advantage
Offered by: Yokohama Tire Corp.
What are the top benefits for participants? Advantage associate dealers can earn cash rewards on Yokohama treads purchased through their designated distributor. Dealers are also eligible to earn travel rewards, marketing funds, signage and point-of-sale (POS) material based on quarterly and annual goals. Dealers can utilize Advantage Online to track their progress toward goals and ensure they are maximizing their rewards. ■
See the April program group article "Help for the Independent Tire Dealer" here.
This year’s Monterey Car Week in California brought vintage, new and concept cars together with, in many cases, Pirelli tires.
The Latin Tyre Expo celebrated its 10th anniversary in late June at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City, Panama. The Expo has become the leading event for suppliers and manufacturers to connect with leading tire distributors and dealers from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean regions (LATAM).
Driven Brands Inc. has built a two-bay franchise store in Gastonia, N.C., to serve the West Charlotte suburban community.
Meineke Car Care Centers LLC has opened a location in Holly Springs, N.C. It is the first Meineke outlet for new franchisee Darrick Finan.
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has released the next generation of its value-oriented all-season tire for passenger cars, minivans, SUVs, CUVs, and light trucks: the Extensa A/S II.
In Lexus RX Series vehicles (2016-2019), a tire pressure warning valve and transmitter (equipped with a tire pressure sensor and a transmitter) is installed in each tire and wheel assembly.
Do you really need more employees? Step through your store numbers with Dealer Strategic Planning's George Kingman. The results may be one of the most eye-opening things you can discover in 30 minutes with a calculator.
New CleanLine fuel filters from Mahle Aftermarket Inc. are designed to ensure lower maintenance costs for injection nozzles and fuel pumps.
Even though you see everyone from Walmart Inc. to auto service chains offering oil changes, annual industry revenue increased slowly from 2013-2018, according to business information and market research company IBISWorld. Revenue increased at an annualized rate of 1.4% to $5.8 billion.
The latest model of the Power Lifter from Martins Industries Inc. lifts sport utility vehicle (SUV) and pickup truck wheels.
Schrader TPMS Solutions has introduced 18 new original equipment (OE) replacement sensors to increase vehicle coverage since January 2019.
The Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group) participated in the first-ever Credentialing Assistance Fair sponsored by the Fort Hood Educational Services Division of the United States Army on July 18, 2019, in Fort Hood, Texas.
Sales revenue from Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.'s Tires Business Segment was down 1.6%. However, revenue from its Aliance Tire Group (ATG) subsidiary was up 7.1%.
In conjunction with the latest update to WinAlign software, Hunter Engineering Co. has begun shipping the next generation of its Quick Tread Edge drive-over tread depth measuring tool.
All-weather. All-terrain. All-season. And that’s not even all the options.