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Thanks a bunch!

We couldn’t put out Modern Tire Dealer month to month without our readers. You are the heart and soul of this magazine.

So before I go any further, thank you. We know we ask a lot from you. How many times has someone from our staff called you and asked how your business was doing? Or what the secret to your success was? Or for a comment about a hot topic? (Get ready for that call about the tariffs on consumer tire imports from China soon. We’ll know if you are screening our call.)

I can’t believe there is a nicer group of people than independent tire dealers. When we need information, the vast majority of you are happy to share, with an emphasis on “happy.”

Never was this more “truer than fact” (as the old pulp novels used to say) than during my recent interview with Bruce Halle, chairman of Discount Tire and MTD’s 2014 Tire Dealer of the Year. He was more than forthcoming about the company and the part he plays in it.

However, I could never have written the 12-page profile without help from the rest of Discount Tire’s top management and their assistants. There are too many of them to list or picture on this page, but I wanted to personally thank two who ran point for me for a good two months: Marlene Ambrose and Sandy Alston, executive assistants to Halle and Vice Chairman Gary Van Brunt, respectively.

I experienced much of the same during my recent trip to Thailand to visit the new Linglong passenger, light truck and truck tire plant in the Royong Province of Thailand. Feng Wang, CEO of Shandong Linglong Tire Co. Ltd., was not afraid to let us peek behind the curtain. When I asked about the capacity numbers, he personally wrote them down on a white board for me.

Thanks also go to my translators, Victor Qui, vice president of sales for Horizon Tire Inc., and Kelly Wang, auditor for the LLIT (Thailand) Co. Ltd. plant. And while I am at it, thanks to the other manufacturers and suppliers who give their time and expertise to us when we are writing about the industry.

We also send out numerous survey requests over the course of the year. Many of you receive multiple requests. Thank you for filling them out. It helps us stay on top of the trends, and gives us nationwide benchmarks that we can relay back to you in the magazine.

At the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, I was fortunate to run into Mike Callagy, owner of Callagy Tire Inc. in Malabar, Fla. He told me he always fills out our surveys.

“It’s great for the industry,” he said. “The information keeps everyone up-to-speed. And you have to stay up-to-speed because there’s nothing worse than having a customer smarter than you.” (Thanks for the plug, Mike!)

So one last time, from me, Art Director Neal Weingart, Managing Editor Lori Mavrigian, Associate Editor Ann Neal and the newbie, Senior Editor Joy Kopcha, thank you for helping us help you run your businesses more profitably. And have a happy holiday.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at bob.ulrich@bobit.com.

For more of Bob Ulrich's editorials, see:

Too much overreacting

Price fixation

Ties that bind

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