Northeast Coast tire dealers prepare for major storm

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As a late-winter snow storm hits the Northeast Coast, domestic tire dealers are preparing for the blizzard conditions in different ways.

Norwell, Mass.-based Sullivan Tire Co. isn’t selling many winter tires at the moment, with less than two inches of snow on the ground. “This is the lull before the storm,” says company Director of Marketing Paul Sullivan.

Customers aren’t too concerned right now, he says. “There’s a tendency by the media to over-sensationalize. We’re not doing anything out of the ordinary.”

But he expects tire sales to increase when the storm hits. “There will be wet roads for the next two weeks, and people are very cautious about wet roads.”

Jerry Massaro, president of Reliable Auto Tire Co. in Hartford, Conn., doesn’t expect the storm to spike snow tire sales. “Snow tire season is over with,” he says. “We’ll get a few stragglers but that’s it.”

Massaro has no plans to stock any more winter tires.

"If people haven't gotten their snow tires by March, they're not going to get them," says Bob Katz, president of Nu-Tread Tire & Auto Service Center in East Boston, Mass. "When it gets this bad, people don't go anywhere. They hibernate. They panic."

Katz says he's prepared for the storm, although he admits "it might be hard for people to get to us tomorrow and later today." His bays already are full thanks to his airport park-and-shuttle program, Air Travelers Service Corp., which allows customers to have work done on their vehicles while they are traveling.

In eastern New York, Jay Hansel, president of Hansel Tire Corp., says electricity is partially down in the Bronx. He is trying to stay open, but as the weather gets worse, he's not sure if he will be able to send his delivery trucks out.

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