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Programs created for dealers, by dealers

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Programs created for dealers, by dealers

In the May 2012 issue of Modern Tire Dealer we covered tire manufacturer dealer programs. In this follow-up story, we cover non-manufacturer programs.

Program groups are more than just buying groups. Program groups offer dealers more freedom, because most are run by tire dealers. Programs have requirements and different degrees of requirements. Here’s the lowdown on the latest program groups around the U.S.

American Car Care Centers Inc. (ACCC)

Program name: Eco-Express Tire Centers

Web address: www.ecoexpresstire.com

Who is eligible: Dealers who are interested in running an eco-friendly operation and using it as a marketing tool.

How many participating: There are 61 dealers with plans to add 155 locations in 2013.

Participation fee:  Yes.

Program benefits:  Eco-Assistance nationwide tire warranty, Eco-Assurance nationwide service warranty and Eco-Anywhere 25-mile service guarantee.  Eco-Advantage Preferred Customer program provides interest-free credit and approval in minutes.

What makes this program unique?  Eco-Express lets dealers take advantage of the growing popularity of eco-friendly practices. The retail program is partnered with the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR) to certify the shops, and with the Arbor Day Foundation for the “Trees 4 Tires” program where a tree is planted for every set of tires sold.

American Tire Distributors

Program name: Tire Pros – “Everything Rotates Around You”

Web address: www.tirepros.com

Who is eligible: Independent tire and service dealers who meet the franchise standards for image, size and willingness to engage in the program.

Number of participants: There are 524 locations.

Participation fee: Yes.

Program benefits: Business insurance; promotional support that includes developing and helping to manage the dealer’s marketing and advertising program; POP materials and signage; ongoing training; new dealer orientation/training; affiliate vendor programs; and exclusive consumer promotions.

What makes this program unique? Tire Pros is a tire and automotive service franchise managed by a retail-experienced team, 100%-focused on helping independent tire dealers improve sales and profitability. Primary objective is to build a nationwide network of the industry’s highest quality independent tire/service dealers identified under a national retail brand.

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Big O Tires LLC

Program name: Big O Tires

Web address: see website www.bigofranchise.com

Who is eligible: Franchisees who want to own their own business yet have the support of a program.

How many are currently participating: There are around 425 company-owned and franchised locations.

Participation fee: Yes.

Program benefits: Exclusive tire brands, Service Central products and services provide customer recognition and quality service and replacement parts with a nationwide warranty.

What makes this program unique? Big O Tires and its franchisees work collaboratively to maximize the value of the Big O brand through the Franchise Advisory Council. Royalty Matrix allows franchisees to lower their royalty rate up to 20% based on store volume and/or number of stores owned.

Community Wholesale Tire Distributing Inc.

Program name: Independent Tire Dealer (ITD)

Web address: www.itdroll.com

Who is eligible: Stocking dealers of Community Wholesale Tire.

How many are currently participating: 105.

Participation fee: No.

Program benefits: Promotional support POP materials and signage, training, website, parts and battery program.

What makes this program unique? ITD is unique in that we customize our program to fit our dealer’s needs. We customize all types of POP and signage.

Conrad’s Tire Service Inc.

Program name: Xpress Tire and Auto Service

Web address: www.xpress-tire.com

Who is eligible: Independently owned and operated automotive service installers with a desire to engage in the tire business with the objective of using that as a conduit in retaining existing, and building new, service customers.

How many are participating: Currently 118, and we add dealers on a continuous basis, purge non-performers semi-annually.

Participation fee: No.

Program benefits: Consumer website with dealer locater; volume rebates; free road hazard protection; free direct-mail/merge mail advertising with tire brand consumer offerings; free billboard advertising with tire brand consumer offerings; Yellow pages advertising; dovetail program with NAPA’s Autocare program; access to discounted tire service supplies; access to tools and equipment; bulk oil program; POS materials; and exclusive signage.

What makes this program unique? “The mentality that we bring to the interaction with our dealers. We look at the market from a ‘retailer’s’ perspective. We try to help get a ‘mechanical service-based’ business engaged at a very high level.”

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Del-Nat Tire Corp.

Program name: Cooperative – Identified by individual stockholders business names.

Web address: www.delnat.com

Who is eligible: Stockholders of Del-Nat Tire Corp.

How many are participating: Currently 73 stockholders and 80 direct distributors.

Is there a participation fee: Yes.

Program benefits: Promotional support, POP materials, signage and training programs.

What makes this program unique? Protected territories and proprietary brands.

Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC

Program name: Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG)

Web address: www.itdgusa.com

Who is eligible: Any independent dealer with one or more locations able to purchase a minimum of $200,000 annually from participating ITDG vendors and manufacturers.

How many participating: More than 400 locations in 30 states.

Participation fee: Yes.

Program benefits: Captive insurance company-owned by ITDG members for workers comp insurance (turns expense item into an investment). Promotional support is available through vendor/manufacturer, along with POP materials and signage. Training programs are also available through the vendor/manufacturer. In addition, there is a year-end volume bonus and dividends to stockholders.

What makes this program unique? Very low program operational expense with substantial annual dividends. Flexibility to work in concert with manufacturer and distributor programs. Program works for single-location dealers and larger regional dealers with multiple locations.

K&M Tire Inc.

Program names: Mr. Tire and Big 3 Tire

Web address: www.kmtire.com

Who is eligible: The dealer’s core income must be derived from retail tire sales and service, they must have modern tire equipment and be able to display and merchandise tires within a professional store environment.

How many participating: There are 379 Mr. Tire dealers and 46 Big 3 Tire dealers.

Participation fee: No.

Program benefits: Mr. Tire or Big 3 Tire website with tire guide; discounted premium website development; nationwide tire road hazard program; nationwide service warranty program; parts rebate programs; national account oil programs; national account uniform programs; social media support; and consumer financing programs.

What makes this program unique? The opportunity to join a network of like-minded tire dealers across the country while maintaining individual identity. We offer name recognition, well-recognized tire brands, good customer service, an improved internet presence and vendor partner programs.

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Tire Centers LLC (TCi)

Program name: T3 Marketing Program

Web address: www.T3Tires.com

Who is eligible: All independent tire dealers, who are not direct with Michelin.

How many participating: More than 1,000

Participation fee: Yes.

Program benefits: The T3 Marketing Program helps dealers drive more retail traffic to their stores, enhances the consumer experience and offers programs to streamline their operations. Dealers have access to our vendor negotiated partner programs like auto parts, bulk oil, telecommunications, marketing, uniforms, credit card, etc.

What makes this program unique? Customized advertising, T3 SMART digital solution/software to manage social media sites; TPMS Manager software; the TCi road hazard warranty combines three years of support with a nationwide support network; and the retail market price intelligence information that allows dealers to optimize their margin.

Tire Factory

Program name: Tire Factory

Web address: www.jointirefactory.com and www.tirefactory.com.

Who is eligible: Independent tire retailer meeting guidelines.

How many participating: There are 193 branded Tire Factory locations, 154 members (owners) and 18 affiliates (non-Tire Factory brand) for a total of 211 locations.

Participation fee: Yes.

Program benefits: Use of a recognized brand; direct vendor relationships; regional distribution center ownership; distribution via Tire Factory trucks. Members retain advertising and pricing. High GP/low inventory investment and the ability to purchase mixed brands at direct costs in small quantities.

What makes this program unique? The only value-added group in the U.S. that has complete solutions in marketing and vendor buying programs that is 100% member-controlled and is doing self-distribution through member-owned RDCs. This gives members additional profits and control of their future as independent tire dealers.

The following companies also have programs for dealers. For more information, check out their websites: Best-One Tire & Service, B1 Advantage, www.bestonetire.com; Kauffman Tire Inc., Treadmaxx, www.kauffmantire.com; and U.S. AutoForce, Tread Pros, www.usautoforce.com    ■

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