Dealers celebrate General's birthday in Vegas
What better way to celebrate your 100th anniversary than to bring your top tire dealers to Las Vegas for a four-day, event filled weekend?That's what Continental Tire the Americas LLC did in honor of the General brand.
William F. O'Neil and Winfred Fouse started the company in Akron, Ohio, in 1915. Appropriately, a framed portrait of O'Neil, who ran the company for decades, was on stage when Director of Marketing Travis Roffler talked to the dealers about the brand's legacy.
The brand's revitalization began in 2006, first with new products (after years of little innovation, the entire product line was turned over by 2012). Short track and off-road racing sponsorships, which had been dropped, also helped bring the brand back into prominence.
Appropriately, the 147 dealers in attendance were treated to Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series races on Sept. 19.
In the last 12 years, the General brand also has expanded beyond North America. It is now built in 16 plants worldwide and sold in 98 countries.
"I think we've turned it into a world-class brand," said Roffler.
Representatives from some of the largest retail and wholesale tire dealers in the United States were on hand to celebrate the anniversary. Independent chains represented included Discount Tire, Sullivan Tire, Jack Williams Tire, Mavis Discount Tire, U.S. AutoForce, Tire Rack and Dealer Tire. Wholesale distributors included American Tire Distributors Inc., TBC Corp. and Tire's Warehouse Inc. Sears Holding Co. also was represented.
In all, General dealers from five continents descended upon Las Vegas.
For the rest of this year, the brand's tagline will be "100 years of adventure." After this year, it will go back to "Anywhere as possible."
Continental CEO Jochen Etzel said it best with a toast to the dealers in attendance: "To 100 more years of continued success of the General Tire brand around the world."
To read about the oldest General tire dealership in the world, check out this link: