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‘Typical greedy manufacturers’

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Are tire manufacturers your friends, or something else?

As two of the “Big Three” have unveiled plans to sell tires direct to consumers, some tire dealers aren’t sure what to think of their partner manufacturers anymore. First Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. kicked off its online tire selling program in January, and then in August Modern Tire Dealer was the first to report that Michelin North America Inc. was in the process of launching its own direct-to-consumer program, along with concierge service.

After letting the dust settle a bit, MTD asked members of our National Advisory Council to tell us what they think about these developments. The respondents didn’t mince words.

“Thirty years ago, your suppliers were your allies. Now, it seems your suppliers are your competition,” one dealer wrote. “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too! It’s a sad state for business. Local businesses must compete by being strong within their communities. It boils down to ‘Business 101.’”

Another dealer, who predicts Bridgestone Americas Inc. will be the next manufacturer to show off an online tire selling tool, says the effect of these changes “depends on where you are in the food chain.”

And here are the words of yet another dealer: “Typical greedy manufacturers. For reasons like this we are losing our respect and loyalty for the tire manufacturers. This is bound to have a negative effect on all tire dealers.”

Read more about what dealers said in this Our Turn column from our September issue.

And what do you think? Are tire manufacturers your partners, or one of your problems? Comment here, or sound off on our Facebook page or tag @MTDMagazine on Twitter.

 

Do you want to share your opinions on a regular basis? Join MTD’s National Advisory Council! The group’s members are at the heart of the monthly Your Marketplace column, and their input guides what MTD does all year long. Interested? Contact Editor Bob Ulrich at Bob.Ulrich@bobit.com, or call (330) 899-2200, ext. 11.

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