Retail

New Michelin dealer program represents 'fundamental shift'

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Michelin Americas Small Tires (MAST) is launching a new Alliance Associate Dealer (AAD) program for 2008. The program represents "a fundamental shift in the way (MAST) does business with both distributors and dealers of its passenger car and light truck replacement tires," say Michelin officials.

"The new program establishes a major change by removing the administration of the program from the distributor. This enables uniform execution of the program by Michelin to improve margins and enhance delivery options for its Alliance Associate Dealers.

"The program aims to meet dealers’ specific needs and supports the important role Michelin distributors play in the tiremaker’s business model."

At the heart of the new program is "a robust technical infrastructure that simplifies the communication and administration processes for its dealers." As part of that infrastructure:

• Distributors will report sell-out to Michelin via electronic data interchange.

• AADs will receive program funds by direct deposit from Michelin.

• Individual AAD e-Statements, updated daily, can be accessed by AADs 24/7 through the Michelin’s B2B portal, "providing visibility to purchases, accruals and earnings."

• Michelin AADs will receive program benefits for purchases from multiple Alliance Distributors.

• The new program rewards AAD loyalty to the primary servicing distributor.

• Michelin AADs can now manage their own advertising and marketing fund accruals.

"Above all else, we understand the importance of our independent dealer network," says MAST COO Scott Clark.

"Even as new channels emerge and the markets evolve, our independent dealers remain the traditional base of our strength and the front-line of our consumer communications."

To introduce this program, Michelin has scheduled 40 meetings in major markets across the United States during the first three weeks of October.

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