Retail Service Suppliers

Ziegler offers auto services to the unemployed

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Massillon, Ohio-based Ziegler Tire & Oil Co. is providing much-needed vehicle maintenance and repair services for unemployed people, some at no charge, in an effort to get them back on the road.

Ziegler Tire  is providing free oil and filter changes, tire rotation, air pressure adjustments, flat repair, fluid checks and comprehensive vehicle inspections at six retail locations in the Canton, Ohio, area.

The dealership is providing repairs at cost, according to Ziegler Tire President Bill Ziegler. "If they need (further) service, we will buy the parts and rebuild them at cost and then charge $30 an hour for labor."

The idea is to make customers' vehicles road worthy so they can continue their job search, he says.

To qualify for the program, customers must:

1. Schedule an appointment at one of the six  Ziegler Tire retail stores.

2. Present proof of unemployment, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub.

3. Present proof of vehicle ownership, including vehicle registration.

A lot of people have taken advantage of the offer, which will run through the end of 2009, says Ziegler. "We're trying to limit it to three a day at each store, so we have some room for profitable business. I think as word gets out, more and more people are coming in."

The biggest repair performed so far has been a four-wheel brake job.

Ziegler Tire has not asked for help from any of its tire or parts suppliers. "We didn't want people to think there's some kind of catch to this and we didn't want to play one (supplier) against another," says Ziegler, who adds that his company  hasn't been immune to the effects of the recession.

"We've had to let some people go on the commercial side of our business this year. It's a hard thing to do."

Ziegler Tire, which is 57th largest independent tire store chain with 22 total locations, is celebrating its 90th year in business.


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