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K&M gets aggressive with the Mr. Tire program

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What’s in store for the Mr. Tire franchise in 2012? K&M Tire Inc. answered that question at its annual tire dealer trade show, which was held in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 19-20.

There are 278 Mr. Tire dealers in 17 states. Jeff Wallick, program/marketing manager, told the dealers in attendance that K&M plans to increase the number of franchises to 403 by January 2013 through “calculated” growth. The keys are to:

* support and recruit a high-caliber, upper echelon dealer base;

* maintain exclusivity through a rigid dealer selection process;

* implement continuous improvement processes;

* build Mr. Tire brand recognition;

* build consumer trust through retail excellence; and

* add new and stronger vendor partner relationships.

“We’re looking at growing in existing states and hopefully bringing it into new states,” he said.

Mr. Tire dealers offer Cooper, Mastercraft, Continental, General and Hankook tires. Bonnie Marlow, assistant program/marketing manager, said K&M is looking at adding brands to the program.

K&M is backing the program with a new website and an emphasis on online marketing and branding (see “Just how important is the Internet to tire sales? K&M tire knows”). “It’s a cornerstone of the program to keep up on the latest trends in the industry,” said Wallick.

K&M also is looking at adding three distribution centers, which would give the Delphos, Ohio-based company 15. “We want to service our customers better,” said President Ken Langhals.

K&M Tire acquired the Mr. Tire program in 2010 when it purchased Triton Tire & Battery from Universal Cooperatives.

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