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Dealers Weigh In on Michelin's Plan to Sell Online

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It didn’t take long for tire dealers to tell us what they think of Michelin North America Inc.’s entrance into online selling. In the word of one dealer: “disgusted."

Here's the reaction of four dealers. Many more have commented here.

John Zadrovitz, owner of South Trail Tire & Auto Repair in Fort Myers, Fla.

“Michelin, please inform the customer that THEY will be responsible to handle any warranty issues. THEY make the call, THEY hold to talk to the representative, THEY go thru the whole process of filing the claim, THEY argue if the credit isn't to their satisfaction. Oh, wait.....you no longer want paper claims. All warranty claims by an authorized Michelin dealer has to be processed on-line. My time = money, so when I spend time doing this for tires that I didn't sell, made no profit, and is expected to make the difference with add-on sales, Michelin can't pay me enough. And thanks for all the training classes that took my time and all the certificates that I earned. They have now become of no VALUE! WHY? Because according to MICHELIN, the consumer can now have the same knowledge as me. THANK YOU MICHELIN for my loyalty to your brand over the years. Tell the ivory tower management that sometimes things in theory don't always work in REAL life.”

Blake Breeden, owner of Boulevard Tire & Service in Kansas City, Kan.

“Great so now the MFG is the competitor to the local shop. The local shop doing the install will receive an as of yet undetermined fee for doing the install with the hope of staying afloat through upselling the customer once they get in the shop. Thanks for nothing Michelin.”

Mary McLaughlin, owner of Independent Tire & Auto Inc., North Andover, Mass.

“This is your typical big guy taking a piece of the little guy's pie. They say they have worked closely with their dealers. That is the first I have heard about it. MY distributor did not about it until I told them about it. How about Michelin working to help the independent tire dealer, who has been loyal to them instead of taking their cake and eating it too? Disgusted.”

Michael R. Smith, owner of J. Woods Inc., dba Mike Smith Tire Pros in Lumberton, Texas, and Woods Tire and Auto in Sherman, Texas:

“As an independent dealer I will be re-evaluating my association with Michelin.”

What do you think? Add to the discussion with your own comment.

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