Goodyear Tests a Mobile Tire Shop Program

Bob Ulrich
Posted on December 12, 2017

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is testing a mobile tire installation program in the Northeast Ohio area as well as a handful of other markets.

Modern Tire Dealer Publisher Greg Smith was surprised to see a Goodyear Mobile Tire Shop (see photo) parked outside a local restaurant earlier this week. As you might expect, he walked over, told the clean-cut driver who he was, and talked to him about the service. Greg told me the driver was knowledgeable and professional. He also gave Greg a coupon worth 15% off all tires on goodyear.com.

With snow and freezing temperatures about to hit the Akron area, Greg asked the driver if he was ready to change tires in the snow, to which the driver laughed and said that this was the test market to see how it will work in the winter.

After seeing the photo of the Mobile Tire Shop, I decided to check out the website and see how the process would work. I discovered that after choosing a tire size and entering our zip code, an ad for Goodyear Home Install popped up. "When you buy tires on Goodyear.com, installation comes to you," it read. "Our process means buying tires has never been easier."

I asked Goodyear about the program and here's what they had to say.

"Goodyear is extending its mobile fleet solutions to passenger vehicles in a very limited amount of markets. We are always looking for ways to make Goodyear (tires) easy to buy and own, but have no plans to make these programs widely available to consumers at this time."

Selling directly to consumers online, which Goodyear is doing, takes advantage of the paradigm shift in the way millennials do business compared to baby boomers. Some Goodyear dealers don’t like it, but in Goodyear’s defense, dealers have been slow to jump on this trend. And Goodyear can’t be faulted for looking at creative ways to increase its sales.

But when it announced at its 2015 Customer Conference that it was selling tires online, Goodyear described the announcement as a win-win for both Goodyear and its dealers. While Goodyear would get the sale, its dealers would 1) receive a delivery fee from Goodyear, 2) keep all installation charges, and 3) get the opportunity to generate additional service revenue from consumers they would not see normally. This mobile tire installation program takes all three of those things away.

The Goodyear program appears to be similar to Michelin OnSite, which Michelin North America Inc. has discontinued. As you may remember, Michelin's program was tested in the Raleigh-Durham market before Michelin pulled the plug.

When Michelin launched its pilot program, I was pretty vocal about my dislike for it. My opinion about tire manufacturers offering mobile tire service directly to consumers hasn't changed.

Related Topics: 2015 Goodyear Dealer Conference, B.O.B., Michelin OnSite, mobile tire service, online tire sales

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