'Tires' TV Show Vulgar, Insulting - and Thought-Provoking?

June 3, 2024

By the time the journalist in the first episode of the new Netflix series, "Tires," said, "No. Look I have my story, OK?" I knew I had mine, too.

Admittedly, I wasn't as excited about the launch of a satire centered on a tire shop as other people were. I pretty much knew the stereotypes presented on the show would enrage me.

And at first, they did — until they didn't.

Some scenes were blown out of proportion and were offensive, profane and vulgar, which sadly, is all-too common on TV today.

The writers of "Tires" did a fantastic job of dumbing down a segment of the industry — namely, you and your peers — who care deeply about the needs and well-being of customers.

But after watching episode one, I realized the show's writers had done a fair amount of research or may even know "one of us." The script was clearly written based on some experience. I realized there was much more at play here than just an offensive presentation.

The bits and pieces of each scene weren't simply satire. They presented some version of what some dealers have allowed themselves to be thought of as.

Don't get me wrong. The show's portrayal of tire dealers is absolutely disgusting and by and large, completely unfounded. Once again, mass media harvests it viewership on the negative, which today sells.

I mentioned that the show's writers did some research and brought some issues forward. Here's my take on the topics they presented that - in one way or another - I've seen at some poorly run tire dealerships.

My goal is to give you a motivational takeaway of things to avoid. All of us in the tire and/or service segment have a responsibility to the spirit of our work.

If any of these representations or themes "Tires" puts forth are part of your business' culture, then you need to change:

  • nepotism;
  • succession planning, or lack thereof;
  • lack of will;
  • poor procurement/purchasing decisions;
  • moving problems, including employees, from one place to another;
  • lack of customer communication;
  • terrible waiting rooms;
  • inappropriate conversations in the workplace;
  • lackluster leadership/coaching;
  • price cutting to sell a job;
  • offering the wrong loss leader.

Sadly, I can trace a line from most of the above to one topic or another that I've written about over the years.

All told, if "Tires" was simply satire without so many traceable elements to what is a reality in some bad shops, we all might be able to take the show at face value and laugh a bit.

This series may represent some of the things that are wrong in bad shops, but it doesn't accurately represent how those who work in the greater majority of tire dealerships truly feel about their roles, as well as their customers and co-workers.

We are truly passionate about keeping our customers' cars and their families safe. But we are often misunderstood. ("Tires" certainly does not help.)

Sometimes, though, we fall victim to the stereotypes and become part of the problem, rather than drivers of the solution. Don't let the daily grind engender you to ignore how impactful both positive and negative customer and employee experiences really are.

Today's a great day to elevate our industry and rewrite the script. 

About the Author

Randy O'Connor

Tire and auto industry veteran Randy O’Connor is the Owner/Principal of D2D Development Group (Dealer to Dealer Development Group.) He can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, please visit www.d2ddevelopmentgroup.com.