Who Will Be the Next Tire Dealer of the Year?

April 20, 2023

Do you know an independent tire dealer who is worthy of being named MTD’s 2023 Tire Dealer of the Year? We want to know — and soon. Here are a few reasons why. (Forgive me if I digress a bit.)

Tire dealers are not only the backbone of our industry. They keep our economy and way of life moving.

Without tire dealers, cars can’t roll. Commercial trucks can’t deliver the goods and services we need. Tractors can’t plant and harvest. And excavators, bulldozers and haul trucks sit still.

Tire dealers enable these machines — and the people who operate them — to complete the task at hand safely, efficiently and with peace of mind.

There are 29,000 independent tire dealers in the United States. Each and every one is essential. That includes you.

MTD established the Tire Dealer of the Year Award — the oldest and most prestigious honor of its kind — in 1993 to honor and celebrate the independent tire dealer. We are accepting nominations for this year’s award at MTD’s website, www.moderntiredealer.com, through May 26.

The recipient of the award will be featured in the September 2023 issue of MTD. And as part of the Tire Dealer of the Year program, we will make a cash donation to a charity of the award winner’s choosing.

I would like to note that over the decades, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated through the MTD Tire Dealer of the Year Award program - all made possible through the generosity of tire industry suppliers who support the project.

“So how is the Tire Dealer of the Year chosen?” you might ask.

MTD’s Tire Dealer of the Year Award winner is selected by a panel of independent judges who evaluate nominees based on their achievements and acumen in the following five categories, which I’d like to elaborate on as you think about who you would like to nominate:

Business success. How do you define this concept? Yes, gross profit is important. But you know better than anyone that success can also be measured in other ways. It can be defined as the opportunities your candidate has created for his or her employees. It can be based on the stability and success of the families your nominee’s business supports. It can be the goals that your candidate has enabled his or her customers to accomplish. I urge you to think outside the box when describing your nominee in this category. Nothing is off-limits.

Marketing skills. I believe this is an area where many tire dealers undersell themselves. In the 25 years I’ve been in our industry, I’ve found that tire dealers, by and large, are brilliant marketers — devising and deploying strategies and tactics that are innovative and successful. However, dealers don’t like to brag about it, for the most part. We at MTD believe it’s time for dealers to toot their own horns. Do you know of a tire dealer who is a master marketer? Tell us about that person and what he or she is doing.

Management skills. I find this category to be the most fascinating of the five because it’s where process (skill) and personality (style) intersect. It’s been said that there are as many management styles as there are managers. What’s your nominee’s approach? How has that contributed to his or her success? Has your candidate steered a dealership through rough waters or helped turn a business around? Is your candidate a master motivator? Would employees “walk through” the proverbial brick wall for your nominee? These are all things to consider.

Industry knowledge. This can mean many things — from sheer know-how picked up through the years to participation in tire industry groups, associations and activities. An important thing to think about is how your candidate shares this knowledge with others, not only for their professional and personal betterment, but also for the general betterment of our industry.

Community involvement. Tire dealers are as generous as the day is long, but again, they don’t always like to talk about it. From “small” activities like sponsoring the local little league team to major endeavors, every cause, effort and donation of time, money and resources is worthy of recognition.

There have been attempts to imitate MTD’s Tire Dealer of the Year Award. However, this honor has never been duplicated. It stands alone as the greatest distinction that an independent tire dealer can receive.

Before time runs out, I urge you to go to www.moderntiredealer.com, click on the Tire Dealer of the Year link at the top of our homepage and nominate a candidate for this year’s award by filling out our online form. It only takes a few minutes. We hope to hear from you soon!

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at [email protected]

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.