What’s more scarce at your tire dealership — tires or people? If you can’t pick one, you’re not alone. The nation’s largest commercial tire dealerships have been grappling with shortages on both fronts.
The challenges of 2020 have been immense, and commercial tire dealers are doing their best to weather the storm. As Bob Berlin, president of Orange, Mass.-based Pete’s Tire Barns Inc., put it, “We’re pretty much flat for the year — and we’re happy.”
Selling tires to construction fleets has always been a tough business. And it has become even more challenging as construction companies apply extra scrutiny to their tire budgets and purchasing decisions due to continued, COVID-19-driven uncertainty.
It’s difficult to find a topic most people agree on, but among retreaders, concern over low-cost Chinese tires is one of them. “We are constantly looking for ways to cut cost out of the retread process so that we can be competitive,” says Chris Chase, president of Donald B. Rice Tire Co. Inc., which goes to market as Rice Retreading Inc.