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Editor's Notebook

2020 Top Shops: Accolades Amidst Adversity

While this year has been laden with the challenges of doing business during a pandemic, our industry was courageous, steadfast and innovative, demonstrating its resilience to meet this battle head on. At the local level, many dealers even reported a significant sales rebound that may have seemed unobtainable just a few months ago. They put their resourcefulness, creativity, determination and hard work to the test to let customers know they were ready, willing and able to keep their vehicles repaired, maintained and safe.

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And, it was no surprise that, even in the face of adversity, there was no shortage of entries in Tire Review’s 2020 Top Shop Competition. This country’s tire dealers were forthright and proud to tell their stories. There is a common thread among all contest participants—sharing similar goals, aspirations, challenges, opportunities and even success stories!

From this exemplary group of tire dealerships that entered, the Final Four emerged—one Winner and three Finalists. Heartiest congratulations to this elite group who are listed below. 

Winner: Waukegan Tire

A four-time Top Shop Finalist, with three locations in the Chicagoland area, Waukegan Tire is owned by Gerald “Jerry” Nerheim. The dealership’s guiding principles are based on the values of always working hard and with integrity, treating people with respect and kindness (like family) and exceeding expectations. While this dealership is progressive, forward-thinking and keeps up with technology, it hasn’t lost focus of the foundation upon which it was built—making customers priority No. 1 every single day.

Finalist: Burt Brothers Tire & Service

This 12-location dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah, is owned by Jake, Brandon, Jeremy, Jason and Cory Burt. The Burts say they’ve built their reputation on having the best, most knowledgeable, and most skilled technicians and team members, and the most up-to-date tools and equipment. But they say it’s the loyalty of their outstanding customers that has really helped them build lasting success.

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Finalist: Courtesy Auto Service & Tire of Tacoma

This three-time Top Shop Finalist is owned by Scott and Susan Welsh, who say Courtesy has found success in taking an approach of being the best resource in the market to solve repair issues and maintain its customers’ vehicles, and be the most knowledgeable resource to buy tires. Their team accomplishes these goals through training, asking the right questions, listening to their customers’ needs and providing unique alternatives for convenience, such as loaner vehicles for their customers’ use.

Finalist: Plaza Tire Service

This 67-location dealership in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, is owned by brothers Mark and Scott Rhodes. They say that marketing is an integral component of their business. They market Plaza Tire Service, not any particular tire brand, because they want customers to remember their experience at Plaza Tire Service, not “that store that sold me this brand of tires.” 

Thank you all for the incredible job you do every day, raising the bar and elevating the entire tire industry. As Top Shops, you lead by example, outshine your competitors, stand out in your community and commit to excellence—just a few of the many reasons why we salute you. 

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