December, 2006 Archives - Tire Review Magazine
Dealer Debate: Tires Only Or Tires & Service?

In the world of independent tire dealers, there are two primary ways to conduct business: Sell tires and wheels only or sell tires and wheels plus full-blown automotive service. In recent years, there have been debates about which format fits today’s marketplace best. Here are two views offered by veteran tire dealers and the organizations

Stocking Stuffers: Catching Up and Clearing the Desk Before the New Year

As you’d expect, I get a lot of questions about the USW contract talks and the future of North America’s tire manufacturing base. And, as you’d expect, my responses are neutral. Anything else is a pure lose-lose proposition. But I will say this: The USW’s effort to negotiate in the media with Goodyear shows that

Donks, Boxes & Bubbles: Hot Stuff From the SEMA Show Can Put Profits Into Overdrive

From street rods to ‘donks’ to high-performance European machines and ‘invisible wheels,’ this year’s SEMA Show had you covered with new and innovative products to help you improve your sales. Plus, there was a new tool that helps reduce back injuries while improving ride by centering the wheels on a vehicle’s hub. First up: the

Simply No Secrets

The secrets to success in the tire business – and, for that matter, in trucking – have not been deep and dark. They are not extracts from some higher learning or the result of intricate laboratory testing. Except for technological breakthroughs, no great tire or trucking business thoughts have been unearthed over the last 10

Better Fuel Economy? Start With a Strong Tire Program

This year, the U.S. interstate highway system marks its 50th anniversary. It is not surprising to drivers who travel these roads that, amid the ever-rising cost of a barrel of oil, and the proliferation of eco-friendly hybrids and alternative fuels, trucks still rule the highways and their many adjoining capillaries. While the percentage of trucks

What Are Retreaders Doing to Improve Fuel Efficiency?

If trucks are kings of the road, then retreaded tires are their scepters. The Tire Industry Association estimates that approximately 17.6 million retreaded truck tires were sold in North America in 2005, with total sales exceeding $3 billion. The majority of these were medium truck tires. That’s almost three-fourths of the entire medium/heavy truck tire

Super Wides: Can Super Wide Tires Cut Fuel Costs?

Smart fleets and progressive tire dealers opt for a symbiotic relationship – one in which the dealer helps the fleet lower its operating costs, while the fleet ensures continued business for the dealer. After all, a supplier relationship in its ideal form should be a partnership, not just a sales contract. Still, commercial tire innovation

Going Live: Use the Virtual World to Drive Traffic to Your Real Business

If you aren’t doing it already or want to do it better, here’s how smart tire dealers can leverage the Internet. But, first, a preface. The number of new Internet users has slowed, while the number of disconnected Americans – those who have never used the Internet and do not have Internet connections – has

Push For Safety: An Open Letter to Tire Dealers and Tire Companies

This letter is addressed to you because, well, if you ever want to get something done, start at the grassroots level. I would have sent this to Congress, but there’s a bunch of new folks there, and they’re busy trying to find the restrooms. I am writing you directly with an important matter: a proactive

Tiny Universe: Sharply Focused Sales Efforts Can Pinpoint Bias Light Truck Tire Market

Though we don’t see many on the road anymore, bias tires still have their uses. Today’s bias light truck tires, for example, are like any other niche product. Don’t expect them to fly off the shelves. Dewey Beach, director of product management at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., says, “there’s just not much demand there

Off the Charts: Will Pressure Guidelines Ever Catch Up to Extreme Fitments?

Not many years ago, the concept of plus sizing was largely the province of autocrossers and road racers. That was before it spread to a new breed of vehicle owners who are collectively challenging tiremakers, wheel makers and even frame makers to fit ever-larger tires and wheels under automobiles and pickup trucks. Today, it is

Get it Straight: Don’t Miss Out on Alignment Profits Due to Equipment Concerns

Being in this industry for as long as I have, I have watched businesses thrive on aftermarket wheels and tires. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that many high-volume wheel businesses rarely offer alignments. This poses both a problem and an opportunity. The problem: While these businesses are turning out dozens of large tire and