When you take a look around at the tire service equipment in your shop, you may see the name of the company that Johnny g’s next guest represents. The one that he credits for imprinting the tire industry in his heart. That company is Hunter Engineering, and the guest that’s been part of its team for over 25 years is none other than John Zentz, the company’s senior vice president of global sales.
Johnny g first met Zentz at a retirement party for Dick Johnson, retired chairman and CEO of American Tire Distributors. Through industry events, golf outings and the mutual friends they’ve made along the way, the two have solidified a bond over the industry they love.
Zentz first started in the automotive industry selling engine diagnostic equipment in the mid-80s and then made his way into tire service and has stayed ever since. Now, he’s a familiar face in the industry and has become a staunch advocate for the automotive aftermarket and the independent tire dealer.
Johnny g and Zentz delve into:
- How Zentz learned the pulse of the industry from a young age and why he felt it is was a “natural fit” for his career (1:10)
- The origins of Hunter Engineering and how it morphed from a battery company to a tire service company and the how tire service technology has changed over the years (Remember a bubble balancer? An alignment machine with strings?) (1:50)
- Zentz’s mentors from his first job at Allen Test Products to what he learned from early mentors at Hunter [3:50)
- How Zentz believes independent tire dealers can compete and survive in today’s market (6:48)
- The pandemic’s effect on Hunter Engineering and what the company did to innovate (8:47)
- Memories Johnny g and Zentz have shared with the “great cast of characters” in the industry, including a golf incident when Johnny g hit a real birdie (10:00)
- How Johnny g and Zentz’s mutual friend Steve Gray, former owner of Gray’s Wholesale Tire Distribution in Texas, saved Johnny g’s life when he had 15-20 minutes to live (13:44)
- Zentz details how tire dealers can capitalize on servicing electric vehicles (17:35)