Industry Report - Tire Review Magazine

Industry Report

Making the GradeMichelin to Start Grading and Rating Its Truck Tire Dealers

Making the Grade

Michelin to Start Grading and Rating Its Truck Tire Dealers

Michelin Americas Truck Tires (MATT) will soon be grading its network of independent dealers as part of a new program aimed at improving service to the trucking industry. The Michelin Truck Service Network will grade and rate each dealer location on specific criteria, and those meeting Michelin-established standards will be included in the network.
According to Michelin, each dealer’s point-of-sale location will be graded and rated on such items as hours of operation, availability of new and retreaded truck tires, availability of mounting, balancing and repair equipment, and on how well their service personnel are trained.
Once evaluated, qualifying locations will be given a one-, two- or three-star rating. But not all dealer locations will qualify for inclusion in the network, said Michelin.
“Our goal is to raise service beyond customer expectation,” said Randy Clark, MATT’s director of marketing. The program will improve relationships with independent Michelin dealers, and ®improve their quality of training and service.®
The dealer location ratings will be made available to trucking fleets and owner-operators, and those customers will benefit by “clearly identified, clean, well-maintained dealerships, highly trained service staffs, and improved follow-up customer service,” according to Michelin.
Those dealer locations that make the grade will receive point-of-sale certification signage, priority for road service calls, and Michelin-funded training for service personnel.

Marangoni Tyre working to establish U.S. distributors
Marangoni North America will be the focal point of its parent company’s efforts to sell new performance, winter and industrial tires in North America. The Walnut Creek, Calif.-based retreading system marketer will also take on Marangoni’s new tire efforts in North America.
And Marangoni is quite serious about establishing itself here in North America. The parent company plans to invest $200 million to build a second tire plant in Europe with a  capacity of 4.5 million passenger and light truck/SUV tires a year.
Marangoni is currently offering exclusive marketing regions to dealer/distributors with wholesale and retail outlets. Tom McNamara has been named vice president of sales and marketing for Marangoni Tyre, the marketing arm established by Marangoni North America to handle the new tire business. McNamara brings international experience from past positions with Michelin and Sumitomo Tire/Treadways.
According to the company, Marangoni high-performance, winter and industrial tires are distributed throughout Western Europe and feature Marangoni’s exclusive ESC concept of performance tire design.

TANA switches ITE headquarters to new Aladdin Resort

The Tire Association of North America (TANA) has selected the new Aladdin Resort as its headquarters hotel for the upcoming International Tire Expo (ITE) Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Las Vegas. Scheduled to be open in time for the ITE Show, the $1.3 billion Aladdin Resort is conveniently located next to the Paris Hotel and Casino and across the street from the Bellagio, two of the key hotels used for the annual Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) event of which ITE is a part.
With the change, the cost of accommodations for ITE attendees will be $135 per night, compared with the $104 per night charged at Harrah’s, TANA’s former headquarters hotel. However, TANA President Tom Wright points out the new facility gives attendees a 35-acre resort with 21 world class restaurants, a 100,000-square-foot casino, and over 130 shops. “The Aladdin is the hottest new facility in Las Vegas, and gives tire dealers one more reason to attend ITE,” said Wright.
In addition, SEMA – whose annual trade show shares the Las Vegas Convention Center with the ITE ®“ has announced that popular comedian Jeff Foxworthy will headline the annual SEMA Industry Awards event on Nov. 2 at the Las Vegas Hilton, adjacent to the convention center. Tickets for the event are available through SEMA. For more information, go to SEMA’s show Web site at
Those interested in attending this year’s ITE Show should contact TANA at 703-736-8082. For more information on AAIW, see the event’s new Web site at

Goodyear cuts Birmingham plant even further
Calling it “another step in its effort to integrate the Goodyear and Dunlop operations,” Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced it was eliminating passenger and light truck/SUV tire production at the Dunlop Tyres UK plant in Birmingham, England, by the end of the year, effectively ending all consumer and commercial tire manufacturing at the facility.
The move comes just months after Goodyear ended truck tire manufacturing at the 85-year-old plant, cutting 650 jobs. The latest move will eliminate another 600 jobs, and leave Dunlop racing tires as the only products manufactured there.
Earlier this year, as part of a world-wide rationalization program, Goodyear announced the closure of plants in Argentina and Italy, resulting in the reduction of 850 total jobs.
The shifting of passenger and light truck/SUV tire production from Birmingham to other “joint venture plants in Europe” will ®result in substantial cost savings and synergies for the Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe joint venture,® according to Goodyear.

Heafner Tire Group buys Haas Tire

Continuing to expand its operations, Heafner Tire Group has acquired the Lincoln, Neb.-based T.O. Haas Tire Co. The purchase gives Heafner control of 30 retail locations, a retread plant, and four distribution centers that served most of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Colorado.
Former owner Randy Haas has been retained by the company and will serve as president of Heafner’s T.O. Haas Division.

Cooper selling part of its automotive plastics division
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has sold a part of its automotive plastics division to Plastech Engineered Products Inc., the first move in what appears to be Cooper’s exit from the automotive and non-automotive plastics business. The cash sale to Plastech, for an undisclosed sum, covers Cooper’s entire painted injection molded plastics business in Winnsboro, S.C.
Under terms of the sale, the plant and equipment, related inventory and certain other assets will be acquired by Plastech, which will assume the customer contracts and certain specified liabilities.
“This is the first action to be taken as a result of our review of strategic options for our plastics division,” said Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO. ®We’re also proceeding with the sale of our extruded plastics business and our non-automotive plastics operations.®

Michelin to eliminate 1,880 jobs

Michelin Group has announced another restructuring move, one that will see the elimination of some 1,880 jobs over the next three years at four tire plants in France. Last September, Michelin announced an initiative to better rationalize its European tire manufacturing operations.
The recent announcement impacts the company’s plants in Toul, Troyes, Joue-les-Tours and Clermont-Ferrand. Employees affected by the rationalization efforts will be offered early retirement or another position within Michelin, the company said.
At its Toul plant, capacity will be focused on passenger and light truck tires, while its Troyes facility will focus entirely on farm tires. Manufacturing capacity at Joue-les-Tours will be concentrated on heavy truck tires for export sales, and “high-end” tires will be manufactured at Michelin’s Clermont-Ferrand plant.

Recycling show slated for Toronto

The Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) and the Scrap Tire Management Council are co-sponsoring a special rubber recycling conference and trade show this fall in Toronto.
Rubber Recycling 2000 – A World of Opportunity, which runs Oct. 11-13, will feature a variety of seminar sessions conducted by guest speakers who have extensive hands-on, real-life experience with rubber recycling applications. The trade show portion will feature a complete range of products and services to illustrate the breadth and scope of recycled rubber products and technology.
For more information, contact the RAC at 905-270-8322 or by e-mail at [email protected].

F-M gets ‘on track’ with promotion

Federal-Mogul Corp.’s year-long On Track! promotional program couples consumer rebates, technician bonuses, national advertising and point-of-sale support to promote its various aftermarket brands – ANCO Wiper Blades, Champion Spark Plugs, Fel-Pro Gaskets, Moog Chassis Parts, Sealed Power Engine Parts and Wagner Brake Products.
More than 160,000 service locations across North America received program enrollment materials, including a free, full-color Federal-Mogul professional motorsports guide and calendar. Each promotion kit includes program rebate and bonus booklets, shop posters and other materials.
The program’s spring-fall component of the multi-phase campaign, which has been extended through Oct. 15, awards cash rebates, technician/shop bonuses and other prizes for repairs that utilize selected Wagner, Champion and ANCO products, according to the company.
Federal-Mogul is supporting shops participating in On Track! with national television advertising on broadcasts of NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA Winston Drag Racing events and other targeted programming, as well as full-page ads in several consumer magazines.
For additional program information or to enroll in the program, contact Federal-Mogul toll-free at 877-366-6400.

TANA back on track in D.C. with new representative

For the first time since 1998, the Tire Association of North America (TANA) will have daily representation in Washington, D.C. TANA has hired Rebecca MacDicken, a 10-year veteran of Congressional and trade association work, as its new director of government affairs.
In her new role, MacDicken will represent TANA and the interests of tire dealers on Capitol Hill and among the various government organizations that can impact dealers.
“Rebecca will give tire dealers a voice in Washington,” said Tom Wright, TANA president. ®Her extensive lobbying experience and expertise in small business legislation will make government representation a strength for TANA.®
A graduate of Michigan State University, MacDicken was formerly director of legislative affairs for the National Roofing Contractors Association, and served as legislative representative for the National Tooling and Machining Association. She also served for five years on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business.
TANA eliminated its government representation post during its cost-reduction and operations restructuring efforts in 1998.

ASA offering TireMax software via Internet

ASA Tire Systems, developer and marketer of TireMax retail point-of-sale software, is making that product available for dealer use via the Internet, becoming the first Application Service Provider (ASP) specifically targeting independent tire dealers.
According to ASA, the new service provides tire dealers a cost-effective alternative to purchasing and operating its own business computer and applications. Utilizing the ASA TireMax product, dealers will be able to run the software via the Internet, with the data and software applications being hosted by ASA.
Functionally, dealers will be running the same industry specific point-of-sale and accounting TireMax application that is being run in thousands of tire dealers across North America, according to Dave Duchesne, ASA’s national marketing manager. “In evaluating the market, many dealers wanted the functionality of a best of breed point-of-sale application, but lacked the resources to implement and maintain it,” he said.
“This new service will allow them to run the TireMax software with a basic Internet connection, while at the same time minimizing start-up costs by eliminating the need to purchase the application and server. In essence, a dealer rents the software, and requires no system administrator.”

 New Spicer POS center aids dealer reputation

Dana Brake & Chassis has launched a new point-of-sale program – the Spicer Steering & Alignment Center ®“ designed to help tire dealers and other service shops better build and maintain a strong identity as a quality service provider.
The Steering & Alignment Center program includes promotional items like banners, handouts, posters and interactive displays, as well as a subscription to the Spicer tech hotline, technical bulletins, and repair information. Plus, Spicer has initiated a program which allows service shops to redeem proof of purchase seals from Spicer Professional Grade Chassis products for merchandise via a special debit card.
Those who sign up for the Steering & Alignment Center program are also automatically entered in Spicer’s Win a Hummer Sweepstakes. Five first prize winners will receive a trip for two to the AAIW show in Las Vegas and a chance to win a new AMG Hummer.
For more information, contact Dana Brake & Chassis at 815-363-9000.®′

You May Also Like

Consider Software Solutions to Streamline Operations

Representatives from several software providers share how solutions drive efficiency and profitability, as well as what to look for when considering a system in your shop.


When it comes to operating a successful tire dealership, software systems have become a necessity. Not only do they streamline the point-of-sale process and daily operations, but today’s software packages also offer solutions for customer communication, inventory, service writing and more.

We spoke with representatives from several software providers, who shared how these solutions drive efficiency and profitability, as well as what to look for when considering a system for your shop.

How Data, Analytics Can Boost Profitability for Tire Retailers

By collecting and analyzing data about a dealer’s sales history, inventory levels and market demand, data and analytics platforms can analyze the performance of each dealer’s store and recommend actionable improvement opportunities.

How to Start the PPP Loan Payback Process

For many PPP loan recipients, it is time to start the repayment process—or file for PPP loan forgiveness. Read on to find out which portion of your loan may be forgivable and how to apply for forgiveness, as well as how to start the repayment process.

Creating a Positive Work Environment

Larry Sutton of RNR Tire Express shares seven different practices that have helped him create a positive work environment.

Using Data to Enrich the Customer Experience

Attaching data or a number to a vehicle’s service record adds a level of transparency to the discussion, and moves it from an “opinionated upsell” to a true, fact-based service need.

Coats Tread Depth Data

Other Posts

Microlearning Makes the Tire Industry Smarter, More Profitable

Microlearning modules can be customized to company and team member needs, where participants can learn through their own experiences and at their own pace.

Setting Up for Success: The Importance of Onboarding New Employees

Onboarding serves to not only give a new employee practical information that they will need in the job, but having that information gives them confidence as they start out in their new position.

Online Reputation Management

Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

Loaner Vehicles: Drive Revenue, Customer Satisfaction

If managed efficiently, loaner vehicles can impact your business in many positive ways leading to higher sustained revenue.