TMA Yankton, a Yankton, South Dakota tire and auto repair shop, was named this year’s 2023 K&M Tire Mr. Tire/Big 3 Tire Top Shop Winner. For over 40 years, the business has upheld the motto, “Where you’re more than just a customer,” at its small-town single location. K&M honored the winner of this year’s Top Shop contest at its 2023 Tire Dealer Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas from Feb. 1-3.
The K&M Tire Mr. Tire/Big 3 Tire Top Shop Program, backed by O’Reilly Auto Parts and Hankook Tire, has been running for seven years and receives dozens of nominations from K&M dealers nationwide annually. Tire Review collaborates with K&M to select the top 10 nominees, then an independent panel of judges evaluates each shop based on multiple criteria to announce one winner and two finalists.
Tire Review Editor Maddie Winer applauded TMA Yankton for its steadfast dedication to its community and forward-thinking outlook on the industry.
“TMA Yankton is the definition of a Top Shop,” Winer said. “The service they provide for their community is top-notch. Their staff is always striving to learn more and be ready for technology coming down the line. Doug and Bob are dynamic leaders striving to improve the business each and every day.”
TMA Yankton has evolved over time. Doug’s father, Dave, purchased the then-called Midwest Tire and Muffler in 1983. Doug worked for his father as a tire tech during college but left after getting a business management degree and a job in sales. He returned to TMA Yankton two years later and worked with Bob, who took on more responsibility over time and became co-owner with Dave. Dave retired in 2007, leaving Doug and Vornhagen in charge of the dealership.
With a 13-bay location, the business is a one-stop shop for the community’s automotive repair and tire needs.
“A vehicle needs more than just tires, alignments and oil changes. We wanted to be able to do all of it,” said Doug. “We want to take care of all a customer’s car needs because it’s like a snowball effect. The more service that you can do, the more it will build your business and their [the customer’s] business with you.”
The TMA team also gives back to the community, whether it’s coaching little league, mentoring automotive students or giving donations for vehicle repair work to local organizations and people that need it most.
“We give thousands of dollars because there’s so much need,” Doug said. “I don’t remember really ever saying no.”
Two finalists were chosen as part of this year’s K&M Tire Top Shop contest: Kantner’s Tire Service in Showmakersville, PA and U P Tire in Salut Ste. Marie, MI.
Kantner’s Tire Service, a Shoemakersville, Pennsylvania-based three-bay tire dealership, is a third-generation, family-owned business. Troy and Todd Roberts serve as the business’s co-vice presidents, following in the footsteps of their father and the business’s founder, Glenn Roberts, who serves as president.
The business is known for a combination of honesty, intense tire expertise and a deep appreciation for its staff. It focuses solely on tires with SKUs from passenger tires to ag tires. Technician expertise is paramount, as techs are nimble enough to complete the installation process faster than it would have taken for the customer to purchase their favorite Big Gulp at the local gas station.
In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Charles “Charlie” Brown founded U.P Tire in 1974 and worked out of the back on his father-in-law’s pickup truck. Since then, the business has expanded to allow Brown to construct a 40-by-80-foot tire store with a mezzanine, where U P Tire operates today. U P Tire offers first come, first serve maintenance, not wanting customers to sit around its newly renovated showroom for too long. Tires make up 95% of the business’s work, as it receives a good portion of business from commercial and government accounts.
“We try to do everything a Top Shop would do,” Brown told Tire Review. “Customer service starts with the best manners, greeting the customers and putting our hands on the tires for inspection to repair or replace. We get the car into the shop as soon as possible to support customer needs and always offer free air checks, which keeps our customers returning. We never, ever leave a customer stranded.”