General ManagerThe Tred Shed Tire Pros
Kyle Schoenthaler got his start in the family business at the age of 12 when his dad made him work at the shop cleaning floors and bathrooms. By 14, he was installing tires during the summers, and at 19, after a brief stint at a tire store in Sacramento, Schoenthaler came back to the family business full time. Now 22 years after he started in the industy, Schoenthaler is general manager at the dealership.
Schoenthaler recalls when he first started working at the counter.
“I told my dad I didn’t have the experience or skills yet to work sales. He said, ‘Can you smile, listen to every customer that walks through the door and be honest?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘You’ll be just fine.’”
He cites his father’s tireless work ethic and eventual success as his motivation to succeed. In addition to his duties as manager, Schoenthaler is also a partner and handles the accounting and sales sides of the business.
“Every single day is different,” he says. “I can honestly say that every day I can say ‘Wow, never seen that before.’ Between the people, the cars and the tires, it’s always something different.”
What he likes most about the tire industry is the variety. He also has recently been adapting to the changes the Internet has brought to tire shops. Schoenthaler fears that tire dealers might become more or less installation centers, especially with the advent of websites like Tire Rack, Amazon and Tire Buyer allowing people to purchase their tires online.
“The Internet is making people more and more empowered to research and buy their tires online,” he says. “I fought it at first, but have now realized we can make money installing tires and selling service.”
“Thankfully, the Internet can’t install the tires or align the vehicles or replace a timing belt. We have to be better at charging for our labor. What we do is a valuable service, and can’t be replaced by computers/robots,” he adds.
FUN FACT: Schoenthaler is an avid saltwater fisherman. “My favorite place to be is 40 miles offshore in my boat fishing for tuna. That’s my happy place.”