North America's Best Tire Dealer: Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center - Tire Review Magazine

North America’s Best Tire Dealer: Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center

Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center has been named the Winner of the 2012 Tire Review Top Shop Award. Finalists were Duxler Complete Auto Care, McGee Tire Stores and Upton Tire Pros.

Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center, a second-generation family-owned and operated independent tire dealer with four retail locations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, has been named the Winner of the 2012 Tire Review Top Shop Award.Marc and Britt Pons were on hand at last night's Tire Industry Honors event to accept the 2012 Top Shop Award on behalf of Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center. From left are: Tire Review editor Jim Smith, Britt and Marc Pons, and Tire Review publisher David Moniz.

Now in its sixth year, the Tire Review Top Shop Award, presented by Ammco/Coats, seeks to honor the “best of the best” independent tire dealers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C., Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center is wholly owned by siblings Marc Pons, Britt Pons and Neill Bellamy. The dealership, which celebrates its 60th year in business in 2013, has four retail locations in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham. It was founded in 1953 by Sion Jennings, and purchased by Al Pons in 1964. Marc, Britt and Neill took over when their father passed away in 1996.

The company’s 2011 gross sales totaled $5.4 million, solely from retail vehicle service and tire sales, of which 20% was from tires last year and 80% was from vehicle service.

“Considering all the great shops that are in North America, it is humbling that Chapel Hill Tire won such a prestigious award,” said Britt. “This award validates the hard work and dedication that Chapel Hill Tire’s 45 employees do day in and day out. It is an award that all of the employees contributed to winning.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized by our industry as the Top Shop in North America,” said Marc. “It feels great to see our team of hard working people recognized for their professionalism and the effort that they put into their jobs. We are about to enter our 60th year of business, and like all businesses, the retail auto repair and tire industry is getting more sophisticated and more competitive by the day. We’ve made it a priority to train and put in the hard work necessary to stay on top of our industry.

“The great thing about this award is that it is truly based on the merits of your operation,” Marc said. “It doesn’t matter if you have one location or 100. I love the Top Shop Award because it recognizes the hardworking and committed tire and auto repair businesses out there. I hope that it inspires other shops to set their sights to the highest levels of professionalism. If you do that, good things will happen.”

In addition to the Top Shop winner, three Finalists were also honored this year. This year’s finalists include:
Duxler Complete Auto Care, with four locations in the Chicagoland area of Illinois. Founded in 1926, the dealership is owned by Brian and Glenn Moak.

McGee Tire Stores, headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., with 27 retail stores around the state. Founded in 1974, McGee Tire is owned by Michael McGee, Cindy McGee and Terry McGee.

Upton Tire Pros, based in Madison, Miss. Founded in 1989 by Mike Upton, the dealership has four retail locations.

“We want these Winners and Finalists to be an inspiration for others in our industry, and I think our judges did a great job in selecting Chapel Hill Tire as our sixth Top Shop Winner,” said Tire Review editor Jim Smith. “In fact, Chapel Hill Tire sort of inspired itself; it was a Finalist in the first year of this competition, and they took that and built an even stronger organization with laser-like focus on customer service, their community and their people.

“We are equally proud of this year’s Finalists, which are also among the best-of-the-best,” Smith continued. “With every year of this competition, we continue to see the level of professionalism, dedication and innovation rise among North American tire dealers, and we know that none of them are resting on their laurels.

“I would be remiss if I did not thank Ammco/Coats, which has been our presenting sponsor since Day One of this competition,” said Smith. “They believed in this concept from the start, and have strongly supported the Top Shop Award program in every possible way. We could not have better partner.”

As the Top Shop winner, Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center receives a Coats APX90 tire changer, a $1,500 cash prize, airfare and hotel for two (2 nights/3 days) to the 2012 Global Tire Expo/SEMA Show in Las Vegas, a feature story on their business in the October issue of Tire Review, and a specially designed trophy to display in their stores.

Three Finalists will each receive a Coats 1250-3DV tire/wheel balancer, a $500 cash prize, a feature story on the dealership in the October issue, and a specially designed finalist trophy.

To see photos of the 2012 winner and finalists, click here.

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