Tire Dealer Profile - John Quirk - Tire Review

Proud to Be a Tire Dealer: John Quirk

Third-generation tire dealer John Quirk has made several major changes to his family business since taking over as president and CEO. Under his care, Quirk Tire, a two-location full-service commercial dealer in Watertown, Mass., grew to become VIP Tires & Service, a retail dealership with 56 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.DCF 1.0

In 1975 while in high school, Quirk started working at his family’s business. Over the years he worked in several positions, including truck tire service, retread shop technician, commercial service manager, as well as retail store manager and director of sales.

Despite always knowing he wanted to go into the family business, and getting a start at a young age, Quirk spent some time working outside the tire industry.

“My dad had an unwritten rule that before you could go in the family business you had to work for someone outside the family business for a minimum of five years,” Quirk shares.

“It’s always good to have to earn it yourself… Not rely on a family business,” he continues. “When you’re out on your own you have to fend for yourself and make it happen.”

When Quirk took over Quirk Tire as president in 1985, he was working as director of sales at Autographix, a computer business in Manhattan. In that role he was overseeing more than 65 sales representatives selling computer systems across the U.S.

The experience taught him a lot about business, he says.

“You learn a lot from seeing other business, what you felt they did well and where there are some opportunities for improvement,” he shares.

One of the most significant moments in Quirk’s career is when he helped to engineer the acquisition of VIP Tire, he says. The deal closed just two weeks after 9/11. At the time, Quick Tire had just two locations and VIP operated 43 retail stores.

Quirk notes his ability to successfully take over VIP was through the help of a newly established board.

“At the time, the financial markets went into a tailspin,” he shares. “But, VIP had a solid business and had a lot of great employees and we hit the ground running. We were fortunate to get through that tough period without too much bloodshed.”

Quirk says he made changes to his family’s business after recognizing that roughly 85% of Quirk Tire’s revenue was tied to the fate of the construction industry. The giant tire market is also very seasonal so, when he took over, Quirk wanted to move to more year-round business, he notes.

This year marks 90 years of Quirk’s family being involved in the tire business. And despite many changes, Quirk still operates a retail tire store in Watertown at the same location his grandfather Edward Quick Sr. established Quirk Tire in 1926.

Quirk shares that he’s most proud to be a tire dealer, and continue his family’s legacy, because of the effect the business has on so many different people.proudtobeatiredealer

“Our business touches thousands and thousands of families. Certainly our own employees, we have about 500 employees, but we also service over 30,000 vehicles a month,” he says. “It’s our job is to build a relationship with our customers and earn their trust. When you’re successful in building that relationship, we become part of their family. And they become part of our family.

“I don’t think there are many business that have the opportunity to make that kind of an impact on families as the way tire dealers do. The car is such an integral part of daily life today, and that vehicle is a personal connection to people,” he continues.

You May Also Like

TBC Corp. names Chris Stearman chief supply chain officer

Stearman brings over two decades of experience in supply chain with roles at Tyson Foods, Revlon, Beam Suntory and Avon.

Chris-Stearman-TBC-1400

TBC Corporation has appointed Chris Stearman as its chief supply chain officer, a new position within the company. TBC said Stearman is tasked with overseeing the company’s comprehensive global supply chain operations, which includes strategy, planning, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, innovation and logistics.

Stearman brings over two decades of experience in supply chain management to his new role, the company says. Before joining TBC, he was the vice president of supply chain operations leader at Tyson Foods. His career also includes senior roles at Revlon, Beam Suntory and Avon.

SRNA names new strategic account manager for PLT tires

Deborah Augsburger has been with SRNA for 11 years, holding various account manager positions for both consumer and commercial truck tires.

Deborah-Augsburger-SRNA-1400
SRNA promotes new director of commercial truck tires

Cliff Stewart has over 22 years of experience in the automotive industry and he spent 18 of them in the tire industry.

Cliff-Stewart-SRNA-1400
SRNA names national sales manager (East) for commercial truck tires

Carlos Arguello has been with SRNA for over 15 years, working in corporate retail, regional and national wholesale and international sales.

SRNA-Carlos-Arguello-1400
Sumitomo Rubber North America promotes Jonathon Bradford as its new brand field specialist manager

A 19-year member of the SRNA team, the company said Jonathan Bradford has experience working with several departments throughout the company.

SRNA-Jonathan-Bradford

Other Posts

Former Hunter Engineering senior vice president Dave Smith passes

Smith was with Hunter for over 40 years.

Hunter-Dave-Smith-1400
Dunlop Motorcycle Tires promotes Michelle Cotter to customer care manager

Cotter joined Sumitomo Rubber North America in 2012, and has supported the Dunlop Motorcycle side of the business since 2015.

Hankook Tire announces executive promotions for North America

Kyuwang (Ken) Cho has been named vice president of U.S. PC/LT Sales and K.C. Jensen has been named vice president of PC/LT Sales.

Hankook-North-America-Leadership-Ken-Cho-KC-Jensen-1400
Sumitomo Rubber North America appoints new director of corporate accounts

Bob Klimm started with SRNA in 2009 and has led Falken’s commercial truck tire business since 2015.

Bob-Klimm-Sumitomo-1400