Proud to Be an Independent Tire Dealer: Nate and Karl Fujarski, Shores Car Care - Tire Review Magazine

Proud to Be an Independent Tire Dealer: Nate and Karl Fujarski, Shores Car Care

Shores Car Care has always been known for its excellent service and repair work, but Owner Nate Fujarski says it was the decision to get into retail tire sales around 2012 that propelled the business to the one-stop shop it’s now known to be.

Karl (left) and Nate Fujarski are owners of Shores Car Care in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

When Nate Fujarski opened Shores Car Care in 2002 with his brother, Karl, and father, Larry, the trio had no intentions of getting into the tire business.

For about 10 years, the family-run shop in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, located just north of the Detroit metro area, strictly focused on service and repair. Karl was a master technician who specialized in a niche market servicing Volkswagen and Audi vehicles; Larry had experience as an automotive service manager and store manager; and Nate had a strong background in retail. Larry eventually stepped away from the business, handing off ownership to his sons.

Today, Shores Car Care is still known for its excellent service and repair work, but Nate says it was the decision to get into retail tire sales around 2012 that propelled the business to the one-stop shop it’s now known to be.

“In the beginning, we almost thought it (tire sales) was going to be more of a headache than it was a benefit, but in retrospect, we certainly would have embraced that thought process much sooner,” Nate says about becoming an independent tire dealer. “We do realize the importance now of really trying to capture that tire business, to get those customers in and allow us to earn their business and their trust and allow us to take care of all their car needs.”

That last bit – earning customers’ trust – is one that Nate says his business takes very seriously. That trust, he says, allows his shop to reach out and receive honest, on-the-spot customer feedback, which, in turn, helps Shores exceed expectations during their next visit.

To do this, Nate and Karl start by earning the trust of their employees. This means hiring people who will fit in with Shores’ family values and giving employees the ability to participate in training opportunities — from online courses to attending certification classes — as well as offering tuition reimbursement. 

“One gentleman started with us about four years ago and took advantage of our tuition reimbursement,” Nate says. “He was actually a butcher, and he’s now an ASE Master-certified technician. He’s our head guy.”

Shores employees also keep customers updated from start to finish during repair and service work via as many communication avenues as possible, including email, text alerts and even sending photos and video.

“A picture’s worth a thousand words, so rather than potentially missing a sale, we ensure that a picture of every item that is necessary, from a safety standpoint or even a maintenance standpoint, is uploaded, and we’re sending them to the consumer so they can actually see what we’re talking about,” Nate says. “It’s not only a benefit to the consumer, but it’s another tool for our guys in the back to use so they can produce success.”

When it comes to tire sales, Shores works with multiple wholesale distributors and vendors, ensuring they can quickly obtain any brand a customer is looking for. The shop also partnered with Goodyear about five years ago, giving Shores access to more enticing rebates and incentives for that brand.

Nate says he believes his shop’s recent focus on the tire end of the industry lets him take better care of his customers, which he hopes will lead to opportunities for the Fujarski family to expand and open new locations. 

His advice to other independent tire dealers who offer service and repair is to leverage tires to maximize profits.

“Knowing what we know now, I would say embrace the tire business. Utilize that as another spoke in the wheel. There’s a lot of back-end profit in there, not necessarily on the tire per se, but on the services — be it the balances, the alignments and now TPMS,” Nate says. “Nowadays, I don’t think anybody can just survive as a tire store, and I don’t think anybody can just survive as a repair facility. They have to embrace both ends of the spectrum.”

Check out the rest of the July digital edition of Tire Review here.

You May Also Like

Tire Lady’s Rainbow Tire Fueled by Happy Customers, Staff

Croucher says that maintaining a happy staff and customers, as well as being involved in the community, are the foundation of her success.

Tire Lady Rainbow Tire 1400

Four decades ago, Christine Croucher was pumping gas for a nickel a gallon at her full-service gas station in small town Pennsylvania when she received a simple offer. 

“An old man named Hank would come into my gas station every Friday with a pile of old tires on his truck,” Christine recalls. “He’d always tell me I should sell used tires, and I’d think to myself he must be crazy, so I told him I’d think about it.” 

2019 Newsmakers: Bridgestone Americas

Nearly all products in the Firestone family of tires have been upgraded over the past three years, and Bridgestone is on track to have all of its consumer tire portfolio across both the Bridgestone and Firestone brands either upgraded or replaced by the end of 2020.

2019 Newsmakers: Nokian Tyres

Nokian Tyres opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility and launched numerous new products. See what’s in store for 2020.

2019 Newsmakers: Nexen Tire America

Nexen Tire opened its North American Technology Center and debuted the Roadian GTX. Find out what’s in store for 2020.

2019 Newsmakers: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced its plans to increase ownership in its Mexico JV tire manufacturing facility and launched the Discoverer EnduraMax for small- to mid-size SUVs. Find out what’s in store for 2020.


Other Posts

Fairfield Tire & Service Keeps Honesty Top of Mind

Keith Hyde truly believes that honesty is the best policy, and that’s the motto he has instilled at Fairfield Tire and Service in Fairfield, Iowa, since 2003.

TR 0821 Dealer Focus 1400
Wonderland Tire CEO Runs Business on Grandfather’s Values

Langerak’s family motto – “Family. Value. Trust.” – permeates every facet of the business, reflected in everything from the framework of the company’s culture to the loyal customers who depend on Langerak’s team for all their tire and service needs.

How Perseverance Played an Important Role in Forming Polo’s Point S

Growing up, the grit and determination of “making it” in another country was ingrained into Polo Jr. from a young age.

Dealer Focus: Steve Leffler, Suburban Tire

Leffler wants to be known as the “World’s Greenest Tire Dealer,” and he’s well on his way to achieving that designation with taking a big bite out of his dealership’s carbon footprint.