Proud to Be: ASAP Tire, James Chen - Tire Review Magazine

Proud to Be: ASAP Tire, James Chen

What do a leaking tire and an on-demand dog grooming service have in common? Both inspired 30-year industry veteran James Chen to create the startup company ASAP Tire, a mobile tire shop that comes to its customers anywhere.

What do a leaking tire and an on-demand dog grooming service have in common? Both inspired 30-year industry veteran James Chen to create the startup company ASAP Tire, a mobile tire shop that comes to its customers anywhere.

“Mobile is huge right now,” Chen says. “People are getting busier and busier and have less time, so this was another way of doing it.”

Chen started to develop the idea while on a flight for a family vacation when he thought of how nice it would be if he could have his tires replaced while he was away on vacation to save time. Then, after seeing a mobile dog wash van, Chen combined the two concepts and came up with a mobile tire shop with a plan of how to retrofit all the service equipment needed into a single self-contained operation. 

In order to expedite growth, Chen partnered with Cie Digital Labs (CDL), a growth accelerator tech company for up-and-coming startups. The company provides ASAP Tire with things like dedicated and shared experts in areas like app development, finance, business and IT to save money while starting up.

ASAP Tire was founded in 2012. After nearly three years of conceptualizing and making sure there was a customer base, Chen rolled out the first van to the Orange County, California area in 2015. 

“For a little while, we were stuck on one van, then two,” Chen says. “Then the challenge was how do we obtain more customers and how do we scale it and make sure there’s consistent demand.”

Now, ASAP has 10 vans in its fleet across three metropolitan areas including two in the greater Washington D.C. area. In the future, Chen says he hopes to expand to other big-city-centric areas in the U.S and eventually expand the services ASAP Tire offers to be even more comprehensive.

Currently, the company sells, installs and rotates tires on-site, but Chen says someday he might want to expand their services to include batteries and oil changes if customer demand is there.   

“In a nutshell: Americans are not buying any more cars than they did in, say, 2010,” Chen says. “And with the tires lasting about the same if not a little bit longer, your customer base is really the same size. So the question I pose in my particular segment is, how do we grow so we can get the largest slice of the pie available?”

The company carries mainly Tier One brands like Goodyear, Michelin and Bridgestone. It also carries up to 33-inch tires and can service up to 22-inch wheels. ASAP mainly services passenger vehicles but is working on expanding its customer base further in the fleet and commercial sector.

Technicians who perform service work are trained in-house before being sent out in the field and then spend four weeks training with a senior master technician before servicing vehicles alone.

“All of our technicians are trained to a high level because when you’re mobile, you don’t know what you’re going to encounter,” Chen says. “It could be a truck, Camry or a Porsche.”

Chen says the company is geared toward middle to higher income customers who need a time-saving option. Millennials and high-end car enthusiasts are also ones who are more inclined to take advantage of ASAP Tire’s services. Chen says the company is also seeing much higher repeat business than he’s experienced before. He said that once customers are hooked, they don’t want to buy tires any other way again, especially when they can do all the research online.

“I think mobile tire shops are going to be a big part of how people buy tires,” Chen says. “How big? How soon? I really can’t say. But I think we’ve got a solid business plan and proof of concept. We just have to continue to grow and keep moving forward.” 

You May Also Like

Group Touchette Appoints New VP of Strategic Affairs & Growth

Previously, Mougios spent 30 years with Michelin, most recently as its director for Michelin Canada.

Group-Touchette-Mougios

Groupe Touchette Inc. has appointed Tony Mougios as vice president, strategic affairs and growth. Nicolas Touchette, co-owner and CEO, said Mougios was the ideal candidate to support Groupe Touchette's strategic thinking and growth plan.

"Tony Mougios is a key figure in the North American tire industry and a sought-after speaker on the global stage, both for his deep knowledge of the industry and its products and for his strategic vision," he said.

Chris Barry Elected CTDA President

The California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA) elected Chris Barry of Independent Tire Dealer Group (ITDG) as its new president during a recent meeting at Turbo Wholesale Tires in Irwindale, California. Barry replaces Billy Eordekian, president of 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels. Related Articles – CMA/Double Coin Adds Regional Sales Manager for South Atlantic – Monro Promotes New

Chris Barry CTDA
CMA/Double Coin Adds Regional Sales Manager for South Atlantic

CMA and Double Coin appointed Kevin McGuinness to regional sales manager for the South Atlantic. In this role, CMA said McGuinness will have responsibility for sales in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Related Articles – Ralson Tire Hires New Senior VP Brian Sheehey – GRI Appoints Michael Connor as US Director of Sales

Monro Promotes New Chief Information Officer

Monro, Inc. promoted Cindy Donovan to senior vice president – chief information officer. She is now responsible for developing and implementing Monro’s information technology strategy and long-range implementation plan to further the company’s strategic goals. Related Articles – GfK Hires Monro Tire Vet as Account Director for POS Tires Team – Kenneth Douglass Joins Bartec

Cindy-Donovan-monro
Cincinnati Business Courier Recognizes Tire Discounters’ Anna Wood

The Cincinnati Business Courier has recognized Anna Wood, vice president and managing director of Tire Discounters, as one of the top-flight leaders in the region, with its annual Women Who Mean Business selection. Related Articles – TIA Names Roy Littlefield IV VP of Government Affairs – Continental Names New Head of U.S. Replacement Truck Tires

Anna Wood Tire Discounters

Other Posts

Bartec USA Expands Field Service Team with Adrian Fiondella

Bartec USA continues to expand its field service team by hiring industry veteran Adrian Fiondella. Fiondella joins Bartec USA’s growing North American sales team, Bartec says. Related Articles – Ted Hughes Named AWDA Executive Director – CMA Adds John Lynch as Regional Sales Manager – Erik Olsen, Past TBC Corp. President & CEO, Dies “With

Adrian_Fiondella-Bartec
Ted Hughes Named AWDA Executive Director

The Auto Care Association has added Ted Hughes as its new senior director of community engagement and Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) executive director. Hughes will lead the association’s efforts to evolve community engagement among its members while also serving as the liaison between the association and its AWDA community. Related Articles – Kumho Tire

ted-hughes-Auto-Care-Association
CMA Adds John Lynch as Regional Sales Manager

CMA and Double Coin announced the appointment of Rocky Mountain Regional Sales Manager, John Lynch. CMS and Double Coin said Lynch will be based in Denver, covering a seven-state region from Colorado to Washington. Related Articles – Les Schwab Names Mike Broberg as Next CEO – ATD Names Moid Alwy as Chief Supply Chain Officer

Erik Olsen, Past TBC Corp. President & CEO, Dies

Erik R. Olsen, former president and CEO of TBC Corp., passed away peacefully on Sept. 28 after a brief illness, according to his obituary. He was 59. Related Articles – Martin Winter Joins ZC Rubber Europe Technical Center – Darren McLea Joins Molloy Sales Development – Tom Glaser Joins Bartec USA Olsen joined TBC in

combine-as-background-with-Erik-Olsen-image--TBC-warehouse-1000x563-1400