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TCI Expands T3 Program Network, Services

(Akron/Tire Review) This year, the independent dealer network and marketing program known as T3 has expanded into six new markets, announced Tire Centers LLC (TCI), the creator of the program.

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The T3 Program is now active in Los Angeles, Detroit, Indianapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; Pensacola, Fla. and Mobile, Ala. “The expansion into these new markets will significantly increase the overall number of T3 dealers in the U.S. market,” said Dave Snyder, vice president of TCI’s distribution division.

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“We are growing the T3 program and have more than 500 T3 dealers,” said Snyder. “The program continues to be well accepted because there is a need for it. That’s why we are taking it into new markets and developing new features in the program.”

At the end of 2005, there were already more than 500 T3 dealers nationwide. Through May of 2006, 23 more dealers had joined the program, according to TCI.

One of the goals of the T3 Program is to give small, independent dealers – via in-depth training – the tools and expertise they need to compete with larger dealers and chains, TCI said.

In addition to its expanded dealer base, the T3 Program has also expanded its features, based on feedback from its Dealer Advisory Council, a group of dealers that meets regularly to discuss the program and recommend improvements.

“I think the reason the T3 program continues to grow is the fact that we continue to add very powerful new elements,” Snyder said. “One is the Wheel Pros high-tech wheel program, which supports the fast growing UHP market.”

Thanks to a partnership with Wheel Pros, T3 Certified Tire Centers get access to a custom wheel program that includes warranties, support, ordering and delivery, wheel displays, promotional assistance and a full-credit return policy.

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TCI has also added the T3 Tire Dealers Insurance Program through Federated Insurance. The insurance program allows T3 Certified Tire Centers to take advantage of include property coverage, business interruption, crime coverage and general liability plans offered by Federated Insurance. Health plans, life insurance and retirement plans are also available.

T3 has also expanded its national road hazard warranty on Michelin, Harmony and Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring lines and has developed an internal customer relations management program.

The T3 Program, which started in 2001 with 22 distribution centers, added four new centers within the first two years in Little Rock, Ark.; Marlboro, N.Y.; Minneapolis and Anchorage, Alaska. In 2003, additional centers were opened in Philadelphia and Tampa, Fla., and in 2005, centers were opened in Sacramento, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; Miami and Baton Rouge, La. There are now 38 T3 distribution centers.

T3 offers Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Hankook, Yokohama, Pirelli, CMA, Greenball and Trivant tire brands as well as consumer credit cards, national and local advertising programs, showroom design and signage assistance, national warranty programs, equipment purchasing plans and uniform programs, among other services.

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