Yokohama territory manager describes how K&M partnership strengthens tire dealer ties

Yokohama territory manager describes how K&M partnership strengthens tire dealer ties

We delve into the nuances of Yokohama's latest tire offerings, the challenges facing tire dealers today, and the benefits of partnerships.

Sponsored by K&M Tire

Every year, K&M’s Dealer Show and Conference includes a bustling trade show floor featuring countless manufacturers showing off their latest products, listening to the needs of dealers and giving away various prizes. At this year’s show, Cole Funkhouser was one of the representatives manning the Yokohama booth, bringing his rich expertise to dealers as one of the company’s territory managers.

We caught up with Cole at the show to delve into the nuances of Yokohama’s latest tire offerings, the challenges facing tire dealers today, and the benefits of partnerships.

David Sickels: Hello, we are here at the K&M Dealer Show and Conference. I’m here with Cole Funkhouser. He is a territory manager for Yokohama. Cole, can you show us some of the products that you brought to the show?

Cole Funkhouser: Absolutely. This is one of our newer releases this year, It’s our A/T XD. It’s a commercial-grade tire. You’re seeing a lot of traction as far as fleets, and it’s a very strongly-tested tire. It is studable as well, so it’s a nice answer for that Northeastern market.

Cole Funkhouser: One of our newer treads here is the GeoLander X A/T. This was released in 2019, and its a much more aggressive, all-terrain tire that we’ve had a lot of success with. Great for the truck and Jeep markets, and it has a very high mileage warranty. It’s an exceptional product for our Advantage dealers and our general market as well.

Cole Funkhouser: Next we have one of our newer tires that we released this past year, our BluEarth Van all-season. This has been our solution to the ever-expanding fleet that you’re seeing with Amazon, FedEx, things like that. This is the exact right fitment for that. We’re seeing a lot of traction with customers who are servicing those fleets.

Cole Funkhouser: Then, of course, our last tread here, is one of our newer tires that we just released this year. This is our GeoLandar CV 4S. It’s a four-season tire, meant for inclement weather. It carries the 3PMS rating, but again, carries a high mileage warranty of 60,000 miles. It’s a very new tread that we’re seeing exceptional traction in as far as northern and winter markets.

David Sickels: So, you’re going to a lot of these trade shows, you’re talking with a lot of dealers in your day-to-day… what is one of the big challenges that you’re seeing in the marketplace right now?

Cole Funkhouser: I think one of the biggest challenges facing dealers today is explaining the value of a quality tire and what it takes to really maintain your tire’s health as well as demonstrate the value of what the tires bring. I think a lot of it falls on that retailer being more informed and educated, being able to explain it to the general consumer who may not know exactly how much engineering and things are involved and how much importance it is in tire maintenance.

David Sickels: How can partnering with Yokohama help those dealers to accomplish that?

Cole Funkhouser: Yokohama has a very strong product and we also have our Advantage program that we offer our dealers there as well, which gives a customer peace of mind knowing that Yokohama’s partnered with them to make sure both their business and their customers are supported and taken care of. We believe our strong tread lineup helps support them.

David Sickels: How long have you been working with K&M?

Cole Funkhouser: I’ve been working with K&M for the past three years.

David Sickels: And what is that relationship like?

Cole Funkhouser: It’s been incredible. K&M is such a family-oriented business, and extremely personable as well. Working with the K&M executive team as well as other outside sales guys has been an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to continuing that.

David Sickels: What is the give and take like in that partnership? What are you gaining from the partnership and what does K&M gain?

Cole Funkhouser: So again, it circles back to the quality of the product. Partnering with K&M allows them to give both a product and a program to their customers where they’re making the back-end money, but they’re offering a strong product that they should be comfortable with, and that their consumers are going to enjoy. It’s been great working with the K&M sales team, and all of them get that message out there.

Sponsored by K&M Tire.

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