By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff
CLEVELAND (Oct. 2, 2013) — Dealer Tire L.L.C., the Cleveland-based wholesaler dedicated to serving new car dealers, is rolling out an online tire-buying service under the name "RightTurn.com" that directs users to nearby car dealers.
Dealer Tire is launching RightTurn.com in northeast Ohio in advance of rolling it out to more markets later this year and into 2014, a company spokesman said. Dealer Tire test marketed it for several months last year in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, market.
RightTurn.com uses a step-by-step menu to recommend tires based on a person's vehicle make and model, along with his or her individual driving habits and lifestyle. The service's proprietary "TireCoach" feature provides an all-in-one price that includes everything — even installation — and also schedules the appointment with customers' local factory-certified installers.
The service directs users to car dealers of the same make, which are customers of Dealer Tire, for their tires and affiliated services.
Dealer Tire is advertising RightTurn.com through a "tire smart" campaign using local television and radio throughout the targeted area, the spokesman said.
Ads portray a "tire smart" version of a car owner — one who used RightTurn.com to get educated — coming to the aid of the clueless mirror-image version of the same car owner trying to come to grips with the tire-buying decision.
Dealer Tire said RightTurn.com is different from other online tire-buying sites because it is directed more at the average tire buyer—one who's not particularly tire savvy. The price quoted online is the final, all-inclusive price, the company stressed, including: mounting, balancing, valve stem, disposal and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) reset fees as well as road-hazard protection.
Dealer Tire estimates it has 90-plus percent coverage in being able to direct a customer to the appropriate car dealer. The company manages retail tire programs for 19 auto makers' retail sales networks, covering "thousands" of installation locations.
Dealer Tire worked with Cleveland-based agency Brokaw Inc. in developing the creative media to go with the launch. Thus far the companies have produced three tire-smart commercials: "Tire Smart Matt," an average car owner already at a tire store and about to make a purchase; "Tire Smart Jill," who's shopping for tires online during her lunch break; and "Tire Smart Doug," out shopping with his wife.
The dealership does not charge any fees to car dealers benefiting from the service, the spokesman said. Instead Dealer Tire expects to benefit from increased business the site generates.
Dealer Tire supplies tires to dealers affiliated with Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Ram, Scion, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, according to its website.
Dealer Tire operates 20 warehouses around the country, in: Atlanta; Baltimore, Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Denver; Elmsford, N.Y.; Hayward and Irwindale, Calif.; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Lyndhurst, N.J.; Miami; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Philadelphia; Seattle; and Tampa, Fla.
RightTurn.com is not to be confused with RightTire.com, an online tire-buying service launched in 2011 by U.S.Venture Inc., the parent of U.S. AutoForce, the Combined Locks, Wis.-based tire and auto parts wholesaler covering the Upper Midwest/Great Plains.
As such, RightTire.com features brands that U.S. AutoForce carries, including Michelin, Goodyear, Cooper, General, Continental, BF Goodrich, Uniroyal, Kelly, Kumho, Yokohama and Pirelli, according to the website.