I am surprised TIRE BUSINESS would publish a photo of someone disregarding his own safety in order to change a tire in two minutes. (See Western States Tire & Automotive Service Association's ``tire rodeo'' in the June 12 issue.) Loosening the hold-down cone as much as Mike Holt did and leaning over the tire while inflating it could cause him to end up with serious facial and arm injuries if the tire should happen to blow up.
Don't glorify speed when a tire changer's safety is more important.
Discount Tire Co.
Sell benefits not price
In response to your May 29 editorial, ``Tires as a commodity,'' I'd just like to say you're right!
Independent tire dealers need to start talking benefits-not just price-especially if they're competing with discount and department stores or wholesale clubs.
We at K.O. Tire do just fine talking only benefits in our ads.
In 20 years, we have never advertised price. With just three employees and one service bay, ``service by appointment'' only, and an 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-through-Friday work schedule, we sold more than 14,000 tires in 1994- which we're told is many times the industry average per bay.
Some people have called us ``one in a million'' (implying) a business like ours can't be duplicated in today's market.
I say nonsense! We built our business on simply not screwing the customer.
We invite customers to watch what we do in the shop. We are knowledgeable and friendly and treat them with importance and appreciation.
Unfortunately, many discounters, wholesale clubs, company-owned stores, department stores and independents screw their customers. Then when their ex-customers come into our shop and share their stories with us, we know we don't have anything to worry about.
Oh yes, they get plenty of business with their expensive advertising. But usually, it's from ``one timers'' or people who don't know any better.
K.O. Tire was built on ``word-of-mouth'' advertising mainly-not price!
It works for us and could work for them too, but they simply don't want to or know how to do things properly. They'd rather screw the customer by: 1) hiring cheap, inexperienced employees; 2) misrepresenting their products; 3) bait-and-switch advertising; 4) not cleaning and sanding the rims properly; 5) applying used lead weights to the customers' wheels; 6) telling customers they need tires when the really don't, and; 7) selling them a so-called ``lifetime'' rubber valve stem for $3.99 each.
And that's how we compete-by using the vulnerability of these discount dealers against them and pointing it out to our potential and existing customers.
The bottom line is this: Our customers trust us. They know we're not going to screw them. . .and they tell their friends.
Kevin O. Hogan
K.O. Tire Inc.
Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Tire Amnesty Day
Thanks for the excellent coverage of our Tire Amnesty Day provided by your publication. We collected 82,840 pounds of tires, and still are catching up with over 500 people who called wanting to know how to dispose of their tires and how to prevent future tire waste.
Thanks also to Parnelli Jones Inc. for coordinating the event and for sponsoring it along with Cogg's Tires and the California Integrated Waste Management Board,
Our thanks as well to more than 50 tire dealers in Ventura County who are distributing a brochure titled, ``Don't Let Your Tires Get Tired.'' Getting people to buy and maintain longer-lasting tires (in this manner) will go a long way toward reducing tire waste.
As a result of the coverage we received in your publication, dealers from around the county have been calling the Ventura County Solid Waste Department and ordering promotional magnets (reminding people to ``rotate and inflate'' their tires) as well as copies of our brochure.
County Solid Waste Management Dept.