I enjoyed the section in the March 18 issue on the ladies in the tire business. It was very timely. I do feel you left out an important segment and some very special ladies. These are the executive directors of the state tire dealer associations. They are: Shawn Herrick, Mid America Tire Dealers Association; Kay Knapp, Texas Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association; Stephanie McCoubrey, Western States Tire & Automotive Service Association; and Olive Storey, Western Canadian Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
These ladies do a good job of managing their respective associations and have been especially helpful to me.
Running an association is a tough job and my hat is off to these ladies. They need to be recognized for the job they are doing.
Louisiana Independent Tire Dealers Association
Denham Springs, La.
'Right on the money'
Clarence Ball's column ``On-the-wheel tire repairs'' in the April 15 issue was right on the money.
Every day we talk to tire dealers who make on-the-wheel repairs. Their justification is that ``customers will not pay for a proper repair.''
So, for a five dollar bill, they risk the future of their business.
You have reported many incidents in recent years where tire dealers were totally wiped out by lawsuits for faulty repairs. Yes, people's lives and dealers' businesses depend on workmanship and sound business practice.
Phone your business
#1 Snyder Tire just conducted a nationwide telephone survey. We called over 100 tire retailers coast-to-coast acting like a customer. What we found was very disappointing.
Only four stores were very interested in selling us tires and took the time to explain why we should buy from them. They were also the only stores that asked for our business.
The phone is very important to today's tire retailer. I think anyone in the business would agree that 50 to 70 percent of today's retail business is lined up on the phone.
Sixty stores were somewhat interested in what we were looking for, however, they were order takers and it seemed like they had more important things to do than talk to us on the phone.
Another thing we found out that was even sadder than sales people not asking for the order was that all but a handful of stores mentioned their cheapest tire, which also means the lowest gross as well.
Thirty-one stores weren't even very polite in their conversation. From these stores, we had to ask for all the information we received.
Nine stores were actually rude and insulting. They made it clear they were not interested if we bought tires at their store or not.
In fact, in three cases, profanity was actually used over the phone.
One thing that surprised me is that Sears and Pep Boys did better than most independents on the phone.
This phone survey also stirred up an investigation of my own two stores, which I found had the same problems of not asking for the order and quoting low-end merchandise.
We have since changed that, hopefully for the better, and I would suggest that all independents begin shopping their own stores.
Douglas K. Snyder
#1 Snyder Wholesale Tire & Electronics
This is a voice out of the past.
I was president of the National Association of Independent Tire Dealers when we changed the name to National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association. The year was 1955.
Also in 1955, we settled a lawsuit by NTDRA against the five major rubber companies for direct selling. A sizable amount of money was received by the NTDRA. The suit was settled out of court by consent decree. According to the last issue of TIRE BUSINESS the direct-selling problem still exists.
My reason for writing is that in your last issue, in the story on the tire dealership in the California ghost town, you moved Yosemite National Park 135 miles out into the ocean due west of San Francisco.
That is a neat trick and I surmise Doherty Tire Co. operates out of a submarine in that area.
After living in California for most of my life, I cannot resist kidding your reporter who wrote the article.
You print a good paper, and I enjoy it very much.
Bill Deane Tire Co.