CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Continental General Tire is looking at developing a dealer program aimed at smaller retail tire dealerships and wholesalers. ``We are working on and making great progress in establishing an associate dealer program to take care of those really small dealers, which we can't reach ourselves but which we do not want to ignore,'' said CGT President Bernd Frangenberg.
Still in the conceptual stages, the dealer program officially will be unveiled at the company's annual dealer meeting in January.
``It's our desire to be a better partner and supplier to the dealer in the marketplace,'' said Chris Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing.
Dennis DeLeonard, a former American Car Care Centers executive, will oversee the program as CGT's new director of business development.
Mr. Dickson said CGT is attempting first to define the types of problems dealers experience in the marketplace and will then work to find solutions to these problems—no easy task, considering the size and diversity of the U.S. tire market.
``It's very easy to say every dealer's major problem is profitability,'' Mr. Dickson said. But the causes, and therefore the solutions, vary widely.
The company's aim, he said, is to pull together all the elements needed to make the program work and come up with a plan that's ``purely practical.''
``We're looking at different ways of attacking different segments of the market,'' Mr. Dickson said.