Territory policy clarified In a press conference prior to the recent Dayton Sales Meeting covered in TB's Feb. 1 issue, I inadvertently misused the words ``area exclusive'' in place of ``territory integrity.''
Dayton Tire is not offering its independent dealers exclusive rights to sell Dayton and the company's other associate brands within their specific trade area.
Rather, if dealers commit to maintaining a minimum 1-percent market share for a particular associate brand in their ``by county'' trade area, Dayton Tire intends to maintain strong territory integrity.
``Territory integrity'' means Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. will not try to sign new dealers to carry a particular brand if that creates conflicts with the existing dealer's trade area.
It is important that all of our associates and customers understand this clarification so we can avoid any possible conflicts or misunderstandings within our family of Dayton dealers.
V.P., Consumer Tires Marketing
More on Ford tire program
I am saddened to see companies that claim independent tire stores are the backbone of their existence, breaking the backs of such outlets by entering into deals such as Ford Motor Co.'s new ``Around the Wheel'' tire program.
These same manufacturers continue to fall behind in service and fill rates to their current customer base. So why make a bad situation worse by bringing in car dealerships to compete with independent tire dealerships?
Ford protects its car dealers by not allowing competitive parts stores to buy original equipment parts direct. Tire manufacturers ought to show their dealers the same business courtesy.
North Hills, Calif.
Charging motorists for air
I disagree with the Jan. 18 letter from Ron Vak suggesting dealers stop allowing non-customers to put air in their tires for free.
Anybody who comes on our property is a customer or potential customer.
We not only give free air—we're more than happy to help check their tire pressure. Maybe that's why we're still in business after 82 years.
When any person drives into our shop in need of air I personally will gladly check the pressure and add air free.
If the tires need air, they probably need further attention as well. Why waste a built-in shot at making a sale? This is the least expensive advertising a shop can purchase.
Stephen E. Hamilton
Chapman's Service Store
If you're not willing to provide air to prospective customers for no charge, where do you think they're going to go for tires or service work?
It probably won't be your place of business.
Andrew (Buck) Worker
I'll continue giving prospective customers free air, water and maybe even top off their oil for free with a smile and a ``thank you.''
Who will they remember when in need of tires or a brake job? The dealer who treated them as ``non-customers'' or the one who checked and inflated their tires with a smile? There are no non-customers—only out-of-business tire dealers.
Garth R. Smith
Metro Tire & Auto Service
Michelin's double standard
Concerning Michelin North America's refusal to continue supplying Morgan Tire & Auto of Clearwater, Fla. (Feb. 1 issue): I'll bet the tire company doesn't tell Sears, Roebuck and Co., NTB or the Tire Rack it wants 51 percent of their business or nothing.
Whitehall Tire Service