TROY, Mich.—Ross Kogel Sr. knows the importance of taking care of his tire dealer customers. ``If we don't help make dealers profitable, they'll be out of business and I won' have any customers,'' the owner of Tire Wholesalers Co. Inc. said during his firm's 1999 Spring Carnival $ell-A-Bration, held May 13 at its 35,000-sq.-ft. Troy warehouse.
The annual spring carnival drew about 150 dealers to a cookout, games, tire supplier exhibits and educational seminars covering tire repair, high performance tires, workers compensation and industry trends.
Besides having fun, dealers could purchase tires at deeply discounted prices and buy prizes with play money won at gaming tables and in visits to exhibitors' booths.
``As a wholesale tire distributor, I feel that the trade fair is a great opportunity to thank our customers in person,'' Mr. Kogel said.
``The classes are not to sell tires but to help the small dealer make more profits,'' he added.
Having the carnival at the warehouse, instead of a local club, also gives customers a chance to see the products and meet with company employees, Mr. Kogel said.
This way, if a dealer gets a customer who needs, for example, a special lawn mower tire, he'll likely have seen it and may have learned about it in a seminar, Mr. Kogel said.
Exhibitors included tire makers and marketers Alliance, Dunlop, Cooper, Carlisle, Falken, Titan, China Manufacturers Alliance and TBC Corp., as well as suppliers Perfect Wheel Weights and Monroe.
``Wholesalers must offer their customers more than just the best price on a tire,'' said Greg Burt, Tire Wholesalers general manager. ``Creative benefits such as the trade fair, combined with excellent service and honest business practices, help Tire Wholesalers—and our customers—remain profitable in today's competitive environment.''
Founded by Mr. Kogel in 1970, Tire Wholesalers distributes throughout Michigan. The company employs 53 and operates warehouses in Southfield and Cadillac, Mich.