Where most dealerships might be concerned with accomplishing goals, a three-store family in Park City, Ill., is concerning itself with building them.
Through a Michelin North America Inc.-sponsored program, Waukegan Tire & Supply Co. is donating proceeds from a month-long program to establish a youth soccer program in town. Mich-elin pledged $2 from each Uni-royal tire sold in May at Waukegan Tire, which will match the pledge and possibly make additional donations. The money will go toward the purchase of nets, balls and uniforms, a city spokesman said.
In a similar program last fall, the companies donated $3,092. This year all three of Waukegan's suburban Chicago dealerships will take part, said Waukegan Tire Vice President Julie Scroggins, who is overseeing the program.
``We decided to get involved because we think it's a good program,'' Ms. Scroggins said. ``We look at it as more of a long-term program. It's about building relationships for the future. You need to show involvement and concern for children in your community.''
The promotion will climax in September with a ball giveaway that will involve 1,500 youth soccer players. Each ball will bear the company's logo. Families will get coupons for the balls, which they pick up at the store.
``Last year we had 300 families in and 90 percent of them had never been in the store before,'' Ms. Scroggins said.
Waukegan Tire is a 33-year-old dealership founded by Ms. Scroggins' father, Gerry Nerheim. It employs 48 people at three locations, each of which has six to 10 bays. A fourth location is expected to open within 60 days, according to Mr. Nerheim, who would not disclose the location.
Waukegan Tire carries Michelin, Uniroyal and Goodrich brands, along with Remington, Falken, Nokian, General, Continental and Riken. It deals extensively in custom wheels, stocking and selling tire-and-wheel packages, particularly 18-, 20-, 22- and 23- inch sizes.
A Big O Tires Inc. franchise in Brighton, Colo., did its part to help future mechanics by recently donating a wheel-alignment machine to Brighton High School.
The dealership had purchased a new machine, freeing up its old one for the donation.
All seniors in the school's Regional Occupational Program (ROP) will be trained on the donated machine, allowing them to learn on more modern equipment. ``They had a very old machine,'' Brighton Big O co-owner Greg Foster said. ``The alignment heads were still strings. They didn't have the same software program. It was a substantial upgrade.''
The new machine will allow the ROP students to use more modern technology, learning how to do laser alignments. Four students in the program work for Mr. Foster after school.
``It certainly benefits me from the labor pool side, but also in the community,'' he said. ``It's an old adage that word-of-mouth is the best advertising you can get.''
The Brighton Big O location is home to 16 employees, including four counter people, two techs and 10 tire people. The 4,800-sq.-ft. store has three bays.
CJ's Tire & Automotive Services of Reading, Pa., has added a sixth location to its 30-year-old business, capping a two-week grand opening celebration at its new Limerick, Pa., store. The new store is a 5,200-sq.-ft. service center.
CJ's also has stores in Birdsboro, Kimberton, Lititz, North Holland and West Lawn, all in southeastern Pennsylvania. The six stores employ more than 110 people, with six new jobs created by the new outlet's opening.
CJ's carries most tire brands, with Michelin, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich and Medalist as its staples. It offers most automotive repair services as well as custom wheels. The two-week opening included free food giveaways and a contest where the winner got a set of four Michelin Arctic Alpin snow tires, plus a ski weekend in the Poconos.
CJ's has plans to add another full service center in Leesport, Pa., later this summer.
Alan Brown Tire Center Inc. in Newport, Ore., plans to open its second location in Toledo, Ore., June 1.
The dealership, a Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc. member dealer, will hold a grand opening celebration for the new store during the town's summer festival in late July, according to General Manager Ken Brown.
Although the dealership is 90-percent retail, the Toledo outlet primarily will service commercial, industrial, heavy truck and off-the-road tires since it will be situated near truck traffic coming from U.S. 101 and U.S. Highway 20. It will be a six-bay, 8,000-sq.-ft. facility.
Alan Brown Tire posted $2.7 million in sales in 2000 and has been a Les Schwab dealership since 1972.
Treadepot.com, an offshoot of Kauffman Tire Inc., has upgraded its Internet capabilities, allowing Web surfers to shop Treadepot's tire and wheel inventory and place orders online with greater ease.
With Webpro EX(tm), a product of e-Business solutions provider BravePoint, Treadepot was able to shift its distribution system to the Web.
``It's just an added marketing tool, more than anything,'' Vice President Mark Kauffman said. ``(The Internet) is still such a new environment. We felt like we needed to be there just to see what happens.''
Treadepot went live more than a year ago, Mr. Kauffman said, adding that e-generated business has been ``good.''
Kauffman Tire is a 60-year-old dealership with 36 stores in four states, including 30 in Georgia. Kauffman Tire sells Goodyear, Pirelli, Toyo, Fulda and Mastercraft brands, as well as Konig and American Racing wheels.