Silver State Tire Co. Inc. may have cured some high-performance phobia at its marketing group's annual meeting this month in Reno, Nev.
Ed Stocker, owner and CEO of the Sparks-based wholesale and commercial dealership, said this year's meeting for the company's Tires & More marketing program centered on high-performance to reassure some of its members about the market. The company also plans to launch a print ad campaign on June 14 that will do the same in the dealers' hometowns.
``The people who are not in major cities are trying not to get into (high performance),'' Mr. Stocker told Tire Business, adding many dealers are unsure about the products and potential liability. ``...(But) they're going to be forced into it because of the original equipment fitments coming out of Detroit.''
To that end, the annual meeting, which 192 dealers attended, included talks from high-performance executives from Kumho Tire USA Inc., Falken Tire Corp. and Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp. and a trade show featuring equipment for HP tires.
The group's new advertising program will feature high-performance tires rather than the same old ``sales on sets of tires'' ads that Mr. Stocker said have become too old school. ``It's about as exciting as going to a boring movie,'' he said.
The ads still will feature broadline tires, especially light truck tires. But the ads-four-page inserts in local newspapers-also are meant to convey the HP theme.
Silver State will distribute about 10,000 inserts per dealer at first-or nearly a half million total-to about 50 dealers in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Mr. Stocker said the campaign will be ongoing.
Mr. Stocker said the HP theme seems to have inspired some dealers to get involved in the segment.
Tires & More distributes Bridgestone, Firestone, Road King, Toyo, Cooper, Mastercraft, Kelly and Falken brands. The marketing program includes identification, advertising, road hazard plans, training and other perks.
The marketing group's annual meeting also served as a celebration of Mr. Stocker's 50th anniversary in the tire industry. A roast was organized in his honor, but the snipes were too complimentary, he joked.
Mr. Stocker, 68, started as a truck tire buster just shy of 19 years old while he was at the University of San Francisco. He started Silver State in 1970 and is in his 34th year. The company now has sales of $40 million and, Mr. Stocker emphasized, is profitable.
He said he has noticed many other tire dealers come and go because they jump into the business, thinking there's no way to fail since everyone has to buy tires at some point.
Mr. Stocker's quick response: ``And everybody sells them.''