American Car Care Centers Inc. dealers have several new products and upgraded services at their disposal this year, according to presentations made at a recent meeting of ACCC dealers hosted by Wholesale Tire Distributors in Salt Lake City.
Topping the list of new products is the American Platinum premium all-season radial. It's the first tire line made for ACCC by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., which is becoming a key supplier to the group, complementing ACCC's long-time private brand supplier, Michelin North America Inc.
The T-, H- and V-speed-rated Platinum was launched in late March in 18 sizes and 42 SKUs.
Cooper also is making the American Prospector SUV and Prospector AT available in both black sidewalls and outlined white letters. The sport-utility vehicle (SUV) line is available in 26 passenger and 12 light truck sizes, while the AT line comes in 13 passenger and 13 LT sizes.
ACCC inked Cooper to a supply contract last summer, and Cooper's development team came up with the Prospector designs in less than six months, said Greg Ring, Cooper's liaison with ACCC.
``ACCC challenged us to come up with a product...that will generate sales and profits, be differentiated from the competition and help you build value,'' Mr. Ring told the assembled dealers.
ACCC dealers also have available a new General Grabber UHP SUV line from Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA), which recently signed a long-term partnership deal with ACCC for the distribution and sales of Continental and General brand tires.
The deal, signed April 20, encompasses elements other than tires, such as growth targets, promotions, signage and display material within ACCC retail locations in the U.S., the partners said.
One specific promotion CTNA is offering ACCC dealers is a chance to attend a NASCAR race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
CTNA earlier this year scaled back its private brand tire business in order to have more capacity available for its Continental and General brands, and the launch of the Grabber UHP is evidence of this strategic move, said Scott Batty, CTNA's regional sales representative who presented the product at the Salt Lake City meeting.
CTNA is offering the directional tread-patterned Grabber UHP in 27 sizes, ranging from 205/70R15 to 315/35R24 in T, H, V and W speed ratings.
In addition, ACCC's credit card services provider, GE Credit Services, has created an ACCC dealer-specific version of its CarCareOne program that allows dealers to extend no-interest payments to their customers up to 180 days.
The new credit card program is designed to lower transaction costs and enhance customer loyalty, according to GE's Corinne Park, who laid out the program for the ACCC dealers attending WTD's annual dealer meeting and trade show.
The average ticket of a customer using the CarCareOne card is 285 percent higher than with purchases made with Visa or MasterCard, Ms. Park said. The average first purchase ticket is $482, she said.
ACCC has tied the credit card launch to its Top Guns incentive program: ACCC dealers get credits, redeemable for merchandise, for every five new applications they process.
ACCC also is setting up ACCC University, a series of seminars put on by automotive service business trainer Chubby Frederick of Automotive Training Institute. Mr. Frederick will conduct five ACCC-specific trainings sessions in Chicago throughout the year.
During the two-day event, WTD signed up two new ACCC dealers, expanding the network of ACCC outlets in the wholesaler's distribution area to 47, including 12 operated by WTD under the Plains Tire name.