Seminar to highlight 3 management tools
LAS VEGAS-Don Olson, the retired founder of Florida's Don Olson Tire, will host a third dealer seminar during the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show.
The seminar, to be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 3 in Las Vegas, will focus on three management tools to help dealers run their businesses successfully. Mr. Olson said the seminar will look at ways to retain employees and make them more productive.
``I have used these three simple management tools since 1951 on every assignment I had with Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and in running my own tire and auto repair business,'' Mr. Olson said. ``It works.''
Mr. Olson also will host a dealer panel Nov. 1 focusing on dealer profitability. That same panel discussion will be repeated on Nov. 2.
Kal Tire promotes Ken Finch to president
VERNON, British Columbia-Kal Tire's Ken Finch, previously senior vice president of stores, has been appointed president of the Vernon-based dealership by retiring Founder and President Tom Foord.
Mr. Foord, 83, who will stay on as chairman of Kal Tire's board of directors, said it was time to step aside to allow the younger generation of the company to lead it into a new era.
The transition had been in place for some time, but Senior Vice President and General Manager Archie Stroh's decision to retire this year formalized the plan, Kal Tire said. Mr. Stroh also will remain on the board of directors.
``Ken has the utmost confidence and support of myself and Archie, and he has consistently shown us and everyone else in our company the strength and depth of his leadership skills,'' Mr. Foord said.
Mr. Finch, 59, who joined the dealership in 1980, will continue to head up Kal Tire's real estate, construction and safety divisions. Under his leadership, he said it will be business as usual and that the company culture will remain intact.
``We have a really strong culture in how we treat our customers and our employees-that's our strength,'' Mr. Finch said in a prepared statement.
Kal Tire has more than 2,200 employees, operates 129 corporate stores, 50 associate stores, five warehouses, 11 mining operations and 13 tire retread plants. The dealership recently purchased Mississauga Tire Centre's nine outlets in southern Ontario and last year acquired 11 Sears, Roebuck and Co.-owned auto service shops in British Columbia and Alberta.
Beverly Tire opens commercial service site
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario-Beverly Tire Group recently opened a 12,000-sq.-ft. facility in Cambridge to service and repair off-the-road and commercial tires.
The new center, which officially opened June 15, has a ``spacious'' drive-through area to allow for more convenient and faster service, the company said. The facility includes a service component, warehouse and office space.
``Beverly Tire's newest facility brings more than 100 years of combined industry experience to the city of Cambridge,'' said Bill Streeter, executive vice president of Beverly Tire. ``We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of service, and our move to Cambridge is yet another means of responding to our customers' needs.''
Flamborough, Ontario-based Beverly Tire also has a large truck tire retread plant and a retail tire store in Cambridge. Altogether, the dealership operates 10 retail outlets, seven commercial locations and a retread plant in Ontario.
Belle Tire sponsors police softball team
LANSING, Mich.-Belle Tire is again sponsoring the Belle Tire Michigan Lawmen softball team, which won the 2003 and 2004 USSSA National Police Softball Championships and is hoping to reach the honor again this season.
The team, which plays in charity law enforcement tournaments across the country, raises money for the families of police officers who are killed or injured in the line of duty. Allen Park, Mich.-based Belle Tire, which has more than 75 stores in Michigan and Ohio, has sponsored the team since 2000.
``Belle Tire is proud to be the sponsor of this great team of champions,'' said Don Barnes, the dealership's president. ``They are making an enormous difference through these tournaments in the lives of the families of so many who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our society. It's fitting that they are recognized for their contributions-both on the field and off.''
Michelin launches commercial tire tour
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Michelin North America Inc. has launched a 14-state multi-city tour aimed at commercial tire dealers and their customers to demonstrate its line of truck tires.
Michelin has dubbed the 22-stop circuit, conducted by Michelin Americas Truck Tires (MATT), Michelin Earthmover Tires and authorized Michelin dealers, the ``A Better Way Forward'' tour, borrowing Group Michelin's corporate signature.
The tour consists of a tractor-trailer with graphics depicting Michelin products that will visit dealer locations in the Midwest, Northeast and Southwest this summer and fall. The tour kicked off July 18 in Millbury, Mass., and will end Oct. 14 in Evansville, Ind.
``This tour is Michelin's way of going directly to the places where our dealers and their customers are located to give them valuable information about selecting the right tires and how to properly maintain them,'' said Marc Laferriere, vice president of marketing for MATT.
The trailer will include displays on Michelin's line of products plus three tent classrooms for training modules covering tire value, tire applications and tire forensics. The 53-foot trailer features product displays.
Brahler hosts open house for retread plant
JACKSONVILLE, Ill.-About 1,000 industry professionals and others attended an open house and trade fair in May hosted by Brahler Industries.
The open house featured a tour of the company's new Innovative Tread Replacement (ITR) plant in Jacksonville. Officials from Continental Tire North America Inc., Yokohama Tire Corp., Michelin North America Inc., Marangoni Tread North America Inc., Mid-West Truckers Association and Tech International also were on hand.
``We made a move to be an independent retreader with the development of ITR, and it has been a great advantage for us in growing the business,'' said President Richard Brahler.
``For 30 years we were a franchised retreader with two well-known systems, and we were limited in what we could do,'' he continued. ``Now we are totally independent and free to select the best equipment, tread rubber and processes available worldwide. Through Gaither Tool's sales to-and involvement with-tire dealers worldwide, we saw that there was new technology in retreading that was far ahead of what was available to us as a franchisee. Our customers are the real winners with this new technology.''
ITR retreading uses both Marangoni Ring-Tread (under li-cense) and its own Flat Tread technology at the Jacksonville plant, Mr. Brahler said. The firm also makes and sells flat tread rubber to North American retreaders.
Kauffman Tire opens 11th distribution center
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Kauffman Tire Inc. has opened its 11th distribution center, in Tallahassee, to serve Florida and Georgia plus parts of Alabama, the Atlanta-based distributor said.
The center has 50,000 square feet of space under one roof, plus an additional 20,000 square feet of outside storage. It will service an area within a 175-mile radius around the city, the dealership said.
``The new Kauffman Tire distribution center definitely moves the company to the forefront of distributors within the state,'' said Pharis Smith, manager of the Tallahassee site.
The facility stocks Goodyear, Toyo, Continental, General, Mastercraft, Pirelli and Kumho brands and carries lines of consumer, truck, industrial, off-the-road and farm tires.
The new center gives Kauffman 11 warehouses in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. The cost was not disclosed.
The dealership also operates 43 retail stores, two commercial truck tire centers and a Bandag retread facility. In addition, it offers an e-commerce site at www.treadepot.com.
TCI opens new outlet in South Carolina
DUNCAN, S.C.-Tire Centers (TCI) L.L.C.'s Commercial Division has opened a new commercial tire center in Conway, S.C.
TCI said the Conway center, its fourth in South Carolina, offers alignment services, mounted wheel programs, emergency road service, fleet inspections, flat repairs and retread programs. In addition to Michelin retreads, it sells Michelin, BFGoodrich, Sumitomo, Yokohama and Superior new truck tires.
``The addition of a center in the Conway area adds an integral piece to TCI's regional coverage, linking our coastal service from Wilmington, N.C., to Charleston, S.C.,'' said Dave Carson, regional operations director for TCI. ``We continue to strive to offer our customers complete regional and national coverage through both our centers and our network of partnerships across the nation.''
Duncan-based TCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Michelin North America Inc. It operates 113 commercial locations and has a fleet of about 700 service vehicles. The dealership also operates 14 Michelin Retread Technologies plants in 12 states.
U.S. Tire & Exhaust adds 8th warehouse
COMBINED LOCKS, Wis.-Tire and automotive undercar parts wholesaler U.S. Tire & Exhaust has added a regional distribution center, its eighth, in Niles, Ill., to serve the North Chicago region.
The distributor, a division of U.S. Oil Co. Inc., also has regional automotive warehouses in the Fox Valley and Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Glendale Heights and Alsip/Chicago, Ill.; and St. Louis. The company is based in Combined Locks.
With increasing market penetration in the North Chicago area, a chief goal of the new distribution center is ``to position our organization closer to our customers, now and in the future,'' said Randy Groh, U.S. Tire's director of marketing.
U.S. Tire & Exhaust has been a tire and parts distributor since 1958. The new facility will, according to Pat Hietpas, vice president of operations, further expand the company's distribution in northern Illinois and also provide fast, efficient delivery service to area automotive service dealers.
Black's Tire hosts race weekend events
WHITEVILLE, N.C.-RBR Enterprises and Black's Tire Service (BTS) hosted race weekend activities on June 24 and 25 for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series event at Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
In business since 1929, Black's Tire, based in Whiteville, has 20 locations including a central distribution center, a wholesale center and 18 retail and commercial locations spread throughout southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina.
The dealership, which sponsors a race team, said that with its strong stable of sponsors and partners for the race, it ``should definitely be the largest promotion of the year surrounding a USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Event.''
Among Black's more than two dozen marketing partners and sponsors for the weekend's events were: Carquest Corp.; Napa Auto Parts; Michelin North America Inc. and its BFGoodrich brand; Interstate Battery Systems of America Inc.; BTS Tire Distributors; Federal Tire Corp.; Gore Tire; and Dean Tires.