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Published on May 8, 2006

Mail Call, May 8

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Opinion

Gas price woes


I have never seen business like it is right now. John Q. Public is paying over $3 a gallon and left with little or no money to maintain his car. Even the higher end clients are asking for the cheaper tire.


Our fellow dealers are all looking to focus on the “cheaper brands.” The profitable ultra-high performance tire of yesterday is nothing more than a commodity where who has the cheapest thing in town from China wins, and brand being of very little importance.


It also seems that all the tire dealers are chasing the same sale and now competing against car dealers, who are making $5 or $10 a tire and ruining the market completely.


Gee, you think we brought this on ourselves by letting the manufacturers force you to sell to the car dealers? If our suppliers want to put us all out of business, they are doing a great job and we are helping them. SHAME ON US.


President Bush says the unemployment rate is at its lowest. Does having everyone employed at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. count as good employment numbers?


This used to be a fun business. What happened?


Barry Steinberg


President


Direct Tire and Auto Service


Watertown, Mass.


HR info useful


I would like to express my thanks for the article by Mary Miles in the April 24 issue of Tire Business.


The section was titled “Personnel Matters” and basically was a question/answer piece covering different personnel topics such as drug abuse, infectious diseases in the workplace and what to do when an allegation has been made against an employee.


I must say it had useful information pertaining to current issues in the world of human resources. It was a very useful tool in today's ever-changing world regarding personnel.


Robby L. Dennis


Administrative Assistant


Zolman Tire Inc.


Mishawaka, Ind.


A good profit center


I liked Dan Marinucci's column in the April 10 issue about maintenance of customers' cars, the need to take care of them at our shops and to not let the quickie lube places take them away.


But I think he missed one very important portion of the equation. Maintenance is more profitable for the mechanic and the business for several reasons.


You can drain oil from more than one spot at the same time (creating “extra” billable hours out of thin air), and the comeback rate on maintenance is low, compared with diagnostic and mechanical repairs.


I appreciate Dan's articles.


Andy Cotey


Manager


Hockett & Olsen Automotive


Bainbridge Island, Wash.


Maintenance list needed


We at Whitehall Tires for Less want to do more preventive maintenance services, but we need a better source of scheduled maintenance lists for all cars.


Looking at the customers' vehicle manuals seems less than professional.


John Stickley


Service consultant


Whitehall Tires for Less


Pittsburgh

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