Cull Hispanic biz
The Chicagoland market, in which our company operates, holds the second-largest Hispanic population in the country.
We are a wholesale distributor and many of our city customers are Hispanic-owned dealerships. I have a bilingual assistant in house and one of my outside sales people speaks Spanish to a reasonable degree. The ability to communicate easily with your dealer is the responsibility of the distributor, not the customer.
The vast majority of the small business owners we deal with in the inner city area are bilingual. They communicate well in both English and Spanish and some have even learned Polish or other ethnic dialects common to Chicago's neighborhoods. This gives them the edge in their respective neighborhoods, and their clientele is loyal.
I have witnessed the rise of Hispanic-owned tire and wheel dealerships in Chicago over the last several years. They have grown from small beginnings—in one or no bay shops—to prominent dealers with beautiful facilities. They are valued business partners with Antioch Tire.
For me to ignore this portion of my customer base and not facilitate easy communication would be financial suicide.
General manager, wholesale division
Antioch Tire Inc.
Elk Grove Village, Ill.
I was pleased to read in a recent issue of Tire Business that Mavis Discount Tire Inc. received the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the “turn around” category for the metropolitan New York region.
Having sold tires to their dad years ago, when the company had two or three stores, it's just wonderful now to see the fabulous job Stephen and David Sorbaro have done since taking over the company's reins as owners. Their accomplishment is even greater in that they operate in the most competitive and saturated market in the U.S.
When I recently needed tires, I visited their Mavis Discount Tire store in Fishkill, N.Y. Being a stranger to them, I can't tell you how great it was to be treated, from the tire changer on up to the manager, like an old friend. The same was true at the other Mavis stores I called in the area while checking on the availability and prices of tires.
This doesn't “just happen,” folks. It comes from the top! I guess it puts a lie to an old canard about “second-generation owners.”
I love to see turnaround operations be so successful. The Sorbaros are growing their dealership—and doing it the right way. I worked in management for Goodyear for many years, and Mavis is doing it in a textbook manner. That's so rare in this business.
Congratulations again and please invite me to your “Grand 100 Store” celebration.
Feuer Management Co. L.L.C.
About time for training
I just read the headline in Tire Business that the Tire Industry Association (TIA) is considering a training program for used tires. In my opinion it is about time.
Damages to the credibility of the used tire market has reached to insurance companies, some of which are considering forbidding any covered tire dealers from selling used tires.
As the economy lags, so does the desperation of some citizens. To some tire retailers, the used tire market is booming, especially with the introduction of larger rim and lower profile tires with a heftier price tag that are often beyond the tight budgets of many families and individuals.
Should the insurance companies try to ban used tire use, it will, in essence, create a black market, so to speak, that will cost the consumer even more.
Canton Bandag Co.