By Kathy McCarron, Tire Business staff
PORTLAND, Ore. (Feb. 22, 2013) — The Tire Factory network grew by 28 stores last year, and the marketing/buying group wants to add 25 more member stores this year, according to the group's management team at this week's annual membership meeting in Portland.
Portland-based Northwest Tire Factory L.L.C. also unveiled plans to revamp its "Best in the West" warranty program and is proposing changing its corporate status to a co-operative from its existing limited liability corporation status.
The warranty program changes entail providing member dealers two options they can offer with their tire sales — "Good as Gold" and "Platinum."
The Gold Warranty can be included in the price of the tire and offers free air checks, tire inspections, rotations, flat repairs and a prorated road-hazard policy, Tire Factory said.
The Platinum Warranty offers an upgrade that can be included in the tire price or used as an upsell from the Gold Warranty; the Platinum Warranty includes the features of the Gold program plus free balancing, tire pressure monitoring system reset with tire rotation and alignment check, as well as a road-hazard warranty providing full replacement for four years or 3/32-inch tread depth. The warranty also provides out-of-service area road hazard replacement.
Tire Factory management also reported they are looking into converting the marketing group to a co-op for tax purposes. Subject to membership approval, the co-op business operation would maintain many of the same ownership benefits, but owners would not be subject to the minimum state business tax in every state Tire Factory has locations.
The proposal was prompted by the hefty $800 minimum state tax California has been imposing on Tire Factory dealers in all states.
The Tire Factory network comprises more than 250 locations in 14 Western states, according to information supplied last year to Tire Business.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6127. For a full report on the Tire Factory dealer meeting, check out the March 4 print edition of Tire Business as well as its website.