As a manager of a call center for a major tire distributor, I find some of the information about tire aging being presented to consumers is misleading. We are receiving an increase in requests from our dealers who have consumers wanting “freshly” manufactured tires.
I recently had a request that the consumer insisted they receive four tires manufactured in 2014. Of the 33 Michelin light truck tires in stock, they were all manufactured in 2013. We did not get the sale.
John Travers Manager, call center Summit Tire/American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc. Taunton, Mass. Euro van tire concerns I read in the March 31 issue of Tire Business the story “Tire fitment frustration on the horizon?” about the new so-called Euro vans arriving in North America.
In the province of Quebec we have, by regulation, the obligation of installing winter tires on vehicles with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of less than 10,000 pounds. With the new Ram ProMaster Euro-style van from Chrysler Group L.L.C., it is very challenging just trying to find winter tires that are Euro-metric. We are working with Goodyear to see if they can bring those winter tires to Canada.
Bell Canada has a fleet of 13,000 vehicles. About 7,000 of them are vans that will be replaced by Euro vans in the next five years.
Robert Chagnon Associate director, fleet solutions Bell Canada Laval, Quebec A vote for oil sampling I read Dan Marinucci's column in the June 23 edition of Tire Business about oil consumption and agreed with everything he had to say. That includes what Dan wrote about Mobil 1 (being a Chevron oil salesman, I am sure that my rep wouldn't want to hear that).
I am an oil salesman in northwest Ohio, and I have had great success selling oil sampling to my PCMO (passenger car motor oil) customers. In the automotive world, oil sampling is almost nonexistent, but in the heavy-duty and industrial world it is almost a necessity.
I am not sure if Dan is familiar with oil sampling, but it is very economical—it retails for $20, with a shop's cost at $12—and is very easy for a technician to perform. It requires about 4 ounces of oil and provides a tech with an amazing amount of information about a customer's vehicle.
We compare it to a blood test: It won't tell you exactly what is wrong with a vehicle, but it will point you in the right direction. About a year ago I had a customer who was sued claiming that our oil caused an engine failure.
After pulling three oil samples, the lawsuit went away. I also had a customer take a sample and, after analysis, I noticed fuel in the oil. I called him right away.
He immediately took the truck to the dealer and they noticed that the injectors were bad—that was the second time that happened—and replaced the injectors four days before their warranty was up. That saved the customer $2,500. You might want to talk to your friends in the industry and see if any of them have had any experience with this.
I think that this is a tool that very few, if any, of Tire Business readers are using, and could make their lives easier—and their pockets fatter.
Mark Schick Salesman Shrader Tire & Oil Toledo, Ohio Making dealers profitable I just finished reading Dan Marinucci's column, “Selling electrical testing's not difficult,” in the June 9 issue of Tire Business. It was clear, concise and easily understood in layman's terms.
Dan, you certainly possess the skills to make dealers profitable—that is, as long as they're willing to invest a few minutes to read your column each week. Kudos to you!
Inside sales American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc./Summit Tire Northeast
East Taunton, Mass.