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CALGARY, Alberta—The principals of Calgary-based Go Tire Inc. are bringing their mobile tire service business concept to the U.S. next year, either as a franchise or licensing scheme.

Go Tire co-founder Craig Howes will be on hand at the upcoming Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas to demonstrate a Go Tire mobile tire van and explain the Go Tire business model.

Launched in 2011, Go Tire has 28 franchised businesses in operation in six provinces and will soon extend the Canadian franchise model to Quebec along with expanding internationally, Mr. Howes said recently.

The Go Tire franchise is more than just a tire shop on wheels, he stressed. “The key to the success of a Go Tire franchise is the business model we've developed,” he said, noting proprietary developments in business software and experience in appointment scheduling, marketing, etc.

The core of the business, though, is the Go Tire mobile tire van. Mr. Howes said he and his life and business partner Heather Murphy have worked diligently to design an interior layout that's efficient and ergonomic, allowing the operator to perform mobile servicing effectively.

Among the features of the Go Tire model that the company stresses are: Fully equipped vehicle with patented design and layout; scalable business model; purchasing power through an authorized supplier network; proprietary “nTireNet” online management system; equitable royalty structure; online tech support; intensive initial training program; use of the Go Tire name, trademarks and reputation; marketing and advertising support and collateral materials; ongoing support and training.

The equipment in Go Tire vans—full-size turbodiesel Mercedes-Benz Sprinters—is designed to run off the van's motor or off a 12-volt battery.

The couple have tweaked the Go Tire business model since it launched three years ago, adding the option of offering windshield repair and replacement and/or auto detailing to the mobile tire service concept.

The company burst onto the tire servicing scene in Canada in 2011 after Mr. Howes and Ms. Murphy went on the television show “Dragon's Den”—the Canadian version of the ABC-TV series “Shark Tank”—to seek funding to expand their still nascent business. Although they agreed to a deal on the show, eventually they couldn't complete the arrangement because of disagreements over certain details, Mr. Howes said.

The idea for Go Tire came about five years ago, when Ms. Murphy—at home with two toddlers and trying to help run the couples' window-covering business—complained about how much time was wasted trying to get their business's five vehicles in for tires and service, according to a video history on the Go Tire website. At that point, the pair started looking into the concept of mobile tire servicing and they discovered it was still a relatively wide-open business opportunity.

Go Tire already is active in the U.S.—sort of.

Earlier this year Go Tire signed Scott Blair, owner of WheelWorks Inc. in Mobile, Ala., to be its first U.S. distributor for the GoTire Vans concept. This arrangement was limited to spec'ing and building vans based on the Go Tire concept, Mr. Blair said, and providing some start-up advice to independent business owners.

The arrangement did not include the Go Tire name or any of the proprietary business acumen.

Mr. Blair said his work as a distributor for GoTireVans is independent of Wheel Works. Mr. Howes said Mr. Blair will be offered the opportunity to morph their arrangement to include the franchising or licensing model.

Go Tire Inc. also will have to deal with an existing Go Tire mobile tire business, a single-vehicle business in Provo, Utah. Mr. Howes said he believes they can work equitably with that business.

Tire Business research shows there are up to two dozen mobile tire service businesses operating in the U.S. now, but none franchised.
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TB Reader Poll

Previous | Published March 18, 2019

Where can you expect to see the most growth in 2019?

Tire sales
45% (34 votes)
General automotive service
15% (11 votes)
Brakes, shocks and other undercar services
7% (5 votes)
Add-on business
15% (11 votes)
Anywhere we can get it.
19% (14 votes)
Total votes: 75
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