TB EDITORIAL: Stepping up to industry challenges
AKRON (Sept. 14, 2016) — If worrying about the future of the tire and auto service industry keeps you up at night, you may sleep a little better after reading some of the “Faces of the Industry” profiled in the Sept. 12 issue of Tire Business.
Rest assured, if these snapshots of young people working in the industry are any indication of the future generation of tire dealers, auto repairers and tire company personnel, there is new blood — and new ideas — coming down the pike.
Call them “game changers” or perhaps “disrupters,” if you will. They are seeing new ways of improving and changing the aftermarket and tire manufacturing as a whole.
Patrice Banks, for example, is tapping into the often-overlooked female customer base by opening a female-centric auto repair shop. And she's doing it with female mechanics while offering a unique enticement — an in-house nail salon to pamper her women customers.
Her motive? In part, she's doing it because she was tired of not understanding automobiles and feeling like she was “getting scammed by the male-dominated car industry.”
Keep checking www.tirebusiness.com for a special “Faces of the Industry” page featuring profiles on these up & comers as well as videos of others toiling in the tire and automotive industries.
Jeff Wallick, a millennial, is excited about working at an independent tire wholesale business where he can gain varied experiences. He said he believes experiences and leadership qualities can trump an MBA when it comes to running a tire dealership — and he has strong ideas about work-life balance.
At age 28, Brian Finkelstein has inherited an appreciation of the importance of family, legacy and guiding principals at his family's 97-year-old Max Finkelstein Inc., a wholesale tire dealership based on Long Island, N.Y.
Several young Bridgestone Americas employees offered their takes on how they're enthusiastically thinking and creating ways to improve tires and the process for developing new products. One 36-year-old even admits he's “HUNGRY to achieve excellence,” as he put it.
It is encouraging to read and hear in their own words how these young people look at their jobs and how seriously they view their responsibilities in the tire business.
They give hope that the industry will develop a new group of employees, managers and leaders who will continue the legacy of exceptional service, quality products while doing so with an entrepreneurial spirit.
It is well documented that one of the biggest concerns of independent tire dealers is finding talented and hard-working young people who want to make a career in the tire and automotive industries. This is doubly difficult in industries that many view as not so exciting, challenging or rewarding.
But as the young people profiled in this issue clearly show, there is a new generation of employees in the industry who are thoughtful, educated and prepared for the challenges and changes ahead.
Theirs are indeed the “faces of the industry.” They are the future in tires, auto service and tire manufacturing. And yes, the future does look bright.
This editorial appears in the Sept. 12 print edition of Tire Business. Have an opinion on it? Send your comments, or a letter to the editor, to [email protected]. Please include your name, title, official name of business, city and state in which it's located, as well as an email address and daytime phone number where you can be reached for verification purposes.
Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? Tire Business would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor Don Detore at [email protected].