As a result, they noted, most dealers have reported their fresh looks helped generate additional traffic and sales.
Among initiatives announced at the Phoenix meeting are:
- Improvements to the Traction point-of-sale program, including the addition of a dashboard with sales data and benchmarking and goal-setting tools;
- The option to sell tires online through the updated Point S website. Each dealer has the option to sell online and to customize the online offers — both tires and auto service — to his or her location. Once the customer places an order, the Point S system will check inventories and ship the tires, if necessary, to the location.
- Addition of the Pantera brand. Point S dealers will be able to offer a range of Pantera-brand tires — including touring, sport, SUV, CUV and "Supertrac" light truck lines — through a deal with the brand's owner, Tire Alliance Groupe.
The brand, which is produced by Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd., is backed by limited treadwear warranties of 45,000 miles for the sport, touring CUV and Supertrac M/T and A/T lines and 60,000 miles on the all-season touring.
The group also added the Winterstar line of winter tires this past year in time for the 2016-17 winter season.
All told, Point S stocks 372 different sizes in its distribution centers in several brands. This year Point S has negotiated more rebates from its tire supplier partners, including Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear, Hankook Tire America Corp., Nokian Tyres North America, Sumitomo Rubber North America/Falken Tire and Yokohama Tire Corp.
The group has produced and is running in selected markets two television commercials that urge consumers to "get to the point—Point S" while emphasizing the neighborly character of the local Point S dealer.
Longer term, Point S is targeting growth in the U.S. and Canada that would drive the brand to 900-plus retail locations by 2020.
The group's 2018 dealer meeting will be in Hollywood, Calif.